A Club to Call Your Own

Mar 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

Most decent-size towns should have at least one club in your chosen sport; find one by asking around at sport shops or do an Internet search. Still can't find what you're looking for? Rally other enthusiasts into your own club. Here are some guidelines for getting started:

1) SPREAD THE WORD through flyers at gyms and sport-specific shops, or run a classified ad in the local paper.
2) CREATE A WEB SITE. Newcomers to a town will search for you that way. Clubs we spoke with say homepages are their strongest marketing tools and great places to post photos and club news.

3) START A NEWSLETTER. This is crucial for sharing news of members' race results, listing workout schedules and social events, and sharing fitness articles.

4) BE CLEAR AND FRIENDLY about your club's mission to newcomers. Whether they're serious racers or repentant couch potatoes, letting new members know exactly what to expect from the club prevent them from becoming disenchanted.

5) PLAN A MONTHLY SOCIAL event barbecue, potluck, or happy hour at the local brew pub—that brings members together for something other than working out. It will help keep the group intact and attract new athletes.

6) RECRUIT GOOD COACHES. Members will expect a lot of feedback and a variety of workouts and venues. A club should charge annual dues that can pay for a part-time coach (say, $15 to $20 an hour) to run regular training sessions.

7) ELECT OFFICERS (president, vice-president, and secretary are enough) if your club grows to more than a handful of neighbors, and create a board of directors and a treasurer to oversee the club budget.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Get tips. Get stories. Get fit.

Looking for the best in fitness? We got you covered.

Thank you!