Development Planning for the Future
8 Strategic Targets for a five year plan
During the period of lock-down in the 2021 Covid pandemic, the officers of the club agreed to develop a strategic plan to promote Deva CC to renew and encourage policies which will ensure long term security and survival. In a changing world where many things, including paddle sports are evolving, we need to stay relevant to the needs of the paddlers and engage with the local community.
Here is a summary of the Deva Development Plan, and the means by which we can measure success:
- Increase participation and membership.
The number of members dropped during the close down, we aim to recover to pre-pandemic levels by holding taster days, resuming pool kayaking sessions, and recruiting new members.
Evidence for this will be in our membership records and age profile.
- Strengthen Community Links.
Strengthen the relevance of Deva to the local community and make clear our value as an asset in improving physical and mental health. We will investigate the possibility of links with NHS mental health initiatives. Community action can also involve supporting charities and other events (e.g. Dee Mile Swim) and holding river clean events.
The annual report and calendar will be used as evidence to assess progress.
- Further Develop Communications.
Raise the club profile with the members and general public through the media. The re-designed Deva web site is a much improved asset. We now wish to use social media and community notice boards to inform the wider community of our activities.
Evidence can be the number of reports of Deva’s activities and number of web site hits.
- Grow the leadership and coaching team
To achieve our aims and ensure long-term survival Deva needs coaches and committee members. We need to identify those willing to join the Welcome Team to help beginners at club Riverside sessions. We also need to encourage those who wish to get into coaching and leading on rivers or sea. To achieve this we can promote personal awards and coaching courses (both internal club courses and external BC approved courses).
Evidence will be the number of active coaches and leaders and a succession of members on the Welcome Team and committee.
- Support New and Intermediate Paddlers
We feel there is a need to hold more ‘touring’ events on lakes, canals etc suitable for a mixture of craft (“cakes and lakes” to quote one member) as well as whitewater trips. A local “Where to Paddle” page on the web site for members would be helpful.
To achieve this we will need more trip proposals and trip leaders.
Success will be judged on the variety recorded on the club calendar and number of peer group paddles as well as official club trips.
- Increase Diversity
The profile of the club is currently skewed with more males than females, and an increasing average age. There are new trends in paddlesports which if we encourage will appeal to a wider section of the population and diversify our membership, for example SUP and SOT. We also wish to organise “She Paddles” events. To achieve this we need “She Paddles” organisers.
Evidenced by a She Paddles event, increase in % female members, and greater diversity of craft.
- Work towards greater sustainability and environmental responsibility
Our sport immerses us in our immediate environment (sometimes literally!), we wish to see clean, healthy rivers and seas and also to act in socially responsible ways to eliminate waste and pollution. Use of single use plastic cups at Riverside meetings should be discontinued when the current stock are used up. The club should support campaigns to reduce litter and pollution of the Dee. Pressure can be brought to bare on water authorities and government agencies and departments to stop sewage discharges into the river, and work towards designating the Dee in Chester bathing water. We should seek to engage with other river users, e.g. Tri-club, swimming club, SAS etc.. Appointment of an Environmental Co-ordinator would help drive this forward.
Progress will be measured in water quality statistics, and events logged on the calendar.
- Secure our place at the Riverside Centre and work to help improving facilities.
The Riverside Centre is in need of refurbishment or renewal. We need to negotiate and work with Cheshire West and Chester (the site owners) and Queens Park School (who manage the site) to negotiate licences to continue our tenancy. We also wish to contribute towards plans to improve the centre building and facilities.
Progress on this can be reviewed in the annual report.
How can we achieve our aims? (The really important bit!)
To achieve our aims we need two things;
1. That the members agree with the aims and buy into the plans
2. Members are willing to take on roles and help out with the work needed.
This does not mean we need meetings and committee work, many of the tasks are practical and specific. We will need action not words!
Please re-read the aims again. Is there an area you are interested in or would be willing to work on? If we organise action days (for example, a river clean) would you be willing to help out? Please feel free to discuss the aims with me or any of the club’s officers. If you think there are other aims we should include over the next 5 years then let us know.
We will report back on the progress we have made each year in the annual report and at the AGM.
John Lewis, Deva CC Chair