Mission Statements
All parts of a club are interdependent. In a not-for-profit organization every decision matters. Everything each person does on and off the ice affects everything everyone else does or can do. Therefore it is very important that a diverse club has a well-defined underlying philosophy guiding all club decisions.

Any study of how to allocate funds must begin with a clear understanding of what the club is all about and what it hopes to achieve. Without a philosophy to guide decisions expenditures of time and energy as well as money cannot be justified.

An effective Mission Statement should consider the needs of the membership and balance those with an estimate of what the Club is realistically able to provide. Since the Club’s mission statement will inform the actions and direction of the Club, its members and its staff, it is important to adopt one that truly states its aims, goals and objectives. Simply adopting the
Skate Canada Mission Statement is not appropriate.

‘Skate Canada is an Association dedicated to the principles of enabling every Canadian to participate in skating throughout their lifetime, for fun, fitness and/or achievement.’

Skate Canada is not a skating club, it is a National Organization. They set policy. Clubs provide ice time and coaching. It is a club’s role to decide how best to allocate its ice time and provide for adequate and competent coaching in each unique set of circumstances. For example, clubs in a northern region (in Canada) may be far more concerned with providing Beginner and hockey services than a Competitive club in a greater metropolitan area. Many such northern clubs are lucky to have even one professional coach. 

Club Mission Statements
Formulating an effective mission statement first requires a review and establishment of the goals of the club. For example:

The Anytown Skating Club will:
· Endeavor to provide timely, accurate information so parents and skaters can make better educated
  decisions.
· Promote the Club within the figure skating community and the community at large.
· Encourage an atmosphere of cooperation, support and understanding of mutual and individual personal
  skating goals; for example, fun, fitness, challenge, achievement etc.
· Insure that the club infrastructure is well organized and efficient.
· Fund raise
· Provide rewards and incentives.
· Provide the necessary facilities for skaters to practice their sport including safe conditions and music
  equipment.
· Provide on-ice programmes that allow for children’s development of basic skating skill (Beginner), and
  figure skating skill in the areas of Singles, Skills, Interpretive and Dance in both the STARSkate and
  Competitive Stream.
· Where practical and cost effective provide programmes for other related skating areas such as
  Power Skating, Special Olympics, Adult, Synchronized Skating, Parent & Tot.
· Ensure that a competent, qualified staff of coaches is available to the membership.
· Where practical provide for dryland classes, simulations, seminars, field trips etc.

It is critical to adopt a mission statement that everyone can actively support. Here is an example of a possible mission statement for this club:

The Anytown Skating Club is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing the well-being of children physically, emotionally and socially. Each and every member is valuable regardless of skating competence.

We provide access to adequate ice time, sufficient and competent coaching and a safe, positive, enthusiastic and stimulating training environment at a reasonable price. We strive to educate our members and advocate for efficient figure skating training programmes.

The Anytown Skating Club recognizes commitment with incentives and rewards.

Skater Development Mission Statements
The Skater Development Mission Statement will not necessarily be the same as the Club Mission Statement although they will be compatible. It is important to distinguish the difference between them. Most skating clubs include members who have joined simply to learn to skate well enough to enjoy skating in their daily lives; they are not necessarily interested in improvement beyond this. All members of a club are valuable but Skater Development Committees confine their activities to those members committed to pursuing the sport of figure skating. The following is an example of a mission statement effective in guiding a Skater Development Committee.

The Anytown Skating Club Skater Development Committee exists to provide supplementary funds to enable all skaters to better reach their potential. It provides rewards, incentives and supplementary programmes appropriate for each level that combine the resources of the skater, club and coaches with the skater’s own commitment.

The Skater Development Committee respects the right of skaters, parents and coaches to determine the training style and programmes that best suit each individual case.

Allocating Club Funds According to Mission Statements
Once both mission statements are in place expenditures and profits can be allocated properly. The Main Club covers all skaters through a portion of membership/session fees; the Skater Development Committee covers additional expenses. All cuts or changes should be discussed and evaluated for their individual merit and for their adherence to either the Club Mission Statement or the Skater Development Mission Statement. The hierarchy of skaters’ needs found in the
Thoughts on Designing Effective Programmes section of this website could be helpful in determining where funds might best be spent.

Club expenditures can be general or specific in nature. For example, cleaning and covering bulletin boards is a Main Club expenditure as it benefits everyone and is not specifically connected to bettering skaters in any particular branch or level but rather, it enhances the club in general. The cost of this would be divided over all members of the club when calculating membership fees. Coordinator fees would also be a main club expenditure. Each Coordinator benefits her particular section of the club and her fee ought to be spread over the section of the membership to which it applies- the Free Skate Coordinator fee over the Int- Free skaters, the Dance Coordinator over the Dance Programme, the Primary Coordinator over the Beginner/Junior membership and the Pre-School Coordinator over the Pre-School skaters. Money made by one branch of skating should not be transferred to other branches. Coordinators are free to hold initiatives that may become fund-raisers but those funds remain within that branch. This is to ensure the continued efforts of Coordinators to improve the efficiency of their own department.

