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Rowperfect has a small side project going which is to write an e-book about how to run a learn to scull programme for your club.
Since collaboration is all the rage online these days, we'd like to ask you, our loyal readers, to help us make this a good resource for clubs to use. This means we need a 'second pair of eyes' to read what we've written, point out mistakes, errors, omissions and where we are not being clear.
Would you all help us?
Starting below, we will publish each section over the next week and if you can use the comments fields to write anything you think we need, that'll be very helpful.
Many thanks in advance, and rest assured that everyone who comments will get a free copy at the end when it is published.
How to run a learn to scull / row course
And make money for your club
Chapter 1 Objectives – Why run a course?
Let’s start with some reasons for running a learn to scull or learn to row course.
Any healthy club has a through-flow of members that over time need to be replenished. If you have a leaky bucket and water flows out of the leak and you aren’t’ putting more in the top, eventually it will empty. Rowing clubs are like this. They need new members. Recruiting new members to the club is one of the best reasons for running a learn to row / scull course.
The second good reason to run a course is to teach beginners the basics of our sport. We all learnt to row as novices (some of us barely remember this lost in the mists of time) and there are many ways of learning – in a group, individually or as a squad.
It can be daunting to have to join a club and pay a whole year’s membership fee if you are not certain you’re going to enjoy the sport. Taster sessions are an important part of working out if you like it before joining. The club gets revenues from running the sessions by making a small charge to cover costs. There is also the added benefit of filtering. Only the people who complete the taster and enjoy it, realising they are serious about joining the club will do so. This keeps time-wasters to a minimum.
In the UK many clubs focus on teaching rowing and the challenge and opportunity of sculling is overlooked. Teaching sculling can recruit people who can already row to your club and they have an obvious head-start as new recruits because they are already familiar with most aspects of the sport.
Shared activity is a great team-building activity. Most clubs who run courses say that the team who organise the event and deliver it enjoy doing so and build stronger friendships as a result. Setting common objectives for the club and achieving them is also an important by-product of running a course. The ability to decide together to do something (run a course) and then make it happen with the desired outcomes is a significant achievement.
Branding – getting the name of your club recognised around the local town is good for recruitment and recognition. Many people who think about taking up rowing don’t know if there is a local rowing club. And so having your course announced in the local newspaper, on posters and community websites is good for awareness.
Lastly, fund-raising is a good reason to run a learn to row / scull course. Most clubs operate on a budget fed by mainly membership subscriptions and the profits from running a regatta or head race. Nowadays these revenues are rarely sufficient for all the expenditure an active club wants to make. Growing a club takes money and this is a good way of earning money in a short time for that purpose.