Recruiting members to join a ski club is just one of the many challenges in this day and age. In part two of the Modern Ski Club we take a look at some of the challenges facing ski/snowboard clubs.
To keep clubs alive, new members need to be recruited. To achieve this, clubs employ various methods. For many the main tool is to stage a race at the local ski hill and hope that this inspires people to join. These races are excellent but generally only effective for those who live close to a ski area.
But engagement of new members is only one challenge. Open surveys with numerous ski clubs revealed that a key challenge is the relationship, specifically communications, with their National Ski Associations. For clubs, the link to the National Ski Associations is vital. They provide overall direction for the sport in their country, offer insurance services for athletes, financial grants, scholarships, coaches training and are an excellent body to bridge the gap between the stakeholders amongst.
In countries like Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Japan and China the National Ski Associations are also vital to recruit newcomers with specific programmes aimed at bringing children to the snow. Communication is key to this relationship working with platforms such as national snowsport events to websites and social media playing a vital role.
The next challenge facing clubs is financing. The majority of clubs operate on a volunteer non-profit basis. This means that money for the club either comes from donations, fund raisers, competition earnings or sponsorships.
Each year the FIS Solidarity Programe provides significant direct funding contributing to special projects to develop snow sports in many countries. To make a successful application, a providing a clear plan and direction is the key to success.
The three challenges of member recruitment, relationship with National Ski Associations and financing are three of the most mentioned challenges amongst the clubs surveyed. Whilst it is fair to say these are the most common challenges they may not be the ones which are considered a priority for every ski club. In Part three of the Modern Ski Club we will explore solutions to these challenges. The solutions are based of best practices from other clubs around the world and may also help solve various issues.