To all our members,
Many thanks to all those who submitted a response to our membership survey. We had a 50% response rate. The aim of the survey was to connect with our membership to understand from you what you love about our club and what we can do to improve and continue to grow the club.
There were some key themes that came through in the responses which the Committee reviewed and discussed. These are shared below we will need further input and support from the membership to address some of the things that have been raised – and importantly for some of the suggestions the club will need to increase the number of registered and active run leaders.
Locations for our club runs was a key issue raised, and this is particularly pertinent at the moment since the increase in parking charges at Willen Lake. This was discussed in some depth in relation to providing variety and also the parking situation.
Moving the Tuesday and Thursday sessions from Willen Lake to a location with free parking raised some concerns, and before the Committee can make a decision on moving the location for these runs we will need to engage further with you. To move to another car park around Willen Lake means that we would be leaving cars in unlit car parks and potentially making cars vulnerable to theft and vandalism. There is also no guarantee of parking being available when we all arrive and potential seasonal issues in poor weather.
We are all feeling the impacts of the increased parking charges, and understand members concerns. As there was feedback relating to members not wishing to run in the dark evenings, moving to an unlit, quiet parking location does not seem a win/win solution. Parking in residential areas is also a safety and reputational risk to the club if we were to cause parking issues and problems for residents. The Committee has contacted Whitecap Leisure/The Parks Trust to see if there are annual passes available for club member but there are not.
Moving the location for Tuesday and Thursday runs also risks lowering attendance, and to have a rotating schedule of locations is a potential administrative burden on committee volunteers and run leaders.
We are very open to suggestions from members on alternative locations, and we would like to engage further with you on this before making a decision – is the increase in parking charges likely to cause you to stop running with MKLR in the long term?
At the start of this winter a decision was taken to offer only 5k and 10k runs on Tuesday evenings to ensure that club members are kept safe and together with runbacks. There will be no 20/20 and 30/30 in the dark as the group gets stretched out too far and people are separated and running alone. All members need to adhere to runbacks on Tuesday evenings on a 5k and 10k run.
We have improved the planning and scheduling of technical sessions on Thursdays, to ensure that Members have variety and that we deliver sessions to add benefit and skills to your training.
We are very happy to take suggestions from Members on new routes (starting from Willen Lake) and take requests for technical sessions. To deliver a wider range of routes and sessions, the club and Members would really benefit from recruiting a few more registered leaders – please let the Head Coach/Committee know if you are interested. This includes for more weekend runs on a Sunday – these runs are easier to plan from alternative locations around Milton Keynes. There have been runs this year so far on a Sunday but these rely on one or two individuals to be available. The Saturday long runs were taken off the schedule last year due to low turnout, as these clash with parkrun. To offer more options on a weekend (and there were requests for additional weekday sessions as well) we really need more run leaders.
There was feedback about the availability and ease of ordering kit. We will outline the process for getting kit and make this clearer on the club website.
Committee succession planning
We asked in the survey if anyone is interested in becoming a committee member or a run leader. At the AGM the whole committee will stand down, with some to stand again for election and some posts that will be vacant – these posts that will be vacant are listed below and you can find the role descriptions in the Files section of the Facebook group. Members are encouraged to consider standing for all committee roles with early notice being given for the following posts.
- Membership Secretary
- Social Secretary
- Normal Member
Leader in Running Fitness courses are completed online, with support from our Head Coach for the practical assessment, and can be undertaken at any time of year.
We are grateful to all Members for your continued support and engagement with MKLR, and invite you to continue to provide feedback to your committee.
Kevin Kemp Club Chair