It has been two years since we last consulted with members about the direction of the club. We had been working on a sense of direction or “vision” at the time and the survey really reinforced the fact that people valued the inclusive and friendly nature of the club, with a fair proportion wishing to be supported in improving their running.
The committee, and I as Chair, believe it is fundamental that the club has clarity about what it is trying to achieve.
All organisations go through journeys just like we do as runners. That Journey need to start with the end in mind.
Currently we are seeking to create a thriving club that offers something for all the community, young or old, beginners to elite. We don’t believe supporting our best athletes or those just getting into the sport are mutually exclusive, in fact we take the view that the entry level, social runners have created a great foundation upon which the club can build.
The current vision is set out below.
To attract and encourage participation in running and athletics from social runners and beginners, aiming to keep fit, to competitive elite athletes.
Underpinning this vision are the following aims:
As a club we will be welcoming, friendly, inclusive and supportive. We will aim to develop the club in a sustainable and inclusive manner.
To achieve this vision in the last couple of years we have focused on:
Facilities: Committee wanted to work with DRFC to ensure that the club developed a greater stake in the facilities and ensure that they met our club’s needs.
The club has contributed financially towards the improvements to the club house and the new shower block as well as assisting with grant applications, we see engagement with DRFC as fundamental to having say in the development of the facilities going forward.
Before the club moved up to its current home, it had no real base, meeting at Rednock Sports Centre sports-deck in the Winter and Norman Hill in the Summer.
Moving to Stinchcombe created a home base, from which we now run the majority of club runs, W2R, structured training in the summer. We also are able to have regular socials with the money we put over the bar helping to pay towards the running costs and invest in the facilities we use.
We have also had a number of seminars and are able to hold meetings at the venue, this March has seen us there for Safeguarding Training, a Committee Meeting and a Run Leaders./Coaches meeting. We are working on holding more seminars over the summer on the physiology and psychology of running.
DRC members were invited to take part in the survey regarding development of the existing club house and changing rooms. Not only does this show that we are continue to work with Dursley Rugby Football Club (DRFC) to upgrade and improve facilities but also that DRFC view us as a key partner.
DRFC also want to a deliver an all-weather training surface and it is Committee’s view that we should do all we can to support this project as a floodlit all weather facility would be of great use to the club.
The committee have discussed ideas around facilities and the next step is to sit down with DRFC to discuss a joining vision for future development. Before we do this we want to understand our member’s views on this. Committee have discussed briefly the extent of the club’s ambition and have asked the question is there a reason why we should not set our sights high, for example a 400m running track, in the short term we have use of a grass track over the summer, and further investment could see a throws area, long jump pit and high jump area. In particular, as Cam and Dursley continue to grow with a substantial number of new homes proposed the argument for better facilities for sport and in specifically running and athletics become stronger.
Coaching Resources: Our initial aim was to improve our coaching resources we could delivered more structured programmes adding value for members and giving opportunities for non-members to participate in sport
We now have a Coach in Running Fitness two Athletics Coaches and a large resource of Leaders in Running Fitness and Assistant Coaches who are helping add value to club runs, offer structured training for seniors and juniors and support the Walk 2 Run Programme. Our “welcome” to runners is an important area for the club and we have seen a huge expansion from around 80 members in 2013 to nearly 300 in 2017. The effort put into managing this growth should not be underestimated. We have moved for 15 to 20 runners turning up on a and deciding where to run at about to around 9 groups, with total of over 60 runners regularly running, with forward programme of runs and run leads.
We have seen in increasing participation in competition both on and off the Road, with Dursley teams and individuals doing well in many races. Our own club handicap has gone from strength to strength and provides an opportunity for runners to push their envelopes.
We see supporting and developing competitive runners as an area where we can make improvements and therefore thoughts on this will be particularly welcome. We have already had some suggestions come to committee and we will picking up on those suggestions.
Running for the whole community: As well as welcoming all-comers on a night we have continued with Walk2Run with 2016 being very successful a and 2017 looks to repeat this success, with lots of groups out doing their homework.
2017 has seen a revival of a Junior Section after a very successful summer athletics programme in 2016.
Members support clubs in a number of local primary schools and conversations have started with Rednock about working together to improve participation of teenagers in running and athletics. As the club expands we have many more members with children. We see building structures and programmes as offering something to these members as well as encouraging young people in the area to get involved in running and athletics. We want to create sustainable structures, and resourcing of our programmes, as well as competitive opportunities for young athletes.
At both adult and junior levels Committee we see a continued need to invest in our coaching and leading resources, we have seen a growth in both numbers of assistant coaches a key area is ensuring we develop more coaches so that we are not reliant on one or two individuals and build a team culture within coaching as well in our athletic endeavours.
Being “More than Running Club”: This tag line reflects that our inclusivity and support can mean joining DRC is truly a life changing experience.
It also reflects that we welcome athletes from all disciplines and support a range of activities. For example 2016-2107 has seen an explosion of interest in Triathlon, like many of activities this has been supported a voluntary basis by club members.
We have plenty of members who like a swim and bike ride and a pint.
This tag also represents the “community spirit” within the club, reflecting the values of inclusivity, supportiveness and friendliness supporting fellow members both in and outside of sport, with people being there for each other having developed relationships through running. We continue to provide a number of socials, with night social being very successful, as well as Frampton Run and the summer “Running Somewhere Else” club night plus events such as the Cotswold Relay Barbeque and the Christmas Party. All these help members meet each other, share experiences and learn about sport and running as well as enjoying themselves.
