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North Coast Tri Club/Perth Hills Tri Club – Tracking Training Fees

How does your club keep track of who has paid training fees, who hasn’t, who has run out of sessions, who showed up, and who didn’t? Is it a logistical nightmare or a simple process? When we started asking around, it seems most clubs subscribe to one of two methods:

  • A pay as you go, manually tracked system (such as the “coffee card” system where athletes purchase a 10-pass card and their attendances are marked off); or
  • They don’t charge for training.

Many clubs pointed out that the manual system relies on coaches making sure every person at the session has paid, and enforcing compliance where they hadn’t. The general consensus between clubs was that this was a large expectation to put on coaches who already have their hands full writing and leading the session.  

One club that is looking to shed it’s old manual system is North Coast Tri Club. They approached the Presidents’ Catch Up group to ask what solutions other clubs may have to this common pain, and one club had a possible solution. Perth Hills Tri Club has been exploring the use of Team App – a free mobile app available on Android and iPhone which allows clubs and teams to simplify club communications, set training sessions and ask members to indicate if they will be attending, as well as take payments.  

With members more adjusted to the use of technology thanks to 2020 and the lockdowns, this could be the perfect time to transition to a new platform for managing various club affairs. Is your club considering making a switch? We would love to hear more about what options you’re exploring. 

If you have a question for the other clubs, the President Catch-Ups are a great forum to get feedback and support from other local clubs. Send your questions or discussion topics through to Tiffany before the next meeting. 

We love hearing about and helping with initiatives our clubs have implemented that have helped them improve the culture, operations or general club life. Does your club have a great initiative worth sharing? We’d love to hear about it and share how it could help other clubs in WA, so let us know!

Bunbury Triathlon Club/Rockingham Triathlon Club – Race Data for Planning

Many of our WA clubs host excellent events, both club members only and public events. These events are a large part of our sport in that they offer opportunities for the community to race all across the state, and while our sport is much more than racing, these events are vitally important.

After hosting a race, there are a number of tasks that need attending to including publishing results, post-race communications, and race reviews or reports. One thing that should also be on your post-event to-do list is reporting your participation data from your race. This data, including the number of members and non-members participating in the various race distances, forms an integral part of our planning during the season and can assist TWA and clubs in delivering more effective marketing of events and programs.

For example, the Bunbury Triathlon Club and Rockingham Triathlon Club are both up to date in their race data reporting for races held in the 2020/21 season. In Bunbury, non-member participation is highest in the Enticer distance, whereas in Rockingham it was highest in the Sprint distance. In both of these instances, the non-member participation was highest in the shortest distance on offer. This is quite the opposite with members, with whom the longest distance on offer was most popular. This information is useful for both TWA and the clubs in looking at how best to market events to both members and non-members. As can be seen the marketing should differ depending on which group is being targeted.

This is just one example of the ways in which this data helps to inform decision-making and planning contemporaneously throughout the season, which in turn ensures more effective and efficient investment of resources to benefit our members.

Additionally, it is a requirement of sanctioning that this data be reported within 14 days of the event. Not fulfilling sanctioning requirements, including the reporting of data, can result in delays in sanctioning as future events should not be sanctioned without these requirements being met.

If your club has any queries on the sanctioning process or the reporting of race data, you can contact our Sanctioning Coordinator, Cathy Hoare, via email or on (08) 9443 9778.

We love hearing about and helping with initiatives our clubs have implemented that have helped them improve the culture, operations or general club life. Does your club have a great initiative worth sharing? We’d love to hear about it and share how it could help other clubs in WA, so let us know!

Perth Triathlon Club – Are Beginners the Key to Club Growth?

Every year, triathletes retire, move on or leave their club for a variety of reasons. This is an unfortunate fact of life for all sports and clubs, and while there are things we can do to work on retaining these people in a club or extending the length of time for which they are actively involved, the reality is every participant will eventually and inevitably leave (whether by choice, or not). For this reason, building a steady flow of newcomers is vital to a club’s sustainability and longevity. 
Beginner triathletes, or novices as some clubs call them, are new to the triathlon scene. These members can sometimes take a little more work to bring them up to speed and educate them about the sport and the club. They also may not be physically as fit or ready to train with the whole club as prospective members who have been participating and training already, so might need specific training sessions or mentors within the club. However, the potential for growth with this type of prospective member often outweighs those difficulties. 
Perth Triathlon Club have reaped such benefits this season. Prior to the premature end to the 2019/20 season, PTC held a beginners course from which a number of very enthusiastic new members blossomed. These members remained actively engaged through winter and the training restrictions, because their newfound passion for the sport was so strong. This was beneficial for the whole club’s engagement and morale throughout the difficult circumstances and was reflected in membership this season. PTC is one of only four clubs in WA to have exceeded the total number of members from the 2019/20 season in the first quarter of this season, and prior to the majority of the racing calendar. It has also translated into a retention rate of almost 10% higher than the state average for this season. Their first beginners course in season 2020/21 attracted more than 38 enquiries and over 20 participants. 
What initiatives is your club exploring to harness the passion of beginners entering the sport? If your club has some great ideas but isn’t sure where to start to bring them to life, or if you know you want to work on building your base of beginners but are not sure how, give us a call at Triathlon WA. We have a number of initiatives which could help get you started, or could aid in the rolling out of your great ideas. 
Some great first steps you can take to make your club a little more “beginner-friendly” include:

  •  Appointing new member liaisons. We recommend having more than one to appeal to different personalities coming in, or even consider one male and one female liaison. These are representatives that new members or prospective members can be directed to who will be able to welcome them and answer any of their questions.
  •  Run beginners courses or sessions which cater specifically to those just starting out. These might run at the same time as other club sessions, but should be kept separate to help keep participants from feeling overwhelmed by jumping straight in with the “big guns”.
  •  Run or attend Triathlon WA beginners information sessions. These sessions are generally well-attended and having your club represented at ones local to you will help you introduce yourself to prospective members, as well as give them someone to look for when they attend their first training.

