A few years ago our club made a decision to become more inclusive. This meant a change in focus from racing to other aspects of riding and a look at how we might attract more members.
Earlier this year we hosted our first ever women's only race which attracted over 50 riders. Out of this we have seen more interest in the club and an increase in women being involved in the committee.
Our summer series now consists of senior racing and juniors/womens racing taking place on alternate weeks. We have seen significant increases in participation on the juniors/womens night in particular with both of these groups enjoying a less intense race atmosphere.
The club has also joined the Two Wheeled Academy program and has 20 boys signed up and riding together on a weekly basis. We see this as a significant step in securing the future of the club with some great local kids who we hope one day will become involved at a committee level. The benefit to come out of this program is parent engagement and their willingness to volunteer.
Traditionally our club has had a cross country focus but we have also been developing a new gravity stream. It is early days but again it has the potential to attract a new group of members as well as developing the technical riding skills of our members including juniors.
We have recently secured funding for a trail network master plan by World Trail and new trailhead construction projects with a combined value of $240,000. We believe this success is largely attributable to our new programs for increasing womens and junior participation.
We feel our club is really flourishing with these changes and encourage other clubs to think about how they might be more inclusive.