General Meeting of the membership, Wed. Nov. 2, 2016 at 7:00pm
Kanata Nordic proposed to hire a full-time club coach, on a contract basis, starting this coming season. Article 4.4 of our bylaws state that “any proposed expenditures that would exceed $5,000 shall be approved in advance by the membership at a General Meeting”. Because the coach’s contract value would exceed this limit, the Executive has organized a General Meeting.
The General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 7:00pm at the Richcraft Recreation Complex Kanata, Beaver Room (on the main floor across from the gym). The single item on the agenda is approval of the expenditure for a coach.
The Executive believes a club coach will attract more participants and volunteers and improve skiing for all through outreach activities, train-the-trainer sessions, and development of the learn-to-ski and high-performance training programs. A full-time coach is a key to our capacity building for future club stability, diversity, and growth.
Kanata Nordic has applied for special funding to offset some of the coach’s compensation. We’ll learn the outcome of our application later in November. Should we be unsuccessful, the club will hire a coach but with a shorter contract. The value of this contract still exceeds the $5,000 limit.
For more details about the value of a full-time coach, please read below. More details about the club’s budgeting process will be available at the General Meeting.
Please come out to this short meeting to learn more about your club and contribute to its operations. All club administration is volunteer run, so your involvement is appreciated and important. No RSVP is required.
Background on the club coach expenditure
A club coach will build on the club’s expertise to increase opportunities for cross-country skiing beyond what is possible with volunteer-based leadership. The areas targeted for improvement are:
(1) mentoring club volunteers so they become more confident and engaged leaders, enabling the club to accept more children and adults into programs,
(2) outreach through introducing new types of programs that will draw a broader audience,
(3) developing training plans for high-performance programs and guiding plans for the learn-to-ski level, and leading the training sessions, both dryland and on-snow.
Kanata Nordic programs routinely reach capacity, because capacity is limited by the availability and skill level of volunteer leaders. A club coach would put in place a more accessible train-the-trainer and support system that would encourage more members to be leaders. Many parents of children in programs have sufficient skills but are intimidated to step up as ‘leaders’. Coach support would overcome much of this reluctance and thus strengthen our key volunteer base. With proper certification the club coach could facilitate regional and provincial courses for other clubs.
The club coach would host early season orientation workshops and on-snow clinics to help leaders improve their ski technique, at convenient times and location. Our demand is highest for the youngest children, and a club coach could readily train parent volunteers to teach at this level. A club coach will help grow the club at the grass roots level, strengthening the club and its ability to financially support this paid position.
The club coach would be able to initiate programs that cannot practically be delivered by volunteers, such as weekday day-time lessons, custom clinics on-demand, and events for the local community. Weekday programs bring a new audience and in particular open up opportunities to work with high school programs and seniors, both critical populations to keep active. In this way the club coach would help increase enjoyment of the outdoor winter environment for all ages.
Volunteers currently develop their own training plans and although some resources are available our volunteers lack the time or expertise to provide one-on-one guidance.
For the high performance athletes, the club coach would create and track a multi-faceted program that includes technique, fitness, nutrition, and psychological components, as well as knowledge about equipment and waxing. Racers are attracted to clubs with dedicated coaching resources, and more racers gives the program the critical mass of male and female athletes to offer the social component that keeps teens interested. Also, the high performance programs have a higher fee, which contributes to the club coach’s compensation. Graduates of the high performance program often become volunteer leaders or assistants.
Our high performance skiers compete at regional, provincial and national levels. They require a coach who is a consistent presence and is able to travel with them to races. For the more casual skiers, whose sessions are led by volunteers, occasional input from a club coach will boost their enjoyment and impression of the sport.
Similar clubs have found through experience that a paid coach is essential in building a broader membership base and program offering.
Kanata Nordic is in a community with a large population of immigrants. With the easy access to our trails we hope to introduce skiing and the love of our winters to more newcomers, and for them to explore a unique natural environment within the national capital region.
In order to attract and retain a qualified candidate who will feel ownership in the club’s success we must offer a competitive compensation package, a year-long contract and professional development opportunities.