We had the opportunity to chat with Glenn Rush from our Club of the Year winners, Ipswich and District Rifle Club Inc. This club has had an extremely successful 2019, with a strong strategic plan they are now implementing the second part of their 2020 vision. The club continuously participants in Come and Try with success, having several repeat participants and a steady membership growth of 5-10%. The goal of the club is to get people active and engaged in the sport, and they continue to seek further opportunities to enhance their facilities and provide structured routine sporting opportunities for their ever-growing membership base.
How old is the club?
The club was formed in August of 1859 making us 160 in 2019 (It’s been a year of celebrations).
How many members are in your club?
We currently have 84 active members. With solid plans for a big membership year ahead in 2020
What do you think makes a great club?
Cherish what clubs are all about and avoid becoming too much of a facility. (Yes that’s an old school not for profit business model but it’s still working for us).
People need social connection and, as I’m sure your familiar, the sport of Target Shooting is perfect for that. What’s also important is a committee that thrives on interacting and is willing to set a strategic direction and take a few minor risks along the way.
What did you do, in your opinion, that made the National Come and Try such a success for you?
Now in its 11th year our website has well and truly proven its usefulness for attracting newcomers for a come and try experience. A committee member was also permitted to advertise our event on Facebook via a local neighbourhood community group both of which brought the numbers in.
What is most important for clubs to remember with new or potential members?
Good question. From our recent experiences of the past 10-15 years I think our biggest learning was probably also the simplest one: Apply a Customer Service approach to make the experience enjoyable and effortless but at the same time hold true to the core values of the club and ensure you have rolled these together ready for your sales pitch.
Perhaps a second point to accept and not be discouraged by is the fact that not every newcomer will warm to the sport. In fact, our sign-up conversion remains an area for improvement. But if you do the customer service elements well and irrespective of how many join up you still finish the day with new promoters for the sport.
Why should someone join your (or any) club?
To experience a safe, fun and welcoming sport that has something on offer for almost all ages and abilities.