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Author Topic: How to grow an adult skating program  (Read 430 times)

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Offline zeferjen

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How to grow an adult skating program
« on: July 12, 2017, 11:47:28 AM »
I've been a long time lurker on this board as a skating mom, but I am posting today as a skating club board member. Our club launched an adult membership a few years ago with about 4 hours of dedicated adult ice for skaters who are 21+ years of age and have passed at least USFS Adult 3 or have equivalent skills. The program has been popular with our existing adult members, but we need to grow membership in order to help cover the ice cost. I know that there are a good number of adult skaters here, so I am hoping you all would have suggestions on places we may be able to advertise or other ways we can grow this skating program. Thanks so much for any advice you may have!

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 12:04:33 PM »
Sounds like a great idea. 

Is the ice time only available to your Club members, or do you allow guest skaters that meet the requirements?  One of the clubs I belonged to years ago allowed up to three sessions/guest skater.  After that, they had to become an associate member of the club to continue skating with us.

Have one or two adult skaters/volunteers become the club's adult ambassadors.  Post their pictures and name/contact info on the bulletin board to publicize the session. 
Empower them to mention the membership/session when they're skating on other sessions.  Let them ask why these adults aren't taking advantage of the special deal.

If the club has a Facebook page/group, you can have someone post an invitation to skate and then have refreshments afterwards.

If your rink has adults in group lessons, ask if you can give out a flyer to them towards the end of the classes.  Have someone from the club on hand to answer questions.
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Online Jf12

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 02:05:16 PM »
Make sure coaches who coach at that rink know about it, so they can bring skaters on it for lessons.

Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 07:55:36 PM »
Advertising.  Seriously, why does nobody in figure skating ever try advertising?

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Offline mamabear

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 11:32:18 AM »
I've been a long time lurker on this board as a skating mom, but I am posting today as a skating club board member. Our club launched an adult membership a few years ago with about 4 hours of dedicated adult ice for skaters who are 21+ years of age and have passed at least USFS Adult 3 or have equivalent skills. The program has been popular with our existing adult members, but we need to grow membership in order to help cover the ice cost. I know that there are a good number of adult skaters here, so I am hoping you all would have suggestions on places we may be able to advertise or other ways we can grow this skating program. Thanks so much for any advice you may have!

Who is your primary target audience?  I know you list here that skaters must be 21+ and have Adult 3 or equivalent skills.   Are you trying to find community (not figure skating community but your town) who would fit this?  Maybe folks who skated as kids and now just do a few public sessions from time to time.  Or are you looking for people who are currently in an LTS program? 


Offline zeferjen

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 02:20:48 PM »
Thanks so much for the suggestions. A little more about our club. We use ice at a private school and it is exclusively for club use, although we do allow guests to visit up to three times per season. If they decide to join, their guest fees go towards their membership. Membership fees entitle you to skate on the ice for the entire year, so basically you are pre-paying for a year's worth of ice fees.

I would say primarily our adult skaters are ice dancers, although we do have one skater who is returning to freestyle as an adult after a break to have children. Although the club does have a LTS program, most of our adult skaters already know how to skate. There is one class for adults interested in learning ice dance.

Advertising is something we have done with limited success. We offer two open houses per year and those are advertised in several places, but mainly targeted towards families. I will admit that we haven't advertised targeted to adult skaters yet.

We have two adult skaters on the board this year, so hopefully they can reach out to their peers about advertising via word of mouth. I will ask them about the idea of having a social event on one of the adult ice sessions where they can bring friends to try it out.

Online Jf12

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 02:55:05 PM »
You could post about it on this board in case any of the members are in the area!

Online Jf12

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 02:57:38 PM »
Actually, is this Princeton?

Offline zeferjen

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2017, 06:46:15 AM »
Yes it's Princeton. Woah!

Offline Doubletoe

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2017, 10:40:49 PM »
What time and day(s) of the week is your adult freestyle session?

Online Jf12

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2017, 12:17:28 PM »
We skate at Ice Land sometimes and there are very few adults there too.  I don't know why!  One of our coaches teaches on your ice which is why I know about it.  I looked at it and it doesn't make sense for us to join just because we are mostly down there just on the weekends.

Offline singerskates

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2017, 04:20:56 PM »
Advertise on Facebook groups like US Competitive Adult Skaters and other Adult Skating Facebook Groups.

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Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2017, 09:41:33 PM »
Although the club does have a LTS program, most of our adult skaters already know how to skate.

You should have an adult LTS class, and advertise it.  You would need an additional coach, but it can share ice with the existing LTS.

Get the kids' parents skating. 

Offline amy1984

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2017, 03:39:18 PM »
What I've noticed is that having a coach around who not just tolerates adults but enjoys teaching them makes a huge difference.  Word gets around, they collect a slew of skaters, and suddenly whatever club they're at has a huge adult population.  So if you're looking to grow adult skating I'd look for a coach like this.  They'll attract more adult skaters by whatever means they attracted the others.  Magic maybe?  I dunno. :P

I'd also agree with the idea of getting parents skating.  I've often looked out into the stands and wondered why these parents who love skating enough to sit there for hours on end to watch their kids aren't offered a program.  The parents at my summer school have sort of banded together to walk the track at the top of the rink and run stairs.  So I think there are parents who'd actually like the opportunity to exercise while their kids are doing the same.

Offline ChristyRN

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2017, 06:47:31 PM »
I'd also agree with the idea of getting parents skating.  I've often looked out into the stands and wondered why these parents who love skating enough to sit there for hours on end to watch their kids aren't offered a program.  The parents at my summer school have sort of banded together to walk the track at the top of the rink and run stairs.  So I think there are parents who'd actually like the opportunity to exercise while their kids are doing the same.

I've had many moms tell me they respect me for skating, but when I tell them they can too, they say "it's too hard" "I'm too old" or "I might break something".  Yes, it's hard. Yes, you might break something (ankle, wrist, and head so far).  I always tell them they're never too old.  I still keep skating, they still keep sitting.
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Offline Query

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2017, 02:02:17 AM »
Food seems to be a very good way to attract people to many events. You don't want to force club members to have to bring food - that takes too much time. This is a terribly unhealthy idea, but pizza - even the cheap pizzas that Aldi sells - is probably the food that most people would go for most. Or go out for a group dining experience after the session.

I also used to attend the sessions of an ice skating club at Northwest Ice Arena in Baltimore (now defunct for other reasons) which paid a couple coaches to teach interesting group lessons, cost included in the session, during the club sessions. I think those lessons attracted a lot of people. The lessons didn't follow ISI or USFSA syllabi, which made them more interesting. A moderately big name doesn't hurt - one of those coaches was Robert Ogilvie.

But I don't know all the ins and outs and trade-offs of growing skating club programs.

Good luck!

Online Jf12

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2017, 09:22:27 AM »
After looking at the schedule, it seems that the times are a little awkward,  you have 2 adult sessions a week only, one on Wed during the workday and one on Sat afternoon - the one on Wed is probably easy for stay at home parents with kids in school to get to and hard for adults who work 9-5 to get to, and the Sat one would be awkward for parents and easy for non parents, and to make the membership a good deal, people would have to be able to get to both.  i also feel that most serious skaters on the weekend skate for more than 1 hour - if I were looking to join your club and skate for more than an hour I would just buy the comprehensive membership and skate on the non adult ice.   

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2017, 04:35:44 PM »
There used to be Adult coffee club at my old rink. We'd have coffee and donuts for the adults and a single coach on the ice giving advice. I'm not sure how she got paid, maybe it was coaches looking to make contacts
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