It doesn’t take much to establish a walking club. The three basic elements of any successful walking group are:
To be a group, a walking club needs to have two or more members. Start attracting new members to your group. The best place to start is with your own friends and/or family members. From there you can begin recruiting other members.
Advertising is one of the most effective recruitment tools at your disposal. Flyers, brochures, business cards, and promotional products can be used to promote the new group. Just think about locations in your local area that may be frequented by other walkers (schools, churches, gyms, hospitals, parks, etc.)
Aside from physical advertising, you can also promote your walking group online. Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have proven to be highly effective social media marketing tools. Classified sites such as Craigslist can also be used too.
Once you have recruited an adequate amount of members into your walking club, the next step is to organize and structure the group. Before actually embarking on the first group walk, set up a “meet-and-greet”. This a great way of bringing members together to get acquainted with one another. This meeting is also a good opportunity to collect contact information such as email addresses, emergency contacts, phone numbers, and any other pertinent details.
You will also need to establish how your walking group will operate. This includes determining when and where to walk, how far to walk, and so on and so forth. This is also a good time to figure out what to do on days where the weather does not permit walking outdoors. Remember to welcome and consider any feedback offered by group members.
The size of your walking group can also play a big role in how the group is structured. For instance, if your group is fairly small in size, then walking together as one group may be optimal. However, as the group grows in size, the fitness levels and goals of each individual member may vary wildly. In that case, breaking the group down into smaller subgroups may be more favorable.
Now that your walking group is established, it is up to you to keep the momentum going. In other words, keep your group members motivated by incorporating various activities into the group. These activities can include:
- Weekly meetings
- Attending charity events
- Contests and giveaways
- Individual and group goals
- Group apparel
By keeping every member of your walking group encouraged, you can improve long-term retention rates, as well as the ultimate success of your group.