The countdown has started, Glasgow 2014 will soon be upon us and this time we will be ready……
Firstly, I am sure that as a club you will know if your sport is included, but are you aware of all 17 sports featured (go on, give it a go see how many you can name, I will list them at the end of the Blog so you can see how you got on, to my shame I only named 9 of the 17 correctly)
How can we prepare our clubs for the impact of this event? Given the benefit of experience we know that there is likely to be a surge in interest during and after the Games as there was with London 2012. For some of us this will be a second chance, for others (sports not included in the Olympics) this will be a first opportunity to experience the increased media coverage and related upsurge in interest for our sport.
I would suggest that initially we encourage club members to “get involved”. Volunteering opportunities are still available and interviews will be taking place to the end of 2013. Just think of the benefit to our young club stars to experience the atmosphere, to view the highest level of participation and to be inspired themselves to be the best they can be.
On a more local level, if applicable you could organise a trip for your junior members to see the “Journey of the Baton”. This is another way to inspire juniors but also to help them build up some anticipation for watching and supporting the Games.
When the Games commence why not organise screenings of the major events in your Club House. Not only is this a good opportunity for a social gathering but also an opportunity to get your younger members to view different systems of play and tactics.
As a club you need to be sure that you are visible locally. so when young Billy watches squash for the first time on the TV and tells Mum he wants to have a go, how will Mum find out about your specific club? You can’t leave this to chance or wait until 2 days before the Games start. Think about your awareness strategy, this may include some local posters, flyers, letters to local schools, a specific area on your website dedicated to potential new members or some pre-organised taster sessions for immediately after the Games. You could organise some local outreach with other clubs (check out the list of sports at the bottom of the page). What about a weekend sports fair in your local High Street with demonstrations of the sports on offer and stalls for people to come and find out more?
Is your website user friendly? If I visited it today (and I am happy to do so and give you some feedback just contact me via my website http://www.clubbuzz.co.uk) as someone who has never played your sport would I be able to find out more about the sport itself, what I would need to take up the sport, who would I need to contact and if I am researching on behalf of my child, how will you look after them, do you lend them the kit etc ?
If you conclude that your website is not ready, you still have plenty of time before the Games start to put this right. I would love to see club’s embracing the opportunity their website affords them to fight for the attention of potential new members.
Are we ready for the challenge? One year to go and counting……………………….
The 17 featured sports are:
Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Rugby Sevens, Shooting, Squash, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Weightlifting and Wrestling