Registering a cycling club in Ireland – First steps
You may have many reasons for setting up a cycling club but one thing is for sure, it is very difficult to do it solo. You should first gauge the interest in a club buy setting up a club Facebook page. Promote this in your local area and see what the reaction is like.
Most clubs in Ireland are setup with road cycling in mind. You will find others who focus on mountain biking or multi discipline sports like triathlon. For this post I am going to focus on the setup of a road cycling club. Prior to any registration you need to hold a public meeting to elect club officers and agree on basic things like club name and sign up costs. At a minimum you need to elect a chairman, secretary and treasurer plus a few club members.
You should register the club with cycling Ireland. This means that club members can avail of cycling Ireland membership which gives them insurance and other benefits. Some cycling events will require cycling Ireland membership so it makes no sense to setup a club that is not registered.
Cycling Ireland have a good guide on their website which covers the basics and includes info on costs. You are looking at an average of €240 in registration fees so make sure you factor this into membership costs. Cycling Ireland now prefer PayPal payments so you might want at least one club officer with a PayPal account.
Other things you need for setting up a cycling club
Once you have your club registered you can begin to sign up members. I recommend that the club looks after member signups for year one. The club secretary will have access to do this via the Cycling Ireland member portal. Create a simple member sign up sheet and distribute via email, social media or just hand out. You need to collect the following information from each member
- Date of birth
- License type (most will just need the basic leisure license)
- Emergency contact name
- Emergency contact address
- Emergency contact phone number
Once members are registered with cycling Ireland they should receive their membership cards and information pack in the post after a few weeks.
Setup of other club systems
At a minimum you should setup the following systems to keep people informed as to what is happening in the club
- Facebook club page
- Register a new email account with Gmail.
- Setup an instant messaging service like WhatsApp. Add members to a club group once they have paid their membership.
- Sign up for a bulk SMS sending service like www.createtext.ie. This is handy for ’emergency’ notifications like a cycle cancellation due to frost.
It is now optional to have a club website. Facebook will fulfill most needs like publishing event details and photos. Unless you want a repository of documents or other static content you wont need a club website.
Be sure to keep your members updated. Try and have one Facebook update per week and let people know what is happening.