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Thread: new members and spectators

  1. #1
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    Default new members and spectators

    it was good to see a decent crowd at claydon dispite the weather. thanks to all those who did the business

    talking to long standing members about when BP used to be involved(fuel sponsorship i think?) there used to be many more members than the club has now.

    as a new member from last season i wonder what the reasons for a decline might be as (generally speaking) there are significant numbers of adults with more expendable income now than say 20 years ago and ameteur motor sport partisipation is certainly a growth area. for example bike and car track days invariably get booked up solid resulting in overcrowding on sessions.

    from my own perspective - i got interested because i heard about an event, went to see, found that people would talk to strangers if they showed interest and decided to give it a bash. i dont think thats uncommon at all. i would expect that any "unconnected" potential newcomer would use this route in.

    should we be doing more to promote events? maybe advertise on billboards on the three local towns before each event. maybe get a feature in moter bike/ car mags. maybe invite spice along?

    maybe the scout movement as team projects? maybe some lotto funding for a few sponsored junior teams from "disadvantaged" partisipants?

    maybe it's all been done before???

    is it that we cannot cope with crowds? even if entry is free?






  2. #2
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    Default Re: new members and spectators

    Craft numbers at race meetings are currently roughly half what they were in the late 70s/80s. Theres a number of reasons but perhaps the biggest is that schools and other youth organisations no longer build craft because of the current health and safety regimes. Craft teachers are understandably no longer willing to allow kids to do 'real' engineering and take them away for a weekend to a perceived 'risky' event.



    BP money wasn't used for fuel, it was largely used to encourage schools and youth organisations to build craft. By mail shots to all secondary schools in the UK, and funding an annual schools event there was considerable interest in the sport. Many of these kids took up hovercraft as a sport after they left school and these became the backbone of our membership.



    Many of these 'ex kids' are of a demographic thats now starting a family. I think the baby count this year is around 8 and is a substantial reason why the racing numbers are down 20% on last year.



    Claydon is successful in part because there is an excellent local branch that does many of the things you suggest. But some branches have lost critical mass to the point where simply organising an event is a challenge let alone doing some of the good things you suggest. And don't just reply 'they' should do something because on something like this 'they' is all of us!



    So wot do we do about it?

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    Default Re: new members and spectators

    evolution, not all ways a good thing ?

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    Default Re: new members and spectators

    keith wrote



    "Many of these 'ex kids' are of a demographic thats now starting a family. I think the baby count this year is around 8 and is a substantial reason why the racing numbers are down 20% on last year."



    the timing of 8 babies so far this year indicates certain activity during last seasons racing calender

    does that mean that with the inclement weather this season even more babies will be made

    so twenty years from now the grid will be full again

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    Default Re: new members and spectators

    seriously though.

    does the general council have (or has had ) a "promotions" type officer.

    would the club commit some of it's funds to a publicity programme?

    is the club looking for someone or a small group to put ideas forward as a task outside of the general running and racing work?



    and has it been done before or not?



    all replies welcome

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    Default Re: new members and spectators

    Quote Originally Posted by keith rhodes
    and has it been done before or not?



    Many times



    I was Youth Officer in the aftermath of BP's withdrawal from sponsorship. Their money was just about enough to tip the balance towards making it worth while for schools to participate. DT has now gone to individual design projects and there's very little curriculum benefit from involvement in projects, though there are a few on a smaller scale than hovercraft.



    Scouts, Cadets etc fall foul of H&S and unless there's someone prepared to really push at it, get dispirited.





    As for promotion to the wider public there have been many attempts and large amounts of money ploughed into it. Ultimately the size of the club has been fairly static since the mid 90's.



    Proably best to accept that we're a quirky little sport and that every couple of years people will come out of the woodwork because of the Worlds


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    Default Re: new members and spectators

    Why is nobody using hovercrafts to help out in the now flooded areas of the UK surely this would help with peoples conception of what hovercrafts are all about being able to get to places that can at time only be helped by the air sea rescue chaps with their helicopters and some good media coverage could be had for free. Maybe screaming 2 stroke craft would not be a good idea but there seem to be quite a few of the four stroke craft getting about so why not use them to help out in these areas.

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    Default Re: new members and spectators

    Where is ASRH?

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