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California Gymkhana Association

Local District Responsibility:

A Successful Club

In analyzing what makes clubs successful, there are a lot of factors which may not
really be addressed in the internal thinking of the club officers and members.
Keys to keeping the club vitality strong are to continually bring in new members, share the work load, and keep the enthusiasm level high.

There are many characteristics that go into making and keeping a local district club successful.

Lots of arena help contributes to a strong club
What Makes a Local District Club Successful?
There are many factors that contribute towards the success of a club:
The best asset a club has is "Enthusiasm" from its leaders and members with the riders best interest in mind. This is fairly easy to attain when a club is new and just beginning, but within a few years this can change drastically. Analyzing how this evolves may allow redirecting our priorities to ensure a healthy and growing club.
  When a club first starts, there are many people involved with the total participation of organizing the club and in voicing their opinion as to what would make riders want to belong and ride with their club. Everyone is enthusiastic about finding the right arena, talking to all of their friends about joining with them to be a part of something special.
  Everyone does their part helping in all of the areas of the show, such as secretaries, arena crews, food, etc. They are all working for a common goal: to collectively be successful. And each one involved gets some personal satisfaction from the club’s success because they had a personal hand in making it happen.
  As time goes by, the enthusiasm may decrease, and generally the control of the club may go to only a few people. When this happens, the involvement of the total club’s planning and action may not be shared any longer with the majority as far as decision and input are concerned. Some members could subconsciously feel slighted, thus bringing negative comments and complaining. If this starts to happen, unrest throughout the club could set in.
  As leaders, remember to be responsive to the needs and feelings of the members, and, as members, remember to give your leaders the authority to make decisions for the club on your behalf. Members have a responsibility to help the elected directors to carry out the duties required to make the shows and club activities successful. Then everyone can have a successful club that responds to all in unity and harmony.
  It’s not unusual for members to have some personal conflicts in their approach to the operations of the club. However, if they continue to pursue their common goals, they should all be big enough to set aside any trivial differences that they may have. This will allow the riders to continue enjoying the sport, and to have a feeling of pride and comradeship about and within the club.
  It’s wise to remember that everyone needs self-esteem. To criticize either openly or behind the scenes any individual who is trying to help is uncalled for. After all, the people who work in any aspect or function within the club are unpaid volunteers and personal criticism isn’t part of the job. It should be remembered that no one is perfect, but at least they are trying. Credit belongs with those that make an effort.
  Some of the ways to keep the enthusiastic spirit is by: (1) always attracting new members and letting them be part of the club, and (2) have a training program for judges, announcers secretaries, etc. It’s a well known fact that if the work load is not shared (which can be fun), a person who is always overworked will burn out. It's natural.
  Each person regularly performing a job at a show should always make an effort to bring someone else in and train them to do that job. This should happen at every show. If this is done, no one needs to work the entire show. There should be plenty of others to alternate with the work load throughout the day in each job. This makes everyone a part of the show and the club.
  Of utmost importance at shows, there are three critical areas that management and members should be aware of: the sign-up secretary, the announcer, and the gateperson. These people have a major influence on the attitude of the riders as to whether or not they will want to be a part of the club or want to come back to the next show. It is imperative that these three jobs be handled with a very positive attitude, and each rider be treated with respect as a friend.
  Throughout the year each club will experience new riders and their families coming to shows. It’s up to the club, its members and its management as to whether or not these people will want to come back and be involved in the club. If they are treated special, they will be back. If they are ignored or not made to feel welcome, then you can guess the outcome.
  The success of any club depends on keeping its enthusiastic spirit, and to remember the ideas that were the focus point for the formation of the club in the beginning.
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