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Ideas for Clubs

  • 26-12-2018 8:40pm
    Registered Users Posts: 4,894 ✭✭✭

    Hi everyone, as it's coming up to a time where many athletics clubs will be having their AGM's I thought it might be a good idea to start a thread where we can share ideas and learn from each others to improve our clubs for our respective members and also how to attract new members.

    To get the ball rolling here are some activities my club has done.
    - In terms of training sessions we have one track session with a coach, one tempo club run, a weekly trail run during the summer and then club members would post up a route and time for Saturday and Sunday long runs
    - We would organise 2-3 club trips to a half marathon/10K and get a bus down and back with a stop for some food and a few sociables on the way back
    - Summer BBQ and Christmas party/awards night for club members
    - Couch to 5K program every year although we have a big drop off rate once it's done
    - Kiddies fun run at Christmas
    - My club are looking to get a juvenile section started so any tips there would be greatly appreciated
    - Weekly email to all members and Facebook post with a round up of upcoming races and members times from races that week

    Will post up more when I think of them. Feel free to post what your club is doing or thinking of doing


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭IvoryTower

    They started a kids juvenile section in our club last year and now they have well over 100 kids. I'm not sure if they still enforce it but to start off if you wanted your kid to train you had to commit to helping out with there being a roster for the parents. Some of them will become coaches that show up every week so you'll eventually have less need for parents to be there.

    I think the big fundraiser is in having your own races. We've 2 x 5k races and 1 x 10k race, they all sell out, big money spinner you'd imagine

    Also a weekly lotto that's run through a website, it's 2e a week and it automatically charges your bank card so there's nobody actually having to collect money

    Investing in facilities. Track, training ground, apply for grants etc

    C25k leading up to our 3 races

    Long run every weekend starting same time and place so if you just show up you know people will be there

    Captains run every now and again in different locations where everyone goes for coffee/breakfast after

    If I think of anything else useful ill let you know!

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun

    We have a facebook group for discussion, and a weekly email goes out with details of the coming week's training, recent race results, and general other stuff. Trying to move away from the newsletter to a website, but it's harder to find people to update a website than to write a mail...

    We have a training committee that draws up (adult) training plans in blocks of 10/12 weeks. Mostly 10kish training, with more emphasis on distance coming up to Dublin marathon. The training plan is just for midweek runs really. We don't have a track, so the challenge in training is finding somewhere safe, accessible, that can hold the numbers, and having some variety in training.

    There's a group that trains Tuesday/Thursday, session on Tuesday/easy run on Thursday, and a group that does Monday/Wednesday, session on Wednesday. There are also 'novices' groups, for want of a better word, that tend to do monday/Wednesday too.

    There's a tempo session every Saturday, and a long run meetup point on Sundays. I don't know how many people do that long run meetup at this time of year, it is busier in marathon season and there are lots of other groups that meet at different times anyway.

    Juveniles (their parents) get a weekly email with details of training and upcoming races, and there are whatsapp groups for each juvenile age group. Juvenile coaching is always a struggle - not so much in finding bodies (though that sometimes) but in finding people who will coach. (and those you find tend to last only as long as their kids)

    C25k every year, starting in a week or two. Club membership is included and there are always a few who come through.

    Christmas party/awards night every year for the adults. Other social events sometimes - often a BBQ but that's a bit of a gamble.

    awards night every year for the kids, and usually a party, but this year we're doing something post-christmas instead.

    fundraising not really an issue for us, we don't have much in the way of facilities! (and raising enough to buy/build a facility, where we are, is not really an option!) We hire tracks, built a sprint track/long jump pit with a school, share a gym with another school, are working on a grass track/clubhouse with the council.

    There are a few trips to races - a bunch go to Barcelona, dingle marathon, Charleville - but usually only a smallish number of adults and organised by them not 'the club'.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭Testosterscone

    Something I have been thinking alot more about over the last while (John Downes vlogs, Scottish athletics and a few other things have got me thinking about this alot more as of late) Great to see this pop up with some still looking to keep clubs progressing and improving.

    FWIW I don't think club membership is a huge issue for many clubs (might be wrong here) but retention, progression and involvement are the area's which are seriously lacking. Restoration of the community element is something I feel is badly needed

    A few idea's for quick wins which could be hugely beneficial

    - Absence check-in. Simple touching base with athletes who disappear for a certain amount of time to see if they are injured etc. The simple reach out to people could help bring people back into the fore of the club after they have fallen out of the routine. Likewise non renewal membership feedback survey's

    - Charity fundraisers (non club fundraisers). Handicap races, relay marathons, parlauf relays, 24 hr relays, club masterchef etc etc simple idea's donating the proceeds to a particular charity. With the amount of people doing fund raising for charity could be seen as a quick win PR wise while also bringing the club together.

    - Social events - Screening London Marathon or Olympics etc during a club lunch/ coffee morning. etc or some non running related events that can include athletes, coaches, officials, injured athletes

    - Info nights/ training workshops- Guest speakers - S and C, Nutritionists, shoe specialists, elite athletes etc. Similar to previous point having nights that all can get involved in and learn from. Increase general knowledge so that athletes are developing knowledge constantly either to help their own training if they don't always follow club training or if they go on to become coaches within the club

    - Emphasize club element - organise local competitions between neighbouringclubs something to ease people into racing and focusing on having a team element something to blend the fun with club spirit

    - (stolen from another club) incentivize volunteerism. discount membership (or offer cash back at end of year) for officiating at club race, juvenile competitions etc

    - Club League Series. set of races throughout a period to keep people involved, handicap races or offer different types of races (we hold one that you can't wear a watch and winner is closest to predicted time rather than fastest)

    - Club Trips (Races/Warm Weather Training). Have races where people travel as a group. Amazing how much sitting behind someone you don't really know on a bus for an hour or do can help with relationships.

    Reset the mentality that clubs only offer company for your runs. This is something more symptomatic of club culture in general at the moment but little things could make big differences.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,894 ✭✭✭deisedude

    Some great contributions so far. Keep them coming

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun

    Testostercone reminded me of a couple of things -

    We usually have a speaker for an evening every year, sometimes a couple of times a year. David Gillick and Jerry Kiernan for example. Also often have a marathon training meeting, with advice on training particularly for first-timers, and sometimes people to talk about nutrition, stretching/supplementary exercise.

    Used to tie the speaker in to a registration evening, but we've gone for online registration recently.

    We have discount tokens that we give to people who volunteer at events that can be used for club gear. The token is for 10 euro, we usually get 30 per volunteer, and between Dublin marathon, rock and roll, night run, maybe one or two more we make a fair bit. Plus, it gets people to buy club gear and its good to have lots of people in club hoodies, jackets, hats etc, adds to club feeling.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭IvoryTower

    We have a club league as well where you get points for taking part in certain races, all our graded track races, xc etc ,provides a bit of competitive spirit amongst those that usually wouldn't be able to compete for medals as they only have to enter races to get points.