WINN has had the idea that the clubs in the state are the most significant driver of skiers to get into or stay into the sport. I think that while some of the clubs are important, it is really the workout group that has been the most significant. Workout groups are put together by a wide variety of organizations. High school teams and clubs. Nordic retailer sponsored groups. Informal groups of friends and acquaintances organized by active facilitators. Nordic centers with training programs. YMCA. I’m sure there are other examples. The key is to find ways to increase participation in these groups and to make sure that there are workout groups in all areas and that there are facilitators committed to seeing them succeed.
Workout groups are part of an active lifestyle. WINN should work with some other silent sports groups to promote the idea of year round, life long activity to promote health. Once established, this would be targeted at
- State health organizations that are currently working to reduce obesity and juvenile onset diabetes
- corporate health and wellness programs
- the other sports to increase winter participation during the off season (ex bike clubs)
- High schools to promote life long education in active lifestyles (heck of a lot cheaper than football and you can play beyond your senior year!)
- existing local health programs
- casual skiers who have not been as active as they could due to lack of snow or connections with others
To accomplish this, we would have a number of things to do. First, we need to clearly define how a large number of people could benefit and how the sport could handle these people. What would we do if we got 100000 new people into the sport? How would we get coaches, facilitators signed up? What would their qualifications be? Where would they go? In short, we need to articulate a vision of how this would look if successful.
Then we would need money. I really think we should try for something more than an all volunteer organization. We should hire a person to try and see our projects through. As a result, we should try for grants, donations and increased membership. We would have to do this before we could hire, so here is where the hard part for us comes. We all need to volunteer some time.
Steps to complete this task
- form work group to form a succinct “vision document“ of an organizational approach that can brand an “Active Lifestyle“ as a tool to make exercise enjoyable and as a tool against obesity
- Enlist other groups, WORBA, YMCA, etc, to join in.
- Get grants
- to be determined….