Young and old, rookies to pros. Building a training program for diverse learners.

As Club Secretary of the Bushrangers Mountain Bike Club, I saw an unmet need amongst our members: a comprehensive training curriculum to cater to all skill levels. My mission? To grow and empower members, boost confidence on the trails, and ignite a passion for riding, all while minimising financial barriers.

Conquering Challenges.

Of course, the path wasn’t smooth. I faced three major hurdles: diverse needs, limited resources, and maintaining engagement within a tight budget. But the Bushrangers are a resourceful bunch, and we tackled these challenges head-on.

The Solutions.

  • Planning: Working out measurable objectives, identifying the right stakeholders and breaking up the job into smaller steps made life so much easier. Sample project plan for Parklands Dash Project.
  • Listening to stakeholders: A thorough needs assessment and surveys informed workshop topics and difficulty levels, ensuring everyone found their perfect fit and had their say.
  • Partnerships: We strategised with qualified coaches, bike shops, and first aid providers, expanding our expertise and reach.
  • Flexible Formats for Flexible Schedules: From “Rookie Rides” on beginner-friendly trails to in-depth maintenance sessions, we catered to all skill levels and time constraints.
Screenshot of an example lesson plan for the Bushrangers Mountain Bike Club Rookie Ride lessons
Lesson plan PDF for the “Rookie Ride” new rider lessons
  • Communication: Regular updates on the website, email, and social media kept members engaged and informed, building a thriving online community. I even got a few articles in the newspaper.
  • Funding: Proactive grant acquisition from local and state governments secured crucial funding, making the program more accessible and cost-effective for everyone.

The Results.

The results were as exhilarating as conquering a challenging trail. We saw:

  • Soaring Participation: The program boomed with high member engagement, fostering a vibrant and growing club, partly fueled by the grant-funded affordability.
  • Confidence increased: Riders reported improved skills, bike-fixing know-how, and a newfound trail confidence. Check out one of my ideas here.
  • Stronger Community Spirit: “Rookie Rides” built camaraderie and eased new members into the Bushrangers family.
  • Positive Feedback: Member surveys and comments praised the program’s value and encouraged expansion.

Lessons Learned.

From this journey, I gleaned invaluable lessons that will make us even better:

  • Listening is the Key: Feedback is the roadmap to program refinement and relevance. Our new annual survey and virtual suggestion box provided great ideas.
  • Partnerships are Power: Collaboration is a force multiplier for expertise and impact.
  • Variety is the Spice of Life: Diverse options and accessible formats attract broader participation and cater to individual needs.
  • Grant acquisition and acquittal: Securing grants not only expands reach and reduces barriers, but also strengthens program sustainability. Applying for grants is an advanced skill-set in itself.
The Bushrangers’ training program is more than just a series of workshops; it’s a journey of empowerment, camaraderie, and pure riding joy. And the best part? The road ahead is full of exciting new destinations!
Bushrangers MTB Club training day photo