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Why aren’t people joining your club? (and how to fix it)

Want to grow your club? If you find that membership to your club is stalling, it’s important to understand the reasons why many potential new members don’t get involved, and what you can do to encourage them to overcome barriers to entry…

1. “The costs are just too high for me…”

For lots of people, the costs of joining a club and buying kit are just too high.  To grow your club it’s a good idea to offer to loan out the equipment that new members will need, and offer flexible payment terms for joining/ongoing membership fees.

2. “Girls just don’t do that sort of thing…”

A guy doing dance? A girl learning football? A lot of people are scared to try something that traditionally goes against gender roles. Make sure you make it clear that all genders are welcome at your club!

3. “I don’t have transport…”

If you live in an isolated area, or don’t own your own vehicle – taking part can be hard.  Try and locate your meetings near public transport network links, offer transport as part of membership like a club bus, or create a car pool system?

4. “Who will look after the kids?”

It can be difficult finding time to yourself when you have kids, make sure that you offer a range of meeting times to suit people with children, or meet somewhere that offers childcare facilities.

5. “My shifts are all over the place…”

If you work shifts, or sometimes have to stay late without any forward notice it can be very hard to be active. Make sure that your club is flexible and lets people attend on ‘drop in’ basis that won’t require regular commitment.

6. “I’m just not confident enough to try…”

Many people haven’t exercised, or learnt a new skill since school so getting out and about and learning something new can be daunting.  Offer a ‘buddy’ scheme for new members – so they’ll be cared for until their confidence has increased!

7. “I just haven’t exercised in so long, I’m embarrassed!”

If you haven’t exercised for a while it can be scary starting over, so lots of people (mainly through fear of being embarrassed) will not join a new club because they’re afraid that their fitness will stop them from participating fully, even in non-physical activities.  Be aware of this, and don’t push new members too hard – let them learn and take part at their own pace!

8. “I have a disability and I’m scared I won’t be able to take part”

If it’s daunting to try something new when you have no disability, just think how intimidating it must be joining a new group when you have a physical impairment?  Be aware of this, make sure you meet somewhere that is accessible, and offer extra support, for example – consider getting sign language lessons for your group leaders?

9. “I’m too old for something new…”

As we get older, it can be very easy to think ‘an old dog cannot learn new tricks’ and not take part in new activities because we’re afraid of hurting ourselves, or not ‘fitting in’.  Consider offering an ‘Over 50’s’ class for older members and making sure that you are welcoming to all age groups and promoting an age-inclusive membership policy.

10. “I can’t find anything local ”

Lots of people want to do something new, but can’t find these things locally. List your club on social media, flyer locally, and list on www.doitcrowd.com so they can find you on their local map!

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