We love hearing about and helping with initiatives our clubs have implemented that have helped them improve the culture, operations or general club life. Does your club have a great initiative worth sharing? We’d love to hear about it and share how it could help other clubs in WA, so let us know!

North Coast Triathlon Club – Maintaining the Value of Membership

One of the first questions a new member will ask is which club they should join. Sometimes this is determined by the proximity of the club, the training schedule, the coach, the community, or the benefits the club offers. More often than not, it’s a combination of these things, and how much weight a new member will give to each consideration will depend on what they value.

That’s right – we’re talking member value. 

We can all appreciate the importance of offering value to members in exchange for their hard earned money and their precious time. Continuously demonstrating value to our members is the easiest way to keep them engaged and retain them, as well as attract new members who simply do not want to miss out. This is exactly why retaining member benefits exclusively to members is so important. By offering those benefits to people outside of the club, membership is devalued. If anyone can access the benefits, why pay for membership?

This month I have been working with the North Coast Triathlon Club on servicing their members as they have decided to refine the access to their club member page on Facebook. Their membership page had blown out to over 800 members, which is significantly more than the club’s 2020/21 membership. While this might seem like a small issue, the result is that access to their club community is open to any and all, regardless of whether that individual has purchased a membership. That is one less value point they can offer to current or prospective members, making selling memberships more difficult than it needs to be. It also means that any member benefits posted in that group can be seen and accessed by all. If the club wanted to offer a discount to a sponsoring business, it can’t use this channel to communicate it without risking a larger group accessing it, and a business looking to help out is going to be less likely to offer a substantial discount to 800 potential customers, than they are to 200 or so.

This is an easy fix for the club – simply archive the old group (it will still exist on Facebook, but will no longer be active or usable). Then start a new one, inviting only current members. The difficulty will come next year in removing old members and adding new, but if managed well and the upkeep is done regularly, this should not be an arduous task. If it is too much, they can simply archive and repeat.

But this concept extends to all member benefits, perhaps most notably trainings. If a club is allowing non-members to train with the club and access the benefits of the community and the coaches the club has developed and invested in, then what are the members accessing that is above and beyond the general public? Beyond this, non-members at club trainings raises insurance risk issues, but that’s a topic for another day.

We love hearing about and helping with initiatives our clubs have implemented that have helped them improve the culture, operations, or general club life. Does your club have a great initiative worth sharing? We’d love to hear about it and share how it could help other clubs in WA, so let us know!

EFS Triathlon Club – Setting Member Expectations

At last week’s Club President’s Catch-Up, Presidents were asked to share a little about how their club approaches planning for the season ahead and delegating tasks within the club. Unsurprisingly, most Presidents reported that a bulk of the operational and strategic work at their club is undertaken by the committee. However, one club shared an idea they’ve implemented over the past 4 years to recruit their members to volunteer and assist in fundraising for the club which sparked interest in the group.

The EFS Triathlon Club started an initiative 4 years ago to set realistic expectations with their members as to their volunteering duties for the club which has become a standard practice each year. The club fundraises each year by supplying volunteers to external events in exchange for a token amount of money donated back to the club, a practice that has become increasingly popular in the events industry. To source their volunteers, the club requires each and every member to commit to at least one volunteering opportunity each year. Those members who simply cannot volunteer or cannot find an alternative person to volunteer in their place are required to purchase a $50 “opt-out” pass, which is the value the club has placed on their contribution.

How do they do that? It’s simple – they tell them!

At the inception of the initiative, this was communicated to all members who intended to renew that this would become a standard expectation. All members joining the club are now also informed and it has become part of the club’s culture that members give back. Brian Kempson, the club’s President, says that through communicating it widely on social media, emails and face-to-face they have found members are more than willing to do their part or pay up as there is clear expectations set and they know they won’t receive a tap on the shoulder asking them to do more than they have committed to later down the track.

From a logistical point of view, the volunteering opportunities are planned out at the start of the season and the club secretary keeps track of who puts their hand up for which events. Members who haven’t volunteered are reminded to do so, and if they don’t they receive an invoice for their $50. 

This culture of volunteering is one all clubs strive to achieve and maintain, as it helps to spread the load amongst members and prevent committee burnout. These kinds of initiatives are not new, and setting realistic expectations as to engagement from members is something many clubs and many different sports engage in for this very purpose.

It’s fantastic to hear about initiatives our clubs have implemented that have helped them improve the culture, operations, or general club life. Does your club have a great initiative worth sharing? We’d love to hear about it and share how it could help other clubs in WA, so let us know!