At the May 7th meeting, Millbrook Figure Skating Club executives Kelly Hines and Melissa Blakely asked Council to consider a request for $2000 of support for their club.
Last year the club experienced a sharply lower enrolment which fell from 74 to 49 skaters, resulting in a break-even financial year for the club. As a key stakeholder in the new Community Centre Project, the club executive wants to be an active participant as evidenced by the fact that MFSC’s President co-chairs the fundraising committee for this project. The volunteer board is seeking ways to boost enrolment next year, and have developed a few strategies to that end.
The club has determined that one of their weaknesses is their website, which lacks interactive features including the ability to register and pay online and track individual member performance and is not currently linked to their social media presence. Their website registration is up for renewal this year, and they have identified a different package that would raise the cost to $540 per year, up from the current rate of just under $200 per year but will provide the features that club participants expect.
The biggest drop in enrolment last season was in the youngest skate category known as the Pre-CanSkate Program for participants aged three to five. In their weekly 25 minute sessions, program participants are introduced to the basics of standing up, falling down and walking on skate blades. The club would like to boost its outreach efforts to boost enrolment in this critical group and add more ice time for this introductory program. Mayor McFadden suggested they find ways to link this program to potential young hockey players whose skating skills are critical to this sport.
For more experienced skaters, the club offers a Program Assistants program where senior skaters provide coaches with support during on and off-ice sessions. This category provides youth leadership opportunities for experienced skaters to enhance their understanding of the sport and develop coaching skills.
Council has not yet responded to the club’s request for support.
Expect to hear and see more from these dedicated club volunteers as they reach out to the community to engage more participation in this youth organization that helps build poise, confidence and teamwork along with athletic skills among its members. KG