The X Factor PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 11 April 2011 09:10

SRGC How are you doing it?

SRGC must be one of the fastest growing clubs in Australia, so how is it achieving this when so many other clubs have shrinking memberships. Well first and foremost it is due to the hard work, enthusiasm and goodwill of a small group of dedicated local members, but there is also something else, the X factor.

I have read many articles on how to attract new members, most of them talk about flying costs, club fleets, club facilities eg club house, swimming pools etc, but very seldom do I read about club atmosphere and I think this is the X factor. I am a non flying person so the material possessions of the club don't really interest me, but the atmosphere does and it effects what I'm prepared to do for the club and I bet I m not alone. SRGC has a very friendly, positive atmosphere, this is their X factor. I have watched visitors arrive and become caught up in the genuine happy positivity of the members. It s a drug, easy to get addicted to and often hard to find, before they know it they join the club to get their weekly fix, with some flying thrown in as a chaser.
To come back to the X factor, how do you keep it? Well first you have to know it s composition. I feel it is multi faceted and I would like to hear what others thinks. First the well known facets, i.e. love of aviation related activities especially gliding, joy of sharing your interest in gliding with others, the different types of challenges gliding presents to each individual, then the more subtle ones like the sense of belonging, involvement of both sexes in club, care and maintenance club possessions, club activities other than regular flying, the things that actually make it a club and not a loose connection of like minded people.
The involvement of both sexes is an interesting one. Over the years I have noticed that many clubs are more stable and much happier groups to be with, when there is a good male/female ratio of members SRGC has quite a number of lady members and they are actively involved in every level of the club Then there are the ladies who are only social members or not even members at all,yet they still make great contributions to the club. Women are often natural communicators and social organisers, these skills help keep club members informed and connect to each other. A good example is Rose, there is no public transport in their part of the country so she runs Mum's Taxi Service for her sons. She regularly brings student pilot Anthony out to the airfield, while he spends time perusing his dream she patiently sits and does the flight sheets, welcomes and talks to the visitors introducing them to club members, in general, making them feel welcome. She participates in the club s social activities. Her enthusiasm for the involvement of young people in the gliding is contagious.
When you have women present on the field, the atmosphere is definitely different. Visiting pilot, Jenny Goldsmith commented on the difference mixed company makes and how comfortable she felt with other women about. New student, Danuta Raine made an interesting comment about her reasons for joining SRGC in preference to one of the other four clubs she considered. She said that the presence of other women on the airfield, made her feel more comfortable about being involved in what is mainly a male dominated sport and as a mother of four she was pleased to see children welcomed into club activities. Another thing that impressed her, was the clubs active involvement and encourage of young people into flying with their scholarships awards, she felt that she would like to be part of such a group.
Clubs are like families, they contain different personalities, different views but as long as we can reach an amicable compromise and all pull in the same direction, the future of SRGC is looking pretty good so keep up the good work.


Glenda Burns


Contact Us

If you would like to know more aboout the club or any of its services, please contact one of our committee members using these links.


During the Second World War the town was the site of Royal Australian Air Force Station Tocumwal, which was a major Royal Australian Air Force training airfield and aircraft depot. Today, the airfield has grown to be a renowned gliding site.