Moving in the Right Direction

Many of you may have noticed the dwindling numbers at the pool, we have in recent months seen a significant downturn in our membership… For unknown reasons, the clubs membership has been diminishing. Its disheartening, as well as heart wrenching to see the club struggle. I hope, that with the recent effort the club staff and management are putting into our development, things are about to change.

Its not the first time the club has faced difficulties, but this may be the first time we have so struggled to keep membership at a sustainable level.

Its well known that as a result of the covid crisis, many clubs and organisations have faced a downturn in their membership. People are less likely to want to be close together. Many have found other outlets to enjoy, which dont involve larger groups. There is still some anxiety about being around others, and that has surely had an effect. It is for this reason, I accepted many of our students not returning after our temporary closure.

However, now, we seem to be facing a new crisis. The obvious choice is the looming cost of living crisis. Many people are having to tighen their belts and reduce activities which cost. However, relatively speaking, we are stil lone of the cheapests clubs around.

There is most certainly a change in the psyche of the youth we service. Less interest is placed on activity, with more favour seen in the digital world of social media, and computer gaming. It is a challenge we have usually alway faced easily, but with the world changing as it is, we are haing to discover new ways to meet the needs of our students, and we hope to address these as we go on.

There is some politics involved for sure. The British Sub Aqua Club, has in its wisdom, moved away from youth club focus, withdrawing badges, certificates and easily achieveable awards, which appeal to younger students who need easy wins. Thankfully, with a lot of shouting, BSAC are starting to hear our cry, and whilst it may be a long process, small youth clubs like ours are starting to be heard, and a review of the snorkelling program is starting.

In the meantime, we as staff are doing our best to fill the gaps, and reinvigorate the club.

Our new group of junior instructors have taken their places in the team, and are pushing their energy into training our younger members with enthusiasm and vigor.

Our senior staff are working tirelessly in the background to raise awareness of the club, to bring in new members. Help develop new training opportunities, and keep those students who have remained with us, happy and active.

As an Instructor Trainer, I have been watching the staff and students closely over the last few weeks, and it has truely made me smile to see so many happy and active faces in the pool.

With my own personal work and family life having to take a higher priority at the moment, it is great to know I can rely on my staff to hold the reigns for me when Im not around. Even better, is knowing that the work they are doing is shaping the minds and physical well being of those in our care to such an amazing level. It makes me very proud to be a part of it all.

In the last few weeks, we have reissued all the students with new Qualification Record Books, which have either been lost or damaged. Enabling our students to keep a record of their achievements. These QRBs will be filled in by the staff after a period of assessments to ensure everyone has their most up to date position recorded.

We are sending our junior instructors off on their National Instructor Course in the next month, and are about to hold our next new members intake in March. Hopefully things are back on the up for our wonderful group. I thank you all for your ongoing support.

We will also soon be organising a Start a Heart event with the British Heart Foundation, to carry out CPR training for all our members. So keep your eyes peeled for that too.

Should anyone have any ideas or suggestions for improvements, or for things they would like to see the club do, please get in contact.