York Urbanist

ACHIEVING GOALS OF A RURAL CURLING CLUB

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Photo by Anil Mungal

Our bantam team achieved our goal of making provincial championships. As a coach, I came away with a sense of pride of accomplishment. But, there was much King curling and arenalearning at the event for me. It was during regular discussion with other coaches and parents that I realized the broad disparity between rural and urban capabilities of bringing a team to such an event. And it starts with the operation of the facilities from which the teams hale.

Families lamented the deteriorating conditions of their rural home club facility. The more the discussion, the more evident it became that stagnation of the board and executive was the core challenge of the clubs in rural communities. While urban clubs have a larger population to whom they can market, rural clubs depend more on the connections within a smaller residential community. Generally, urban members have a higher disposable income but less disposable time than their rural counterparts. So the marketing and operations will differ between the dichotomies.

But that does not mean that rural curling clubs should approach their business planning differently from their city peers! You still need to set a plan of actions and long term goal setting. For that reason, I offer the following vision, goals and objectives that you can use verbatim if it helps to sustain the sport we all love. I have re-read the 2001-2002 Strategic Business Plan for the Ottawa Curling Club. From that excellent document, there are parallels that can be applied to the rural club context.

VISION

The curling club will become and sustain itself as a central community recreation facility, offering excellence in curling programs, ice quality and social amenities.

GOALS

  1. Achieve and sustain an active and stable membership base that represents the demographics of our community.
  2. Achieve excellent ice and rock conditions, while offering services to our members that maximize their enjoyment of the sport.
  3. Operate a clubhouse that is inviting and distinguished.
  4. Realize long-term financial viability and sustainability.
  5. Ensure the accountability of the Board and management to the membership.
  6. Honour the greater curling community of the province by opening the facility to provincial competitions and seminars.

 

OBJECTIVES

  • Achieve and sustain an active and stable membership base that represents the demographics of our community.
    1. Provide instruction once a month including Learn To Curl clinics and advanced skills development camps.
    2. Create a beginner league, seeded with veteran skips
    3. Monitor the needs of existing leagues to ensure they are meeting the needs of participants
    4. Encourage youth with after school programs
    5. Involve non-board members in tasks associated with programs and events
    6. Market low subscribed or declining leagues.
    7. Limit the duration of sitting board members.
  • Achieve excellent ice and rock conditions, while offering services to our members that maximize their enjoyment of the sport
    1. Send our icemaker to clinics
    2. Invite icemakers to the club to advise on ice, mechanical equipment and rocks.
  • Operate a clubhouse that is inviting and distinguished.
    1. Offer high-quality food, bar and banquet services either by volunteers, catering services or paid employees.
    2. Make repairs regular to lounge facilities and update using the capital improvements funds at least every ten years.
    3. offer a curling supplies shop that meets member needs
  • Realize long-term financial viability and sustainability.
    1. Ensure that the Club’s fee structure generates appropriate revenue while               remaining competitive with other local curling and social clubs
    2. increase bar, food and ice rental revenues
    3. improve income from rental of the facilities and consider other potential           sources of revenue
    4. develop an operating budget that will minimize the use of lines of credit and     enable the club to afford appropriate capital expenditures
  • Ensure the accountability of the Board and management to the membership.
    1. ensure that communications at all levels is effective, frequent and uses available technology
    2. maintain a Board structure which is focussed on policy setting and business management
    3. Recognize the Club Manager (volunteer or paid) as fully responsible for day-to-day operational matters
  • Honour the greater curling community of the province by opening the facility to provincial competitions and seminars.
    1. offer assistance to club members who wish to participate in the Level 1 Instructors Clinics
    2. respect, recognize and promote the Club’s history and tradition
    3. Attract and maintain top competitive curlers to represent the club in outside competition.
    4. Offer the club as a venue for region or provincial-wide events.

 

 

If you can set a vision and goals for a curling team, the skills are complementary to helping your curling club. Next time you attend a provincial or regional event, engage in discussion with the other attendees and exchange information. The country mouse can learn from the city mouse and vice versa.