Welcoming new members to the BMXA family is the best type of news!
A cold, windy and rainy day at the Lilydale BMX Club in Victoria didn’t dampen the spirits of the 50 Ride In2BMX participants on May 4 as people of various ages turned up to have a go.
Leading the charge was Lilydale’s president Ian Henderson who was blown away by the successful event.
“Sadly, we haven’t had a Ride In2BMX event for quite some time and we had lots of people slowly inquiring for a chance to give the sport a go,” Henderson said.
The club did the participation day properly, a structured day with people registering in advance and setting up an online form to try and promote the day across social media.
Like so many clubs, Lilydale was very skewed towards male riders and had quite a gap when compared to their female participants. Henderson and his team went into action, looking at how best to get new members to his club and more importantly, females.
Thanks to a close relationship with the Yarra Valley Cycles, their major sponsor, and a special Community Program Grant from the Yarra Ranges Council, the club steered their promotion to boosting up the numbers of their female participants.
“Three years in the sport and my observation is that it’s a really good family sport,” Henderson explained.
“My kids participate, and I still ride as well and one of the things I noticed is that firstly, it’s a great opportunity to be yourself and be an individual. That can be quite appealing to female riders, you get the social ethics of riders talking to other clubs and I saw that as a big value in the sport.
“There was an opportunity to apply for grants through the council and one of them was for community female participation in sport.
“I saw an opportunity to put something together and it was all about giving as much opportunity for girls to try the sport as it is for boys. We would pay for their four-month licence and secondly, we could pay for six group coaching sessions.
“People don’t just try for one time. It takes time to get some skill and either love it or hate it. We also thought that girls would be more interested in participating in the coaching if they were in a group. It seemed to have worked!”
Of the participants who signed up to the club, 10 of them were girls with some young and a couple of older riders. Among them were three sisters who need to travel quite some distance as well as some 35-40-year-old women.
The icing on the cake for the club was that they had teamed up with neighbouring club Park Orchards to come up with some creative things to do like the Wildcat Cup, which was the hook, line and sinker to continue the interest of the new members.
“Seeing as they are the Park Orchards Panthers and we are the Lilydale Lynxes, the Wildcat Cup fitted nicely and some of our new female members from the program turned up to have a go. They now turn up to our clubby’s on a regular basis which is great.”
We commend the outstanding efforts of the Lilydale BMX Club and are excited to announce a brand-new initiative to help boost the female member count at your club!
From September 1, clubs will be able to apply to hold a coaching program, aimed at getting more women and girls and parents riding BMX!
Clubs will be provided with $500 to assist with the costs of holding three coaching sessions.
Participants should attend the three coaching sessions and at the end, the aims is for the attendees to sign up as a member. Whether they do so as a rider, volunteer, coach or official, there is a role for everyone.
Any existing members who are not riders (volunteers) can also participate and hopefully they’ll continue to ride after the sessions, upgrading to a full rider membership.
The program is an attempt to convince attendees of the fun they can have while participating in BMX and enjoy the great family atmosphere that is BMX.
To read more about the program – CLICK HERE