TV coverage is abysmal.
This, 100x over!
For people who might like it but are not 'into' it, like myself, it's more hit than miss to catch a broadcast.
It was pure chance for me to catch last year's Nationals, I was cheated out of Worlds....thanks, TV....
Of course the ratings are dismal, when it's not on.
It seems like the national body is leaving the base hanging.
And this is an observation that is not skating specific:
I think most clubs (again, not only skating) don't make the best use of the media they have at their disposal which would directly impact them, like the internet in general with a good website, Facebook in particular.
An interested person should not have to sift through pages and pages of information to find an ice rink and instruction.
I think that is business 101, really.
The local news papers are eager to get local stories. I had no problem to have them print a little feel good story about my girl scouts: A short write up (in txt format, who would have thought they can't open Open Office or MS Word...) and a couple of pictures in the email. bam, Community page.
Also, local TV stations love to have some good stuff going.
While my Taekwondo school was pretty even in terms of adult male to female ratio (actually more ladies than gentlemen) Martial Arts have the revers problem skating does, how do you attract more females. Somebody suggested to offer some female items in the locker room, like hygene products and hair ribbons, like a locker room a little less like in Rocky........not exactly something important for guys, but the idea was to make them a bit more appreciated.
Also, they suggested female instructors to lower the thresh hold for ladies...
I love the ideas of the local shows with free admission. It's the concessions where you make the money anyhow.
Also something my husband and I always discuss when we watch the pro sports with empty stands (again selling hotdogs is where the money is) they should give tickets away to groups like the Scouts, Boys and Girls club, the Y, etc, to get people in the stands and grow their young audience which is not priced out of the market.
I think the rental pool for equipment is fantastic. I am sure (like band instruments) there are plenty of skates in closets that have lost their appeal to the owner. If they knew there was a use for them, they might part with the gear. (of course, always appreciate your supporters and volunteers)
There is a merit badge for boy scouts for skating. it can be earned on roller skates, but it could be a big draw if the club's instructors got signed up as counselors. It's easy, a bit of paperwork, maybe an hour of schooling to cover your assets, then, should the ice be free for a spell, host a badge fair and invite the local troops. It is a pain to find people who are willing to teach these things within a certain radius. Everybody is welcome. If you can structure it unpink, you might find a few boys who want to give it a try once they see what fun it is.
As for TV/Docus/Movies....
I think this is something the base has to pitch. Not waiting for somebody else to write the stories, but to break out the pen (or word processor) and get writing! it's not easy. But it gets easier down the road.
There was a show on 'Rodeo Girls' which was reportedly conceived by one of the participants. (it was horrible I have been told, but hey...)
Find a film maker and suggest this as a project. Find interested kids and support this as a project to them.
I think just a few years back there was not much to do, so people went out and joined clubs.
Now every activity is in competition with so much other stuff (and first and foremost internet and smartphones) that you really can't rely on sitting back and waiting for people to come by.
You really need to work hard to attract just one willing victim. My son's scout troop stagnates around 15 boys, my girls is one step forward, two back, gain two, lose one, talk to ten people, wait for nibbles.
As far as examples of the sport, I think there have been plenty who were manly enough even if not straight. Boy Johnny not withstanding. (But we are still light years away from a healthy relationship with the softer side of human nature and 'sexuality' as certain outburst in the scout community have shown when BSA dropped the ban on gay boys. It was funny on one side, seeing these guys get all worked up, very sad on the other. Much work left to be done to allow boys to be who they are and do what they want to do. Girls have it a lot easier now. They can play hockey, do Biathlon, even box and wrestle. Boy dances or skates...oye veh!)