There may be instances in which an event is hosted by and involves the Main Club in which case fundraising connected with it should benefit the entire club by either giving the entire profits to the main club to defray the price of memberships and so on or to the Skater Development Committee to be distributed according to their guidelines. An example of this would be the annual Ice Show. It would be unfair for one portion of the club to hijack the goodwill that has been established by the entire club for their exclusive benefit.

Club programmes must have adequate membership to acquire the necessary ice time. Certain sessions may offset the cost of other sessions if it is determined that the existence of those programmes benefit the entire club in some way or that reduced membership is temporary but overall there should be enough membership money coming in to sustain the club- otherwise there will be no club in the future. The goal of increasing membership might be accomplished most effectively by installing a permanent sign out the front of the building or taking out advertising in the newspaper rather than by manipulating and adding programmes for which the club does not have the resources. If the club goals are not being met or are being met in a way that is not self-sustaining then they need to be revisited.

It is likely that the final distribution of funds by Skater Development will appear to be an inverted pyramid with the largest amount going to the smallest number of people. This is because for the majority of the club adequate training in keeping with the skater’s level of commitment can be established without additional input from the Skater Development Committee. Provisions for this should be made at the Main Club level and it is up to the individual skater to take advantage of the opportunities available. At the lower levels simply being assured that the club infrastructure is well organized and efficient is nearly enough. For example, at the Beginner level no more than access to adequate ice time and private lessons is necessary to improve performance. A field trip to a dance performance would be wasted on them. However, at the Competitive level it may be quite a valuable experience.

Initiatives Appropriate to Various Levels

Beginner
· Well organized and efficient
· Access to good equipment (skate exchange)
· Access to information- brochures, Beginner/Junior booklet, website, badge board, bulletin boards
· Parent information session
· Trophies for Most Improved etc.
· Hallowe’en parties
· Newsletter
· Activities- colouring contest, Who’s That Baby contest
· Ice Show
· Mini Olympics competition
· Holiday Family Skate
· Olde Tyme Skating Party
· Team clothing available

Junior
· Well organized and efficient
· Access to information- brochures, Beginner/Junior booklet, website, badge board, bulletin boards
· Parent Information session
· Trophies for Most Improved etc.
· Newsletter
· Activities- colouring contest, Who’s That Baby contest
· Ice Show
· Mini Olympics competition
· Holiday Family Skate
· Holiday Ice Show (performer)
· Olde Tyme Skating Party
· Junior Badges
· March Break Seminar
· Club Competition
· Programme Assistant rewards- parties, show etc.
· Dryland
· Team clothing available

Intermediate, Senior, Competitive
· Well organized and efficient
· Access to information- brochures, website, badge board, bulletin boards, Skills book, CPC rules
· Booklet- STARSkate vs. Competitive Stream
· Trophies for Most Improved etc.
· Newsletter
· Activities- colouring contest, Who’s That Baby contest
· Ice Show
· Mini Olympics (solo event for Intermediates)
· Holiday Family Skate
· Holiday Ice Show (performer)
· Olde Tyme Skating Party
· March Break Seminar
· Club Competition
· STARSkate team recognition (permanent poster, Good Luck & Congratulations posters)
· Axel Club
· Programme Assistant rewards- parties, show etc.
· Dryland
· Team clothing available (possible discount for STARSkate members etc.)
· Digital video camera
· Harness
· Exhibitions
· Photos of STARSkate team

Additional Senior
· Passed Novice and up skaters from other clubs guest skating on sessions
· Gold Test passed permanent recognition board
· Access to Dartfish technology
· Professional Ice Shows at a reduced price
· Entry fees paid or discounted

Additional Free Skate Competitive Team
· Perform in Tree Lighting Ceremony at Civic Centre
· Professional Ice Shows (free)
· Technical Specialist in the summer to look at programmes
· Ice time before Sectionals
· Photos of the Competitive Team
· Free Skate Competitive Team permanent recognition board
· Special High Volume training fee
· Free Skate Competitive Team bursaries
· Full Dartfish privileges.

Measuring the Success of the Club
To measure the success of the club, success needs to be defined. Competitive success is not the sole measure. This does not mean that the Club should eschew competitive success but that success can also be measured in other ways. Some of these ways are:
· Longevity in the sport
· Challenge
· Satisfaction
· Interest
· Fitness
· Cooperation
· Willingness to compete and try tests.
· Willingness to participate in the Ice Showl, Seminars etc. (depth of involvement).
· Skill level

Evaluations of success are made by many stakeholders:
· Private coaches
· The coaching body as a whole
· The Parent
· The Skater
· Judges
· Board Members

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The opinions expressed on these pages are those of Cheryl Richardson, author of, Skating Ahead of the Curve. Every effort has been made to properly credit sources for other materials. You may link to my pages but please do not reprint or otherwise distribute without my permission.  

                                      
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