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Another club closure

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The Q View Drop Down
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Joined: 07 Feb 22
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Q Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 22 at 6:27am
Foilers will never work on our waters, they'd sail behind the first tree and crash down..
Our club was failing, then about 15 years ago they set up a club sailing school. 
They now have up to 80 children signed on each year, for sail training. 
It took a while but it has revived the dinghy classes, and some of the adults have been learning to sail and are beginning to feed through to the keel boat classes (and a few with the dinghies).
Oh I intend to volunteer to help with the sailing School from next year when I've retired.


Edited by The Q - 05 May 22 at 6:28am
Still sailing in circles
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Paramedic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paramedic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 22 at 6:44am
Originally posted by Grumpycat

I agree to a certain extent . Speaking as a member of a small club in the midlands , I donít think itís itís a one minute midnight for us, more like 10 mins to midnight.  LOL.
The only good thing is when my club does go, it means more sailors for other small/medium clubs in the area like Banbury, Shustoke, Earlswood , Tamworth etc. None of us want the big club experience like Draycote . 


I must admit I think the medium/large clubs are more at risk in the midlands than the small ones, many of which I'm now in my 20th year of wondering how on earth they keep going?

The answer I think is that they are 5 minutes from home for most of their members, live largely off club camaraderie rather that the outright sailing experience and occupy water that no-one wants to use for anything else and land that no-one is allowed to use for anything else.

The larger clubs however are occupying premium sites with a more fickle membership who are much more inclined to travel and with the expansion of multi class traveller series maybe more likely to sod it and join the RYA. How ironic would it be if too many traveller events at premier clubs leads to their demise? Thats very much a 23:00 scenario at the moment, but for small clubs its 23:59 and clock stopped.

For the smaller clubs ageing membership is the biggest threat I think, and the shift in lifestyle leading to their being a lack of members they tick boxes for
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fleaberto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fleaberto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 22 at 9:04am
I'm a member of two clubs. One a 'Premium' place on big water - and seems to be stuggling post-covid.
The other, a 'small family pond club' has just exceeded it's previous record membership numbers (200) and shows no sign of this slowing in the coming momths.
The biggest difference? The 'Small' club used the covid downtime to look at what would be required once people were allowed out again. As a result we spent a LOT of money refurbing the club facilities and grounds, as well as plotting a 'return to the water' strategy that included paddle boarding.
Lets face it, we had 18 months to get it all sorted and, with the benefit of 'at home' time allowing for the chasing of a lot of grant money, have succeeded handsomely in attracting brand-new members that had been enquiring throughout the pandemic lockdowns. We kept in touch, communicated our plans, had progress pictures on websites and facebook pages etc - and it worked.
A small club absolutely bucking the membership trend and still retaining its 'family' feel and ethos.


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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 22 at 9:08am
Some good news and some disturbing news, surprised to hear of a large club struggling.
Robert
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fleaberto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fleaberto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 22 at 10:29am
Some 'Large clubs' seem to have rested on their laurels a little and (or) didn't foresee the big change that lay ahead in terms of how people want to spend their leisure time. 
My 'Small' club didn't increase fees, for example, as a reward to those that did renew during the period of closure and as an incentive to those enquiring. 
Chased every grant going and have been very successful in this. To the point where we have an increased membership AND an increased revenue.
Now, obviously, this needs to be maintained into next season but, by ensuring that the club looks good, keeps it's 'feel' and continues to respond to current leisure-time demands, I don't think that this will be an issue.

Big clubs carry big fees and, perhaps, the time away has seen people reappraise where their spending goes and the value that is offered.
Some clubs saw an opportunity to respond to the whole 'Staycation' thing as people looked closer to home for their leisure activities. Others (Many?) stayed stuck in the 'This is how we do things' and responded too late.
Renewal requests accompanied with "Sorry, but it's been a tough time so fees need to go up" doesn't really cut it with most people, they just decide to quit the sport or go elsewhere for a (perceived) better value club. My 'Big' club is seeing exactly this.



 


Edited by fleaberto - 05 May 22 at 10:32am
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turnturtle View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote turnturtle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 22 at 10:29am
I'm not - I applaud the work of the committee members of larger clubs, but it's more than a second job in many cases.  Honestly, I don't know how they do it, especially if they have regular family commitments too.

They are businesses - there's a P&L to manage and there's only so much goodwill can be extracted to avoid overhead costs with paid employees.


Edited by turnturtle - 05 May 22 at 10:29am
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Riv View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Riv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 22 at 10:53am
We have about 1000 adults, children and dogs at our club and run a variety of training. Its been interesting that the demand for PB2 training has increased dramatically. However this has not resulted in more members wanting to do rescue boat duties. All the extra training has resulted in a lot of load on volunto and for some this is unsustainable. We have been extremely luck to get a retired IT professional to run the Sailing club manager, there is no way we could afford him.The problem we face is how to convert the club service users into club members and see volunteering as something they want to do.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote turnturtle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 22 at 11:18am
My experience was never a lack of desire, but simply one of time; especially as the family commitments grew.  Even the word sounds onerous: 'duties'.

Try explaining that to a non-sailing partner, it does sound rather ridiculous when compared to golf, fishing, cycling, 5 a side, cricket, bridge club....  


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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 22 at 11:59am
I have no idea, do you need to do duties at Bartley SC? Sailed there a couple of times, never noticed how it was organised, (feel a bit embarrassed).
Robert
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Moo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 22 at 12:12pm
Originally posted by Grumpycat




I agree to a certain extent . Speaking as a member of a small club in the midlands , I donít think itís itís a one minute midnight for us, more like 10 mins to midnight.† LOL.
The only good thing is when my club does go, it means more sailors for other small/medium clubs in the area like Banbury, Shustoke, Earlswood , Tamworth etc. None of us want the big club experience like Draycote .†





Based on your forecast, I don't need to work on our epitaph just yet then.😊

As a very small, but fortunately incorporated Club (best decision we ever made), post pandemic we are in a far stronger financial position than we ever have been due to HM Govt chucking grants our way during lockdown. However, we do need to use that windfall wisely and work hard on getting bums in boats to try and secure a sustainable longer term future.
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