Molly is new to this so for us a lot of these experiences are new, though we can see they can and probably will get old rather quickly.
Web-Logging is a unique and wonderful thing. It allows us to share our experiences and thoughts with folks all over the world. It can be a powerful tool. Those who know me know I don’t really care all that much what people think. I have my opinions and they can often be strong. This post might be one of them.
We are very, very fortunate to have a gym as high caliber as Cincinnati Gymnastics in our area. We really really are. There are folks that have moved here from all over to attend CGA. There are folks that work for CGA who have moved here just so their daughters can have a chance to make the national team. The gym is that good.
There are two parts to the story though. There is CGA the for-profit business entity which employs the coaches and runs the facility, for which we pay a monthly fee for our gymnast to attend and there is the non-for profit parents club which pays for everything else (meet fees, leo’s and all kinds of other things). We have to pay this too but we also have to fund-raise a portion of this. To level the playing field and to ‘ensure’ you can’t buy success, all parents have to participate in certain activities. You earn points by fund raising and volunteering, etc. If you don’t earn your points you are penalized financially (go figure). So if you’re in the dough and don’t want to fund raise, guess what? Don’t do it you can buy your way out. I’m ok with this. The cost is about the same, and it does give those who can’t afford it an opportunity to fund raise. Just don’t spin it as ‘leveling the playing field’.
The CGA parents club is an all volunteer organization. And as these things go it’s an unorganized mess. Every job that’s part of it is a thankless job.
My hats are off to anyone who volunteers and sees their job through. They are thankless jobs.
We also (or rather CGA Parents Club) puts on a Meet, the Coaches Cup, which is a reflection upon CGA, Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy the Gym itself than the parents club even thought the parents club puts it all together.
Working the Coaches Cup is part of your obligation as a CGA parent. You are required to work x number of sessions. This year the number was 6 sessions. 6 four hour sessions per family. That’s 24 hours of labor. Mind you now you want to see your daughter compete so that takes one of the 8 sessions out of the equation. Leaving you with 7 to choose from if you only have one daughter in the program. So you need to double up, husband and wife, and/or enlist other family members. You can of course NOT do this and get ‘fined’. I think like $500 or $600 dollars but they don’t disclose that amount because they don’t really know until it’s all over with how much it should be.
Here’s the dilemma.
We (together) put our 6 sessions under our belt in one day. One long day. Both of use worked straight through and each put 3 sessions each under our belts to clear our obligation.
We arrived on time and followed the rules. Other families, well, they weren’t so, how do you say it? attentive? Some didn’t show up until 7:45 when they were supposed to be there at 7:15, leaving people scrambling.
Some just flat out didn’t show. Some followed the rules to be in certain places, others didn’t. Some just put in their time, others were generally interested in doing a good job.
You’ll have that with forced volunteer work though.
Some of these jobs are not hard. I worked Security in the morning. Not a hard job really. 4 hours on your feet. I could have sat down, but in my opinion a security guard that sitting on his arse is one that looks like he’s not doing his job so I elected to stay standing.
We also looked kind of stupid with our traffic vests and K-mart radios. We weren’t equipped to protect ourselves let alone gymnasts.
Security is one thing I think that is better left to be hired out. Not that the folks who chaired the security committee didn’t do a good job. I think they did fine with what they were given. But we should have real honest to goodness security. Rent-a-cops. Guys with guns, off duty. To show that we really care. We’re talking a dozen or less, maybe only 3 mixed in with 2 or 3 of our guys, (big guys). To have a presence like we care about security and our gymnasts. That makes a statement. One that in the future may have an impact on other meets as well. These are our kids we’re talking about. There are plenty of weirdo’s out there and as my wife said a gymnastics meet is a candy land for them.
I’m not trying to be an alarmist, but the cost of this is insignificant to the benefits. I’m willing to bet you could easily find 6 families willing to pay not to have to work half of their sessions and that would go well towards paying for this. You might even get some of it donated if you ask.
Which brings me to my next topic. Sponsorships. If you want sponsorships, big sponsorships, you need to be able to reward the sponsors and the folks that drag them in the door. You also need to be able to support those that are willing to go after them.
You might find more $2k sponsors and above if that got families out of working 🙂
Score keeping, and timing is easy work. Long but easy. I didn’t see a hard job there today. The rush of registration was probably a little difficult, but if it’s organized well even that shouldn’t be difficult.
Why in the world couldn’t we buy tickets at the reduced rate? Why and how did we run out of them at CGA? Why didn’t anyone there have enough sense to lay a few sheets on the copier and push the button? That’s just simply insulting to your patrons. Volunteer army or not.