There is no hiding that the UK is a country of sports lovers. Overall, about 41% and 32% of male and female adults, respectively, participate in sports activities on a weekly basis.

Playing the likes of football, tennis, and golf requires investing in specialist equipment to help you perform at your best. In the third quarter of 2023, British households spent a whopping £2.6 billion on sporting gear, and it’s fair to assume that sports clubs have splashed out an even larger amount.

Given the high cost of professional equipment, clubs must have storage space to keep their items safe and secure all year round. In this respect, shipping containers can be a valuable solution, especially thanks to their versatility and durability.

But what benefits can they bring when it comes to protecting your gear? Cleveland Containers, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of shipping containers, explains the advantages of using containers to accommodate your sports equipment while offering advice on available grants to help you fund – as a club – your new storage space.

Benefits of using shipping containers for sports equipment

Maximise space

One of the most appealing benefits of using shipping containers to store your sports equipment is that it optimises your space.

Andrew Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Group and Cleveland Containers, said: “Shipping containers are the perfect option for making efficient use of available space.

“Because of their standardised dimensions, they can save plenty of room. Cargo containers can be installed in unused areas, meaning you can optimise your storage capacity without taking over parts of the club that are required for day-to-day activities. They also come in several types and formats, such as tunnel and side-opening containers, making for easy access whenever you need to pick up or put away some gear.

“What’s more, shipping containers are available in different shapes and sizes, allowing you to select the one that best suits your equipment. With 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft options available, you can choose how much storage room you’d like to keep your items safe, organised, and out of sight.”


Some sports, such as football and rugby, are played all year round, regardless of the weather forecast. So, if you can only keep your equipment outside, it’s vital to have storage space that protects your bibs, kits, and cones from the unfriendly weather.

Shipping containers are designed to power through harsh climates at sea. From scorching sun to storms, rain, and strong winds, they are built to withstand all sorts of weather conditions.

Ultimately, this makes them an ideal solution for storing your sports stuff, keeping it clean and dry no matter the temperature and weather conditions outside.    

Safety and security

As mentioned, the equipment owned by a sports club is usually worth thousands of pounds, so it is essential to store all your possessions in a safe, secure space.

Andrew Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Group and Cleveland Containers added: “Made of steel and thanks to their sturdy nature, shipping containers can act as a reliable deterrent against vandalism and theft.

“Because they are originally manufactured to cross oceans and fight off severe weather conditions, cargo containers are very difficult to break into.

“However, if you still want additional protection, you can always fit padlocks and alarms to give you extra peace of mind.”

Shipping containers are also practically impossible to steal. They are not the type of steel box that can be lifted easily and put in the back of a van, so you can rest assured that your equipment is safe from ill-intentioned thieves at all times.   


Unlike storage sheds or buildings, shipping containers are portable, making them the perfect solution if you have to change location. But even if you are staying where you are and are just reshuffling the layout of your site, cargo containers can be moved according to your new plans.

When transferring to a new area or property, containers can be picked up and installed in the new location with little expense involved. Instead, with fixed storage rooms, you may have to knock down the original building and construct a new space, which is likely to cost you significantly more.

Grants for new storage space

Using shipping containers is a great way to increase your capacity for equipment and free up all-important space for your club’s activities.

If you are a sports club that includes grassroots football as part of its offerings, you can apply to the Football Foundation for a grant to invest in secure storage. As part of your application, you are likely to be asked why you need additional storage room on your site.

To qualify for funding, you have to be:

  • A not-for-profit football club or voluntary group
  • A Local Authority
  • A County FA
  • A Professional Club Community Organisation
  • An educational establishment providing facilities for the community
  • A registered charity
  • A not-for-profit company
  • A community interest company (CIC) or other social enterprise
  • A company limited by guarantee

Andrew Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Group and Cleveland Containers said: “If you are looking to get a shipping container to be installed on-site, bear in mind that the Football Foundation will only fund the purchase of new or fully refurbished storage containers with a minimum 12-month warranty. This is something that Cleveland Containers offers as standard.

“It is also worth noting that the organisation can’t help with the costs of a rented or leased container. However, grants from the Football Foundation can be used to replace a cargo container that has reached the end of its lifetime, as long as you can explain why you need to buy a new one.”

When it comes to grant limits, the Football Foundation will award a maximum amount of £25,000. This mustn’t exceed 75% of the total project costs.

Due to high demand, applicants can make no more than one request per season. But thanks to the organisation’s generous funding, it should still be enough to add handy storage space for your precious equipment.

From maximising space to keeping your gear safe, clean, and well-organised, shipping containers are a reliable, efficient solution for all your storage needs.

So, if you are struggling to find a spot for your footballs, nets, or rackets, think about investing in a cargo container. With funding opportunities available, you can lighten your expenses and help your sports club perform at its best.   


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