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Bowls In Focus : June July 2011
24 Bowls In Focus Facing Club Challenges Head-On Each year the challenge for clubs to survive becomes more and more difficult as the cost of living increases, volunteers become burnt-out and the average person’s leisure time decreases. As a result I have taken this opportunity to recommend some ways that your club may be able to deal with these ongoing demands. The significant increase in the cost of living not only affects our ability to pay our mortgage, but also affects people’s spending habits and makes us all more meticulous about where our money is been spent. Consequently, clubs may need to look at offering a range of different membership options to suit current members and potential member needs. Your club may want to explore having social-only, pennant-only, club-only, five and ten game member- ships etc. This could potentially help with the recruitment of new members and also help those members that are struggling financially; but still want to stay involved in the club in some sort of capacity. I would also recommend looking at other ways that the club might be able to recruit or increase revenue. Partnering with a local school offers many benefits to a club; apart from having the opportunity to teach kids how to bowl, which is very reward- ing in itself, it also provides a great connection to teachers and kids parents. At completion of the school program, I would suggest hosting a school/ family night at the club; this will provide a great chance to showcase the club to the local commu- nity and hopefully recruit some new members. The club may also want to explore offering the clubs facilities to other community groups such as Probus, Rotary and Lions. This has the potential to not only raise revenue for the club, but also promotes the clubs facilities and the sport of bowls to people that may not have otherwise considered it. I would suggest having promotional banners and marketing material on the tables; you want to make sure that their first impression of the club is a memorable one. The off-season also provides a perfect op- portunity to survey your current members and find out what they want and if the club is meeting their expectations. This is a proactive way of ensuring that the club retains its current membership levels; so any change in membership numbers is a posi- tive one. This may seem like a daunting task, but a very wor thwhile exercise and I would recommend this strongly to all clubs. Achieving Volunteer Satisfaction Volunteer burnout is something that all clubs have to deal with at some stage. Although this can not always be easily overcome, offering training to new volunteers could be a good starting point. Having new volunteers ready to step into a position will enable current volunteers to slowly decrease their workload and provides a good tran- sitional stage for both the club and the volunteer. This can be achieved by having a current volunteer mentor future volunteers or alternatively enrolling interested members in various volunteer- ing courses. The Volunteering Victoria website (http://www. volunteeringvictoria.com.au/) offers very valuable information in relation to training organisations. It also provides very useful tools and links; so please make sure you visit the site. Something for everyone Adecrease in recreational users/members leisure time could ultimately impact the clubs bottom line. As a result the club may want to look at exploring various programs or hosting special member nights. Many parents, particularly those with young families, often have very limited time to spend with their children. Hosting a family night will provide the opportunity for parents to participate in the spor t they love, whilst spending valuable time with their family. Likewise with friends: hosting ‘bring a friend’ nights will give members the ability to socialise with their friends and spend more time at the club they love. It also markets the club to an entirely new group of people. Forty/40 bowls is a great fun and a fast game that only requires a few spare hours a week. It has been designed to help cater for social bowlers who only have a small window each week to participate in sport. This may be the answer that your club has been looking for. I would encourage all clubs to use any spare time they have in the off-season as time planning for the future. If you require any assistance or advice, please feel free to contact Kate McLauchlan on 9819-0757 email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Special Projects Special Projects Kate McLauchlan
August September 2011