If there is no skate club in your area, how about starting one yourself? Here are 10 important items to consider:
1. Evaluate your city size:
Honestly, you are going to have a difficult time forming a skate club in your area if your city size is not large enough. How large does it need to be? There is no firm rule. Most existing clubs are in large cities but having an existing group of skaters, a bike club, or a university are all things that can help a smaller city support a skate club.
2. Use the Internet:
If you don’t have a website you don’t have credibility. While your website doesn’t need to have tons of information, it should have a way to contact club leaders, look professional, and have a credible URL (for example www.yourcityskateclub.org). You can reserve a URL for less than $10 per year (see www.GoDaddy.com) and can host a website for as little as $5 per month (see www.vervehosting.com). Find a member who has the skills to create the site for free.
3. Keep a Mailing List:
Almost all skate clubs have some sort of mailing list. Many have two: a “discuss” list to which anyone can post and an “announce” list which only contains official announcements from club organizers about local happenings.
4. Make it Free:
Most clubs are free. You simply aren’t going to get enough people to pay even $10 per year.
5. Make it Official:
If you have local volunteers willing to help you, consider creating a simple organizational structure including a Board of Directors and a rotating President. If this structure requires so much volunteer time that it will kill the idea, just leave the “club” as a website and unofficial skate times.
6. Establish Weekly Skates:
You don’t have much of a club if people don’t get together. Establish weekly skates and post these on your website. Be diligent about having someone show up at any posted skate (unless it rains) and make sure this person greets any newcomers. Some clubs skate in the same location each week while others change locations.
7. Be Inclusive:
Make sure your club welcomes all ability levels, from beginners to speed skaters. However, realize these people will not skate together. How do you do this? One way is to plan skates that can accommodate different ability levels. Have everyone start out at the same time and place but don’t expect them to stay together.
8. Organize a Night Skate:
The single most exciting thing a club can do is to organize a Night Skate. These take place all across the country and world and draw hundreds or sometimes thousands of skaters. Skaters roll with blinking lights through the downtown streets, keeping in one group. This is a great way to generate media interest. See our page on how to start a night skate for more info.
Just the formation of a new skate club is a worthy news item! Send the information to the local paper or ask a reporter to join a skate. For direct marketing to skaters, try printing several thousand business cards with the club info and handing them out to other skaters (or bicyclists or runners) on your group skates.
10. Have Fun!
It shouldn’t need to be included here but make sure you and your club members have fun. Too much work will kill the fun. If it is necessary, keep it informal so there is not much work and just more skating. Organize skates to nearby trails or have a summer picnic. Keep it fun!
My name is Anson Nakamura and I have been inline skating for fun for 18 years. My friends and I skate at our local skate park and we just love to skate. I have been a big fan of the sport since I was a little kid. I started with a pair of Rollerblades that I got from a garage sale. I was terrible at first, but I kept at it and eventually I got pretty good. Now, I can do all sorts of tricks and I love skating more than ever. There's nothing quite like the feeling of cruising around on your skates, wind in your hair. f you've never tried skating, I urge you to give it a go. It's an incredible feeling and you might just get hooked like I did.