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The benefits of being a socially distanced sport
Andy Gratwick, Managing Director at the British Kitesports Association and Head Coach at British Stand Up Paddleboarding Association, shares his insight into some exciting membership initiatives and the benefit of being a socially distanced sport during a global pandemic.
How long have you been working in the membership space?
Andy has been working at British Kitesports Association since 2004 and has been Head Coach at British Stand Up Paddleboarding Association since 2007.
What are some of the most exciting aspects to working in membership?
Working within the membership space you get to know a whole variety of fascinating and wonderful people and I really enjoy the challenge of growing the membership base and the sport.
How important is membership income to your organisation and how does the success of membership impact the overall growth of your sport?
Membership is the lifeblood of both Kitesports and Paddle. It's fundamental to the existence of both associations and without it we would not be able to grow and provide the services and initiatives that we can currently.
How have you responded to the challenge of COVID, including any new initiatives you have adopted, and have your efforts helped with member retention and growth?
As with most sports we were shaken and had to adapt to the new challenges covid has brought. We took a leading role in activating outdoor activities post the initial lockdown. We are lucky to be a socially distanced compliant sport and have in fact gained popularity throughout the last year because of that. We have issued a lot of structured advice to participants, schools, clubs and coaches to enable our activities to continue so have played a key role in ensuring members, participants and enthusiasts can continue to enjoy being out on the water in the safest way possible.
Before COVID struck what would you consider your main membership challenges to be?
I think we faced very similar challenges to many sports which is retention of existing members and attracting new members to continue the growth of our sports.
How have you overcome or how are you working towards overcoming these challenges?
This is a constant challenge and something we work hard at on a daily basis. We continually look to enhance our membership products and insurance cover so that our membership benefits are desirable.
What are some of the exciting initiatives you have coming up for members?
We have initiated a membership benefit scheme in the last 3 months for BKSA which gives all manner of discounts on products and services for our members.
We have also enhanced and worked on the direct debit system for membership signup which enhances the member experience and allows members to automatically renew their memberships each year making it effortless to be a member.
What are the main benefits you have found working with GoMembership?
GoMembership provides us with a really good system and rich range of functionality to manage our administration, membership renewals, events and more.
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