In mid-March, our Club Development Team brought together clubs from across the country in three separate online forums to understand the impact of the last year on their activities.
There’s no doubt the past year has presented many challenges to club cycling however what has been apparent throughout this time, is an enthusiasm and interest in innovating, with lots of great examples of ways in which clubs have taken novel approaches to engaged their members and volunteers. We want to share this learning as much as possible, so please get in touch with a member of the team to share what your club has been up to over the last year if you haven’t done so already.
Our Club Recovery Plan is a live and adaptive piece of work that is being driven by the needs of clubs. The initial conversations across the regions allowed us to explore six main areas:membership, finance and governance, volunteers, facilities, opportunities and partnerships to gain a rounded understanding of the impact on clubs.
With regards to membership, most clubs expressed that this wasn’t a huge area for concern and many clubs have seen fairly stable membership numbers across the year. Some clubs are rolling over membership for the next year as a way of acknowledging the little activity that has taken place over last season which will be a welcome step for many members. Many youth clubs have found that the increase in cycling in families has led to massive spikes in their waiting list, so their planning has to focus not only on re-engaging existing members, but also considering how they can sustainably expand to bring in new members.
We've shone the spotlight on many clubs over the last year who have been #PlayingOurPart - check out an article about what some clubs have been up to here
On the topic of finance and governance, most clubs reported they’d had stable bank balances over the course of the pandemic due to the limited outgoings required. However, many clubs reported that one of your biggest governance concerns was the perception of cycling groups going back to activity too soon and this frequently went together with concerns around covid guidance and travel restrictions. At Scottish cycling, we understand this is a tricky stage to navigate and since this forum, we have hosted a Q&A Covid-19 webinar which we hope has answered many of your questions and eased some of your worries. We continue to work closely with sportscotland and other SGBs to ensure that our guidance for cycling activity can be as clear as possible.
The most up-to-date Covid-19 guidance for Cycling activity can be found here
Many clubs expressed a worry about retaining and attracting new volunteers when returning to activity. Concerns were voiced surrounding the perceived low appetite for qualification courses and conversely many clubs highlighted the backlog waiting for first aid courses. These are areas we are working on providing more support for as the full extent of the circumstances become clear as restrictions are further lifted.
See First Aid update published by British Cycling last week here
In terms of facilities, partnerships and opportunities it seemed as though clubs will again gain a clearer understanding of these issues once more activity can return, and Scottish Cycling is here to support any of these conversations.
We’d like to thank all the clubs who came along to these forums and we thoroughly welcome all of your feedback. We will continue to analyse the information shared during these sessions and work together with all clubs to ensure you are supported during this next stage. If there are any issues or concerns, you’d like to discuss further surrounding club recovery, please do not hesitate to get in touch directly.
Club Development Coordinators
Craig.Stephen (Tayside & Fife) - Craig.Stephen@scottishcycling.org.uk
Gill Thayne (West) - Gill.Thayne@scottishcycling.org.uk
Hamish Cowton (East & Central) - Hamish.Cowton@scottishcycling.org.uk
Julie Erksine (Grampian) - Julie.Erskine@scottishcycling.org.uk
Madeleine Watson (South-West) - Madeleine.Watson@scottishcycling.org.uk
Neil Wilson (North) - Neil.Wilson@scottishcycling.org.uk