If you want your club to grow, especially in the freestyle realm, having gym space is paramount. It provides a gathering space, smooth riding surface, and shelter from the unpredictable outdoor elements. But most clubs do not have a lot of money. . . Procuring free or inexpensive space often requires a little creativity and a willingness to volunteer or barter with your time. Here are some suggestions on how to get started:
- Club members with connections to churches or schools with gyms
Church gyms are often sitting empty and unused. Sometimes school gyms are too. Ask club members if they have any special connections that might allow your club to get access to these gyms. Pastors, active church members, teachers, and other school staff that belong to your club are great resources for this. The cost may end up being free or as minimal as doing a show or teaching a class for their congregation or school group.
- Barter with local Community Education
Contact your local Community Education office and ask if they are interested in offering a unicycling class. Your club can run a 1 hour class which provides the instructor, helpers, and unicycles for community members in exchange for 1-2 hours of gym space. This will require a group of club volunteers to commit to helping with this class for as long as the course runs.
Most Community Education programs love the idea of offering something new. You will want to set minimum and maximum participant parameters. One helper to every two class participants seems to be a good ratio. So if you know you can only get 5 helpers from your club, set the maximum class size at 10.
- Non-profit Status
If your club is officially a non-profit organization, you can often rent gym space at 30-50% off the regular rate at schools or community centers. Depending on the number of people that want to use the gym, it may only cost a few dollars per person for the night.
All of these options will require proof of insurance. If your club is a U.S.A. Affiliated Club, then you have $2 million in liability insurance. Click here to get a copy of the Insurance Certificate.
Gym overseers will also want to know that the unicycles are not going to damage the floors. Ensure them that all tires will be non-marking and all pedals and seats are plastic. Then, most importantly, enforce the rules!!!