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We have seen the evolution of curling over the past 45 years from playing various roles & stakeholder positions. I am very concerned with what the future may NOT bring to ensure the longevity of this great sport. Many of you have also voiced genuine concerns such as energy costs, infrastructure, membership & retention, board effectiveness, etc. If I may also add that our clubs are witnessing the tail end of the largest demographic that has ever lived on this planet, baby boomers are in decline and have been largely responsible for the attained growth of all sports. However our past performance is NOT a predictor of future success, we must take a proactive position if we are to deliver a palatable product for our new trend demographics. As an educator and professional coach/programmer, I submit that the new idealistic model for all sports is to accelerate the "Satisfaction Curve". Newgens want to attain their goal acquisition at a much faster rate than boomers have. So we need to address, adapt, and program for this.
For curling, my advice is "Program Integration". Whereby we promote development and education, then maximize communications between the programs so that administrators. coaches, athletes & Ice techs know and understand the needs of each other's programs. i.e. The ice tech intimately knows what product the coach needs in order to deliver the programs on the LTAD level that their athletes need, and have expressed to administration. (Apply this example to all roles) (Please document/plan for succession so that all is not lost when people leave or change roles)
If we do not close the time gap on the "Satisfaction Curve", we may soon find ourselves with a generation(s) gap in our sports participation curve. My prediction is 9-11 years for curling at present rates of Canadian reproduction and immigration. I am unsure if clubs could survive this, so please don't wait for your NSO or PSO in order to start your 10-year club planning and programming. Let's get out in front of this.
Martin Cavanagh ChPC

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