Can we be more attractive?
Imagine our sport thriving with lots of young adults swelling our numbers. Can we be more attractive?
We know we have demographic deficit with numbers dropping off in the late teens and not picking up until the 40 plus age group . Orienteering Edinburgh was an attempt to make the sport more attractive to a younger demographic. A trial approach to recruiting younger people into the sport through offering a simplified and united approach from clubs across the city of Edinburgh.
We offered a series of 6 events based around Maprun and timed to start towards the end of the working day. Same place, same time, different challenge. Light touch coaching and a mini course were provided for newcomers.
We sought to attract younger adults who work, live and study in Edinburgh.
We succeeded in attracting nearly 50 newcomers who reported a positive experience. All who gave feedback said they would recommend the series to others and more than 90% said they would try the sport again and attend future events. No-one said it was boring…
Critical to the success so far has been fresh branding and the presence of young orienteers in their late teens and early twenties assisting at the events.
Interestingly, a fair number of those who gave feedback had never orienteered (nearly 40%) …. Food for thought!
It is early days to know how many will now try mainstream events but this is a promising start upon which to build. Stronger targeted marketing is needed to build the momentum started. Word of mouth is not enough to attract new people. We need a consistent, fresh approach that speaks to newcomers.
We plan to build on the success with a follow up series in September following a similar approach. Same place, same time, different challenge.
Thanks again to all those who made this happen. Volunteer effort was as always at the heart of this.