Delivering races that support the Club and the broader running community and developing competitive running:
We continue to deliver races throughout the year, this is “business as usual” for the club and this generates income for the club that’s supports many of our development activities as well as our chosen annual Charity. The races also provide athletes with high quality races to compete in and enjoy. The Dozen is an iconic event, the Berkeley 10k a real opportunity to run fast whatever your level and the Dursley Peaks a unique challenge. In 2016 we also supported the Gloucestershire 3As Cross Country League hosting an event at Wotton. DRCs support for the 3As cross country and road races series is seen as vital the health of the sport locally. These races also give our members a chance to represent the club at “home” events and it has been very pleasing to see the Men’s team win the team event at the Dozen for the last two years, with the Women also doing well placing second again for the last two years. At the end of 2016 we also hosted a Gloucestershire Cross Country League fixture on the Wotton Sports Foundation parkrun course. Sdaly the venue is not available in 2107 so we will be working with Glos AAA to host
We have continued to promote both the Gloucester Cross County League and Road Race Series to members with increased participation in both in 2016 and 2017 and have also have our own Club Race Series this year, the “Grand Prix”. Committee are of the view that with our track record on developing programmes for a members such as W2R and Running Slight Faster than Normal that we should be able to create programmes develop our competitive athletes both as individuals and teams
The Committee and I believe we should continue to develop the club working on the solid foundations laid down by those before us.
We are amateurs
It means we run, swim, bike, throw, jump etc... because we love it,
As Chair I see the clubs role is to ensure we provide the
· Facilities and equipment
· Coaching and Governance Structures
that enable members to do the things they love, and that we are able to introduce people to the love of our sport whether young or old, quick or slow
When people turn up to our Walk2 Run programme what they see is an
Enthusiastic and Organised team
· Who create athlete centred programme to develop them as runners
· Using local facilities creatively to provide an interesting and varied programme
The same can be said of the Clubs Nights, the Junior Athletics Programme, our race calendar, social nights etc.…
As the club grows we need more people to be active “team players in the club” racing, coaching supporting, volunteering.
A club run by members focused on its members that makes a positive contribution to to our community.
As Chairman, I have been reflecting on what are we trying to achieve?
Well going back to aiming high let’s think about my perfect DRC!
· We maintain our values of inclusivity and friendliness and continue to celebrate members’ achievements and journeys through the sport
· That the strength of shared values and goals means the club is not reliant on any one individual to continue to on its path and that their approach to club development is consistent. We should have at least three members who are a capable of doing any of our key roles.
· We continue to grow membership and maintain an open-door policy to new members, and we support active lifestyles in the community through Walk to Run and having qualified coaches and leaders who can support other organisations such as schools or work based groups.
· That members view themselves as part of “one team” and that we think DRC as more than running club, a life enhancing experience, through building friendships, being supported and doing things we never thought possible.
· We have strong structures of management and governance that supports all we do. This includes constant review to ensure we are delivering a high quality athletic experience.
· It is club focused on its members run by members
· We have developed a strong and successful approach fund raising and sponsorship putting us on a more equal footing with DRFC in terms of strategic development of the facility.
· We are based at Stinchcombe with access to floodlit all weather running track, with facilities for jumping and throwing, a multi-discipline that supports our relationship with DRFC and offers their athletes value. The facilities are sufficient and well managed to allow DRFC, DRC and other clubs based at Stinchcombe to offer training and programmes to meet their members needs.
· We have social facilities that allow us to meet on club nights with enough space and that we access to hold seminars social nights and other events
· We have an adult and junior coaching teams with head coaches supported by a number of specialist coaches and plenty of assistants and parent helpers with constant input of newly qualifies LiRFs and Assistant coaches, and this includes growing young athletes into coaches these teams deliver high quality programmes for entry level athletes, adults and juniors and support competitive running, the number of coaches and facilities allows all year programmes without reliance on one or two individuals i.e. sustainable programmes
· Our coaches are committed to Continual professional development and sharing ideas and knowledge with all members.
· We have strong competitive teams, with competition for selection for events, and we support individual athletes and squads to achieve their best through structured and athlete centred programmes
· We have regular input from external resources such as flying coaches in a range of disciplines
· We work with other partners to provide members with a wide range of offers whether it is informative seminars, DRC tailored packages or just easy access to kit
· We continue to deliver high quality race promotions and have strong teams coordinating the delivery of the organisation of these events with race directors mentoring their replacements to ensure sustainability of these events. We have our own timing system and software.
· We continue to offer our members a range of informal challenges.
· We have fostered a cooperative and mutually supportive vison with DRFC but also have positive relationships with other sports clubs such as Dursley Road Club and Bristol Orienteering Klub
That is my “perfect”, what is yours?
Please think about it, the club survey will be out next week and we want to know what is important to you about DRC both now but very importantly in the future, what will it be like in 5 or 10 years time?
It does not matter if you are a new member or have been around for years, it does not matter if you don’t run on a night or if you rarely run with us. It is vital that you tell us what you think, if the club is doing what is important to you and you think we get it right all the time TELL US, we’ll love that!
If we can make small improvements to improve what we do, tell us,
The survey is designed to be a positive experience:
1. you tell us what is important to you,
2. tell us how well we are doing to meet your needs and aspirations
3. and then tell us what we need to do as a club to get there
Part of the deal is that we also want you to tell us how you can help us achieve what is important to you now and for the club in the future.
Together we can create a vision of the future of DRC, once we have a clear understanding out our goals we can start the work to get there. What we have achieved over the many years of Dursley and District Athletic Club and Dursley Running Club is that if we work together we can achieve amazing things
Let’s build Dursley Running Club’s legacy
Your in sport