Chapter 2 – How to run a learn to scull course


Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on the first chapter of the e-book we published on Wednesday.

Here is Chapter 2.

Chapter 2 – Setting up a learn to scull / row course.

Making the decision

Many clubs will require committee approval before a learn to scull / row course can be run.  The committee is the group of people who organise and run the club, agree its annual plan and financial spending.  Getting committee approval shouldn’t be hard but you do need to have thought through your idea carefully in advance and done some forward – planning.  Reading this book is a good start.  But you should read the whole book once all the way through before you start the work.  Some areas you may not need to do  and others will take more or less work depending on your situation.

How to write a committee proposal.

Take a sheet of plain paper and write down why you want to run a learn to scull / row course.  Write it as a list of numbered items.  Be sure to include what outcomes you hope will happen as a result of the course. 

If your club has a written plan or strategy (and as a member you should be able to get a copy of it from the Club Secretary) then check whether your outcomes match and align with the club’s plan.  This will make it easier to overcome any objections that may be raised at the committee meeting.  Because if your course matches the club strategy then there will be fewer arguments against it.

Most club committees meet monthly.  Speak to the Club Secretary in advance and ask if your proposal can be put onto the agenda for the next committee meeting.  Ask if you can attend the meeting in order to put your proposal forward, participate in the discussion and answer questions.

Now for the hard part – lobbying.  This is a skill that business uses to influence politicians to make decisions favourable to their organisation.  Your proposal is most likely to succeed if the key committee members know about it in advance (the Captain, Chairman, Secretary, Head Coach) and are in favour of the proposal.  And so to achieve this you have to start lobbying.

Lobbying the Committee

Speak privately, face to face, to each of them in advance.  Explain what you want to do and why and ask for their support.  Show them a draft of your written proposal and ask them to help you improve it (it may not need improvement, but by asking them to help and guide you they get involved with the thinking and organisation and are more likely to look favourably on the proposal).

By the time the committee meets, at least four of the key people should already know what to expect when your agenda item comes up for discussion.  Hopefully you’ve persuaded them this is a great thing to do for the club and they will work with you to persuade the others that this is a great idea for your club to do.

Here is a sample proposal for submission to a club committee

Proposal to run a Sculling Course on August 5 – 9
recruit five new senior and five new junior members
raise the profile of the club locally
raise £1,000 for club funds
August 5 – 9
Juniors 4.30 – 5.30 pm.  Seniors 6 – 7.30 pm
Equipment needed:
[list all the boats, coaching equipment, safety equipment, room hire, catering you’ll need] 15 single sculls, 6 double sculls, 2 quad sculls.  4 megaphones, 6 throw-lines, 2 life jackets.  Book the club room and kitchen for catering and have the safety launch on stand-by.
Personnel needed:
 Three coaches, three assistants to help out on the water, one person to run catering (buying food and preparing it), Advance publicity (3-4 hours work), Safety officer (could be one of the coaches).  Note child protection clearance needed for junior coaches.
 Estimated revenues £1,500 from attendance fees and estimated costs £400 (catering, publicity advert and prizes).  Net revenues to the club £1,100.

Chapter 3 part one


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