Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Postcard from Paris

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 with 4 comments
"Lapsed runner" Helen sends her love and is enjoying her two month holiday....
La Tour Eiffel vue depuis Notre-Dame

One thing builds on another
2006 was my year of more consistent longer running weeks. And massages.
2007 was my year of the tempo runs, and of the three steps per second experiment.
2008 I plan to be my year of adding single very long runs to my routine. And regular stretching sessions and classes.
And in 2009 I might resume supplementary morning jogs as well as harder afternoon training. But you can see that, although I believe in twice a day training, I also believe it takes years to build up to it. So I am not starting it yet.

Tomorrow I will declare the poll result. In other words I will make an announcement about starting time on Saturdays.

Member Services Sub-Committee
One of my hats for the last few years is chair of the ACTVAC Member Services sub-committee. We meet monthly; we met last night. Our main focus for 2008 will be to recruit and retain younger Vets.... i.e. attract people in the 30-40 year range to join our cub and participate in its activities. Why? Because as good and as popular as our club is, we are noticing that the average membership is AGEING and not that many new members are in the younger age groups.

As a start, some of the strategies floated at our meeting were
... younger athletes featured in Vetrunner photos, especially on the front page.
... younger athletes featured on the website, again especially on the welcome page.
... current ("breaking") news updated regularly on the front page of the website
... more use of website communication, e.g. more external links to interesting relevant sites
... use of the word "Masters" to describe us, whether or not our name stays at "Vets"
... word-of-mouth promotion in government departments: identification of key younger people who can recruit others
... a presence in R4YL magazine, which is the premier grass-roots running magazine in Australia
... a free (or $1 admission) Vets Come-and-try-it day, NOT a normal competition day, where all the coaches across all disciplines are present and guide athletes through sample training sessions.

Rachelle E-B has joined our sub-committee and one or two more representatives of the younger set would be of help in our strategising.

Feedback requested
If you have any comments or any additional suggestions about how we market ourselves to younger people, please feed them through to the sub-committee any time. We are... Don, Ruth, Phill, Roger, Rachelle, Peter H and I.

We also believe that once people join the ACTVAC, the services we already offer are second to none. Still, any suggestions as to how we might change what we do so as to cater for younger people would also be welcome.

Please, please join the discussion, wherever you are, however little you might THINK you have to contribute. At stake is the future of our movement.

"Be no drone, nor Don, E-B."


  1. Suggestion: extend membership down to age 25. Then I can guarantee you will have at least 1 new member under 40.

    You lot need to spruik it more too through the community switch and stff like that. Think about advertising on gym noticeboards as well cause that's where your people are at the moment.

    Maybe think of getting some gyms involved with special offers for their members, like 20% off membership or something for those doing both, they're always looking to get extra stuff.

    Maybe even some inter gym competition stuff could happen too, although that would be difficult to organise...

  2. We do have the right to determine the age group of the athletes who can join us....

    Thanks for your "gym" suggestions. We should advertise "everywhere"... we should form liaisons and partnerships with other bodies... we should work out some priorities in that area and start; doing what we can.

  3. "We do have the right to determine the age group of the athletes who can join us"?

    Then start Vets at age 14 and do away with open athletics altogether! Imagine, 500 runners in the next Vets handicap!

    You should have scanned the written side of Helen's postcard. I'll bet that was much more interesting.