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Clubs Matter: December 2018 Newsletter​
2018 is almost over and we are getting closer to the 2019 GEICO U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. In this issue, we are giving you tips to promote your holiday shows, updating you on the adaptive skating program, increasing your membership with National Skating Month and introducing you to the Your Voice campaign.
Getting Your Board on Board - Marketing Tips for your National Skating Month event
National Skating Month is less than two weeks away! If you haven’t purchased your kit and registered your event, you can do so here. If you have an event set up and ready to go, use these marketing tips to make your event a memorable success:
  1. Streamline your communication: List your event on your website and use your social media channels, email and print media to point people to your website for more information. Keeping detailed information in one central location gives you the freedom to quickly and easily make small changes to your event description without having to update it in numerous locations.
  2. Don’t reinvent the wheel: Utilize the 2019 National Skating Month Media Package to promote your event. Available at www.nationalskatingmonth.com, this media packet features sample social media posts, press releases and media advisories that you can customize to your liking.
  3. Engage your network in a friendly competition: Your members are your strongest advocates. Distribute our printable Bring a Buddy Coupons to your members and encourage them to bring friends skating. Have your members write their names on the back of the coupons, and track how many are redeemed. At the end of January, recognize the members who referred the most new skaters. Be sure to work with your rink to determine when and how these coupons can be redeemed.
  4. Turn the spotlight on your membership: Ask members of all ages and skill levels to serve as skills demonstrators during the event. This will inspire new skaters of similar ages to learn how to skate.
  5. The fortune is in the follow-up: Be sure to capture the email addresses of prospective skaters participating in your event, and prepare to follow up with all participants within 48 hours when their energy level is high. We recommend preparing a thank you/follow-up email in advance and sending it out the following day. Thank your participants for coming, share how much fun the event was and leave them with a call to action that encourages them to take the next step in their skating journey.
Helpful Resources - Adaptive Skating Webinar
Ice skating can be fun and beneficial for individuals with and without disabilities. Ice skating can positively impact social skills, physical strength and balance and improve mood for individuals with various disabilities. The numerous benefits of ice skating make it a fun means of physical activity and exercise for anyone of any ability.
Does your club have an adaptive skating program in place?  If not, the “Starting an Adaptive Skating Program” webinar is a must-see. To access, log in to Members Only and click on the General Information tab, then Webinars. You will find this video under the Club Management tab.

Here are a few additional resources to assist with your planning:
Engagement - 2019 National Skating Month
Last Chance! Don’t miss out on 2019 National Skating Month with this year’s theme of “Skate to Superpowers!” We only have a few kits remaining this season.

Kits include items to assist you with planning, promoting and delivering a memorable event for all. You will receive:
  • Posters
  • A bulletin board kit
  • Photo booth items to share images of your participants having fun on the ice
  • Pencils, erasers, crayons and stickers
  • Skate towels and gloves
  • Flashlights
  • Superhero-themed items
  • Plus many downloadable resources to share with your new skaters!
Click here to reserve your 2019 National Skating Month Kit!
SafeSport Program - Your Voice is Powerful

Giving Voice to Minor Athletes

Over the years, U.S. Figure Skating and many other NGBs have educated parents and adults in the areas of athlete safety. But in August 2017, the nation learned from the USA Gymnastics survivors that many young athletes were not being heard.

With athlete members as young as age three, our challenge was to directly empower minor athletes in a way that wasn’t scary or dark to ensure the rink remains a healthy and friendly place. Using our Olympic medalists and Team USA athletes as Athlete Ambassadors, the “Your Voice” campaign was born.

All athletes, regardless of your age or skill level, have the same power: Your Voice
  • Goal: Empower and encourage minor athletes to speak up if they see or suspect something is wrong. They don’t need to solve the problem, but they do need to tell someone.
  • Message: Keep it simple. Believable. Never scripted. Must be in athletes’ own words.
  • Tone: Not dark or scary. Inviting, #together.* “The cool kids are doing it.”
    *#together was U.S Figure Skating’s 2018 Olympic campaign
  • Tagline: “Say something. To a parent. To a friend. To a trusted adult.”
In an effort to reach our youngest athletes and get the conversation started, each member of Team USA, the AAC and synchro’s DREAM team were sent a “Your Voice” T-shirt and two youth-sized T-shirts with the agreement that they would select two young skaters in their home rinks to join them as “Your Voice” Athlete Ambassadors. They also received brief educational material to share with family and friends.

In coordination with the “Your Voice” shirts showing up in local rinks across the country, clubs received messaging and a campaign roadmap to understand their role. In late November, “Your Voice” stickers, posters and easy-to-digest SafeSport educational materials will be included in National Skating Month kits, received by more than 300 clubs.

All clubs have access to the new video PSAs for in-arena or presentation use. Two examples are below: More Athlete Ambassadors will join the campaign at January’s 2019 GEICO U.S. Figure Skating Championships. In the spring, focus will shift to uniting member clubs.

The early results have been positive, with more people talking about athlete safety to and with young athletes.

Within weeks of launching the “Your Voice” campaign in August, U.S. Figure Skating received two reports from young athletes that allowed an unknown situation to be addressed. By listening to the young people ­ the true eyes and ears on the ice ­ the situation was resolved before it became a problem.

More information:
Barb Reichert |Senior Director, External Relations
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