11 Feb Statement of Strategic Intent (2023)
Statement of Strategic Intent
The Nepean Skating Club (NSC) Board has identified the importance of emerging from the acute COVID-19 pandemic period with a shared understanding of its course for the future in order to maintain an inclusive and stimulating environment for all members of the club community.
This document draws on the Strategic Planning work accomplished by previous Boards, starting in 2015, and takes into account more recent changes in our internal and external realities to set the stage for the next three years.
It will serve as a foundation to support decisions in the short term, and help the Board determine the activities that are required to achieve progress. Based on our strategic planning experience to date, this statement of intent is deliberately modest and narrowly focused to ensure its success. Once we have created sufficient capacity and the conditions to increase our level of ambition, the Board will undertake to renew its Strategic Plan. We are confident that with the support of our dedicated volunteers, the NSC will continue to support provide excellent programming for our skaters at all levels as they look to achieve their full potential.
Through successive pandemic shut downs, the NSC pivoted to focus on maintaining programs for its skaters in a manner as close to pre-pandemic norms as could be achieved within the limitations of public health requirements.
At the same time, with an eye to a club history that stretches back to 1965, it took steps to protect the NSC’s financial stability and continued viability as an organization.
Having weathered periods of uncertainty, the NSC finds itself, in 2023, on a solid financial footing and with a burgeoning CanSkate program that will fill club ranks for the coming decades. At the same time, it continues to enjoy a large cohort of StarSkaters and supports the continued success of its competitive skaters. This provides us with optimism for the future, as well as the responsibility to revisit the pathways available to skaters as they move forward with whatever skating goals they may aspire to achieve.
With over 900 registrants in NSC CanSkate programming in the current year, there is an opportunity to improve on the structures in place to help them progress through the learn-to-skate stage and encourage a larger number of skaters to flow from this solid base into other programming streams, in keeping with their interests and readiness.
As the demographics of the NSC continue to evolve, the Board is committed to ensuring that programming is reviewed and adjusted annually to fit the needs of its resident skaters at all levels.
The NSC Board has agreed to the following principles, which will orient the key interim strategies:
- The NSC will maintain a full spectrum of programming, including CanSkate, PowerSkate, StarSkate, a Competitive Program, as well as maintaining its affiliation with Synchronized Skating teams at all levels
- Program packages will be delivered based on the Long-term Athlete Development model, with age- and level-appropriate pathways clearly explained and supported. Programming with the NSC is outlined on its website
- Safe Sport will remain a foundational principle for all organizational activities and the Board, volunteers, families, coaches and skaters will work together to ensure an inclusive and healthy skating community
KEY INTERIM STRATEGIES
The following strategies have been established to provide the roadmap forward. They reflect the Board’s view of the requirements to ensure NSC’s continued organizational success and are essential creating the conditions for future success:
- Partner with the City of Ottawa to address facility and ice needs, given recent challenges with aging Nepean Sportsplex infrastructure. In particular, the NSC Office will first prioritize development of a sustainable solution to ensure off ice training can be delivered.
- Work to increase Board, staff and coaching capacity to deliver predictable, quality programs and enhance communications with Club members. As a first step, the Board has hired a contracted Program Coordinator. The Coordinator is accountable to the Board, in consultation with club coaches, for implementation of its direction on programs, scheduling and organizational improvements. Working with the current team, additional coaching capacity to support the CanSkate program as well as programs on all scheduled sessions will continue to be prioritized.
- Review and align club policies to support the strategic intent and delivery of programs. This step will require a committee of suitable volunteers with the skills and capacity to update club policies, in alignment with the Skate Canada and Skate Ontario suites within a 3- to 6-month timeframe. This step is important for transparency and organizational effectiveness.
- Collaborate with Skate Ontario to maintain and enhance support for local and regional competitions, seminars/workshops and funding. The Board will continue to pursue federal and provincial funding opportunities and will also continue to bid annually to host Skate Ontario events. In the current year, NSC hosted a Provincial Series event and plans to do so annually. It also received Restart Program funding through Skate Ontario, the terms of which require the Club to have its CanSkate program assessed, as well as to continue to promote and fund coach professional development.
Having established these key interim strategies for the short term, the Board will report on progress to date at the Annual General Meeting as well as on plans for the subsequent year.