Club – a gathering of people that all share a common interest. When it comes to a rowing club, you know that you are surrounded by awesome (oar-some?), like-minded people.
However, bonding doesn’t necessarily come easily. People may be shy, new members are constantly joining or perhaps age differences get in the way?
Either way, it’s important that rowing club managers are constantly seeking to encourage a good sense of community between each and every member.
Here are three ideas!
1) Bear an open mind to fundraising ideas
Most clubs rely on fundraising costs to keep up with running expenses, buying new equipment or refurbishing the boathouse.
Regattas are the typical route to take, by charging people an entry fee and hosting a fun day of friendly competition, but, that’s not the only way you can fundraise.
You can markup the cost of small, useful products with your club name to sell and raise awareness, and host events that’ll get everyone in the boat club involved. This also makes each member feel like they are contributing to the day-to-day running of the club, so any ideas, not just fundraising, should be taken on board with an open mind. Perhaps they have a better suggestion on how to store paddles in the boathouse? Or know of a popular fundraising product that’ll sell hot off the shelves?
Either way, boat clubs will have people with many fascinating talents and skills, so keeping an open suggestion box of club ideas can help to give everyone a voice that’ll be heard.
2) Host social activities
A rowing club doesn’t have to only host rowing events! Of all the people in a rower’s life, only fellow rowers can truly understand the sheer amount of dedication, hard work and tears that go into the sport. It builds a resilience like no other, and this helps you to bond with other club members.
Social activities are a great way to unwind and connect with your club friends on a different level. You can enjoy a beer or glass of wine while chatting about your week’s rowing achievements.
Or, members may find out that they have more than just rowing in common – strengthening the ties of their friendship.
3) Encourage friendly competition
One of the best ways to achieve your goals is to push yourself to newer and newer limits each time. This can be done through competition.
Of course, in a rowing club, you’re all training hard. But that’s not to say that rowing club managers can’t encourage some friendly competition within their own rowing club.
Pair experienced rowers with junior ones in a fun two-on-two sculling race. You’ll see how hard the junior rowers will work to keep up, and how well the experienced rowers will coach them. This can foster great mentor-mentoree relationships, especially if you find there may be a larger age gap between experienced and inexperienced members.
There are many other ways to hold a fun competition. Perhaps plan a silly triathlon of sorts, where members engage in a rowing race, but also a potato sack sprint and an egg-and-spoon race? The options for fun are endless, and can bond members together to work harder as a team.
So, will you be adopting any of these ideas? What does your rowing club do to encourage a communal, welcoming environment?