Saturday, September 8, 2012

Athletic Clubs in Clare by size...Aug 2012

A few days ago, Athletics Ireland released their figures for club membership. What they show is that in the last 15 months since May 2011, the number of adults in athletic clubs in Clare has increased from 207 to 285, a rise of 38%.

These are the athletic clubs in County Clare with more 10 or more adult members...
1) Ennis Track AC are now the largest club in Co.Clare with 63 adult members. They have grown by 31% in the last 15 months.
2) BMOH AC are a new club as a result of the amalgamation of the Bridge Milers and the Olympic Harriers. They jump straight into 2nd spot with 56 members.
3) The club in 3rd spot is another amalgamation of three clubs....Killmurray/Ibrickane/N Clare AC. They lose the top spot as they recorded a slight drop in numbers down 4% to 48 members.
4) Marian AC based in Ennis stayed more or less static with a drop of one member to 35.

As with Co.Limerick, at first glance some of the growth in club membership in Clare looks impressive but it is very low compared to other counties. In terms of club size relative to the available population, you could double the membership of all of the clubs in Clare and they would be roughly on a par with the clubs in Waterford.

Looking through the race calendar for the past few months, there has been plenty of runs in Co.Clare but a high percentage of them don't seem to be organised by athletic clubs. Having covered the results of races in Munster for the last few years, it's obvious that as a percentage, there are more fun runs, charity races and unlicensed races in Co.Clare than any of the other five counties in the province.

This perhaps might go some way towards explaining why club membership is so low in the county? If there are so many non-club races in the county then many runners may not even be aware of what athletic clubs are out there or what they can offer. On the upside, the figures do show that there is loads of potential for the clubs in Clare to grow.

Notice...some clubs have a large number of Fit4Life members, some are more into track and field, some are more focused on other specific areas. The figures don't say or suggest which club is best, just which club happens to have the most adult members....although it is probably fair to say that if a club has a lot of members then it must be doing something right.

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