From Chair Soaring to the Future (S2F)
Welcome to the Future!!
I have been completely overwhelmed by the huge positive response to our new initiative – launched at the AGM. I have been fielding, contacts from members and clubs all around the country every day since the launch. I am really excited by the response particularly by the large number of younger members that have contacted me and offered to help. It does seem that many members are ready to embrace change, and that the Standardise, Modernise, Prioritise emphasis of S2F has struck a chord with many members.
Since the AGM and launch we have been busy finalising details of the new GFA Family and Flying Family membership which will be launched later this week. This is an Executive initiative (not S2F) but I include it here as it is aimed to increase participation and aligns with S2F philosophy. It is designed to provide a natural progression for new family members to become more involved at their local club and for some to begin to learn to fly and to become pilots.
This initiative was launched at the AGM. We have set up an S2F Forum. Tell your friends to send an email to S2F@glidingaustralia.org if they would like to join.
We have a number of volunteers and going forwards we will need more to be part of our Focus groups to provide feedback on various sections of the initiative.
The new website also has an FAQ page which addresses the questions I am most often asked.
Information for Clubs considering joining Soaring to the Future (S2F) April 2019
The four Round 1 trial clubs are in the final stages of implementation and Round 2 clubs are just starting their journey.
There is some information below for clubs considering applying to be part of Round #3.
Our data shows us that we attract between 800 and 1000 new members every year, but we lose 80% of them in the first 2 years. Our exit surveys and emails received tell us that this is not because they do not like gliding – they love it – but they cannot afford the time commitment that the current system demands. They want to progress quickly and predictably through to solo and cross country flying and escape what they call “The drudgery of the launch point” as soon as possible.
I am often asked what is needed for a club to join S2F and the answer is simple – the club must be willing to change. That does not simply mean updating its website, cleaning the toilets or a new carpet in the clubhouse – although that is a good start. Clubs must be prepared to completely rethink how they interact with their members, to assess what their members want and to fill those needs.
One of the biggest changes we seek is that the GFA member surveys of 2015 and 2017 made it very clear that new members want to learn more quickly and more efficiently. They are not prepared to spend days at the launch point with the promise of a flight if they are lucky. To that end S2F supports and endorses Intensive courses so that new members can quickly become independent and fly cross country. We advocate either one week or 2 or3 long weekend courses to progress students quickly and efficiently through the syllabus. A course of 4 students and 2 instructors can operate independently so you do not need volunteer club members they can look after each other and club members can go flying.
Instead of training 20 students a year and retaining 4 (20%) which is a huge impost on volunteer time and effort why not train 8 and retain 6 (75%). By using our volunteers more efficiently we allow members to do their own flying and reduce the impost on their time.
Round #3 Club Information
If your club is considering applying for Round #3 the following documents may be of interest.
- S2F at club level – summary of process
- Is your club S2F ready?
- Opening Audit
- Sample MOU with Sports Community
- Changes at Round #1 Trial clubs
- Gliding pathways – infomercial
- New to gliding – infomercial
- Aviate in April flyer – only for S2F clubs
- Unusual Attitude and Spin training flyer
- Round #2 application – Round #3 will be created based on feedback from Round #2