Collecting the information

Think carefully about what information is required, where to find it and how to record it.

Where will you get information?

The source of information depends on the type of information you need. The following table gives you some suggestions about what questions to ask and where to find the answers.

    • Information Needs

    • Research Questions

    • Methods

    • Information Needs

      • Person, project or event context and overview
    • Research Questions

      • What’s the person or project’s history?
      • What is the person or project offering?
      • Who are the people that benefit?
      • What other information is useful to tell the club or facility story?
    • Methods

      • Annual Reports
      • Funding applications
      • Photo archives
    • Information Needs

      • The value of the person or project to stakeholders
    • Research Questions

      • What are the benefits of this club or facility to the members?
      • What are the benefits beyond the members?
    • Methods

      • Interviews
    • Information Needs

      • The person or project in action
    • Research Questions

      • What images reflect the contribution or value of the person or project?
      • What do you typically see them doing?
    • Methods

      • Photo or video shoot

How will you collect the information?

You can collect information in a range of different ways.

  • Internet search to find out publicly available references to the person or project
  • Site visits to observe activities
  • Reviewing reports etc to identify themes and get quantitative data (for example, length of service, achievements, trends over time)
  • Individual interview (face to face, over the phone, email interview) to collect descriptions of the person or project, stories, quotes
  • Specific visits to take photos/video footage that capture the story
  • Review of photo archives and club or facility memorabilia to identify repeated themes, historical features

Who do you need to involve?

Collecting a description of the impact of a key person or project will require you to interview a range of stakeholders. Think about:

  • internal stakeholders — committee members, administrators, volunteers, members, users, junior members, their families, past members
  • local stakeholders — local media, schools, social services, police, other clubs/venues, other youth, other families.

You have already identified the key stakeholders who you’d like to collect information from. Use a range of methods to introduce the project and to recruit participants.

  • Posters displayed on noticeboards at the club or facility
  • Meeting papers and minutes can include information about the project and provide a way of communicating to club members
  • Flyers can be sent home with children and junior members or users. This is a useful way to get consent; which needs to be from parents/guardians for research participants under 15 years
  • Email messages and text messages for club members and facility users — while text has to be brief it can include an offer email or post more information
  • Posts on the club or facility’s social network sites such as Facebook

Local stakeholders Internal stakeholders

Template 1: Invitation To Participate In An Interview Or Focus Group


For most clubs and many facilities, many people involved are volunteers or participating in their free time. They may also hold paid jobs and/or have family commitments and may be in the midst of a busy sports/recreation season when the case study is underway.

  • Plan for flexibility in appointment times (evenings, weekends and daytime), allocate contingency resources for missed appointments and plan for rescheduling.
  • Use technology to help with scheduling. There are a range of online meeting management options ( that can make it easy to invite people and have them ‘sign up’ for a time that suits.

Template 4: Generic Interview Plan

Record keeping

Remember to record participants’ contact details so you can get back in touch if you need to. Be flexible in this; offer to be in contact with participants in a variety of ways (eg phone, email or text).

Taking photos

Remember the key points for taking great photos.

  • Look your subject in the eye
  • Use a plain background
  • Use flash outdoors
  • Move in close
  • Move the subject from the middle
  • Watch the light
  • Take some vertical pictures
  • Be a picture director