Double or Nothing - how Come and Try saved Portland BMX Club's membership numbers

May 01, 2022
Double or Nothing - how Come and Try saved Portland BMX Club's membership numbers

Down in regional Victoria, Portland BMX Club’s membership numbers were dwindling on the back of 2021’s COVID lockdown and a tough couple of years. Tasked with the job of rebuilding, the committee delivered on a day that brought about the start of the next generation of Portland BMX Club.

On the back of a Come and Try session run on a spring Saturday morning, the club saw an immediate doubling of their club's membership numbers. The momentum didn't stop there, and the club has continued to grow as the word about BMX in the Portland community has spread.

We dive into what the club did to engage the small regional community, bringing not just numbers to the session but selling their club and sport, seeing majority of participants become club members.

Header image courtesy of the Portland Observer.

Engaging local schools

The club decided to get in touch with local schools, through their newsletters. The committee put together their own flyer that could be used for the newsletters with the free and easy to use website, Canva.

“I just pulled all school email addresses in our shire from our local council website and asked them if they could put it in their school newsletter/bulletin.” Maddy Sutton, committee member.


Social media is our friend

The club shared information about the Come and Try session with the flyer, on their own social channels and through their local community noticeboards.

“We also used our Facebook page (which we are still trying to improve) and asked all members to share the ad. I also shared it to our local 'buy, swap, sell' Facebook pages.” Maddy Sutton, committee member.

Capturing the local newspaper’s attention

Contacting a local newspaper had multiple benefits for Portland BMX Club. Not only were they able to have featured articles in the lead up to the event, but the local paper also sent out a photographer for the day.

“I also asked the local newspaper to put an ad in the paper a month out and then they put one in the sports edition a couple of days before the come and try day. On the day they sent a photographer to take some photos and I did an interview on Monday to recap how the day went and it was published in the next edition.” Maddy Sutton, committee member.

You can read the article HERE.


Straight into the action

Using the Ride Nation Marketplace for their upcoming training session, the club already had this ready to sign up to when the Come and Try session was finished.

Opening registrations up for both participants and their families, the club put on dinner after these training sessions to showcase the community feel of the club and convince participants to join the club. The benefit of the AusCycling 4 Week Free Trial membership means participants could attend these sessions without needing to have paid for a membership yet.


Image courtesy of the Portland Observer.

If you are interested in attending a local Come and Try session, click HERE for more information.

If you are a club interested in running a Come and Try session, click HERE to express interest and find resources.