MAAA Wingspan - Quarterly Magazine

16 As we know, membership is the bloodline of our aeroclub community. Encouragingmore people to fully embrace the positives of this thrilling sport is paramount to promoting the fun-filled flying and camaraderie that aeromodelling endorses. In response to a recent survey question on innovative ways aeromodelling clubs can continue to grow, we have received encouraging advice from forward-thinking clubs that appear to have fully embraced the 11K initiative. For over 75 years, the MAAA have supported their members, ensuring they have the best possible flying experience. The launch of the 11K initiative in 2017, was created to continue to grow our strong community and protect the future of our sport- encouragingmore of our fellow pilots to continue flying. One of the key elements of the initiative was the promotion of ‘Have a Go Fly Days,’ which offer free flying lessons and introduce new and potential members to our clubs- encouraging them to have a go at aeromodelling. The Barossa Valley Model Aero Club is an example of a club that has supported this initiative and as a result, has seen their membership soar. “We try and have at least two ‘come and fly days’ a year. We’re still trying to perfect it ourselves, but we believe in doing a lot of PR and just talking to people to encourage them to take up the hobby,” said Club Manager, Stuart Ratsch. It appears to have paid off, with members of the club proudly emphasising Barossa Valley Aero Club’s extremely positive atmosphere. The Barossa Valley Clubmembers work hard tomake sure newmembers feel welcome, as well as providing excellent advice on suitablemodels, equipment to purchase and the operations of the club. “It’s a very friendly atmosphere,” said Stuart. “We try and enhance newmembers as best we can tomake their experience as enjoyable as possible.” This enhanced interaction with members has been a winning formula, ensuring that they don’t feel neglected and instead, feel part of an exciting aeromodelling community. “We have a really goodmember who’s good at making others feel welcome, by talking to themand learning what they’re all about,” said Stuart. Clubs have also reported the positive impact of regular open days, which demonstrate the club flyers and types of models flown. Other encouraging ideas include putting on car boot sales, BBQs, fun competitions or social events at or close to the aeroclub venue. Setting up an aeromodelling stall at a local fete, hobby show or shopping centre could instinctively result in increased interest in the sport too. INNOVATIVE WAYS CLUBS HAVE INCREASED THEIR MEMBERSHIP MANAGEMENT MATTERS: SUPPORTING CLUB GROWTH