Kelowna Aqua Jets
Strategic Planning Document
This objective of this document is to help guide the Kelowna Aqua Jets Board of Directors, coaching staff and membership toward the plans and actions needed to help the club achieve its’ Mission and Vision.
Our Mission is to provide a competitive swim program that operates to create a cohesive team atmosphere, where each swimmer is enabled to be the very best they can be. We believe that through the leadership of a qualified, professional staff and strong club values anything is possible.
The Kelowna Aqua Jets strive towards a culture where commitment, teamwork and excellence are embraced. The club celebrates individual achievement as well as team unity and success at competition. The team is proud of their spirit and leadership in the swim community. Training and competition opportunities are provided for swimmers of all levels that are consistent with their respective age and development. The Aqua Jets promote swimming as a lifelong sport, recognizing that each swimmer’s growth and development is individual, aiming to provide a path for each swimmer to keep their love for the sport and continue to swim for life! Our cohesive coaching staff will help young athletes learn confidence, leadership, and sportsmanship while having fun and acquiring the technical and tactical skills needed to succeed as a competitive swimmer.
Dedication, Determination, Pride
A strong club culture of success requires strategic planning and, more importantly, actions that are consistent with the plan and supportive of the overall Mission and Vision.
SUPPORTING OUR MISSION AND VISION
Swimmer centred, coach led, board supported, and parent powered, the Aqua Jets are a competitive swim club which operates under the umbrella of Swim Canada, in affiliation with Swim BC.
In order to implement the strategic plan, five broad and often overlapping goals have been identified that are reflective of our Mission. By setting these goals, we can best align our activities with the Mission, and measure the progress being made. It is understood that a strategic plan should be flexible and requires updating periodically (every four to five years) in order to remain current and reflect the dynamic nature of any organization.
1. Consistency and stability
In order in achieve a successful and strong swim club, it is recognised that any long-term planning will be best supported by a solid and stable foundation. Stability and consistency from year to year will allow the club to grow steadily both in terms of the numbers of swimmers involved in the program at all levels and in terms of the success those swimmers have in competition at regional, provincial, national and international meets.
Financial stability is a key ingredient for success. The bulk of KAJ’s annual income is derived from four different sources and it is important not to neglect any of them. Maintaining fees at an affordable level for most families whilst providing a professional standard of swim instruction requires that the shortfall is made up by gaming money, fundraising and corporate sponsorship.
Growth should be steady and planned for and the resources needed for that growth should be in place. Those resources will include access to pool space at both the H2O and Rutland pools as well as opportunities for dryland training which is age appropriate. In addition, any equipment which is necessary for training will be provided.
KAJ will host three meets per year including a 3 day long-course meet in May. In order to attract more teams from outside the Okanagan which will provide stronger competition as well as financial gain, it will be important to work towards improving the timing equipment at H2O with the aim of purchasing a second set of touchpads and an additional scoreboard in order to run double-ended meets.
With so many people needed to run a successful swim program, this strategic plan recognises the importance of continuity and low turnover rates in both our paid, professional staff and the volunteer Board of Directors who put in so much time and effort to run the program. It is imperative that all decisions made by the Board and coaching staff impacting the club are geared towards the success of the club over time, with long-term sustainability being considered.
2. Swimmers are enabled to be the very best they can be
This is the very heart of the club’s Mission, and the one goal that keeps the KAJ motor running. It is, therefore, important to track the progress of the program through direct and indirect methods to ensure that it is effective and in line with the clubs mission of creating a “cohesive team atmosphere”. In an attempt to monitor our improvement, we will aim to succeed in the five following categories:
· Increased member participation at all competitions
· Improved team placing at Regional level meets
· Relay performances at Provincial level competitions
· Swimmers selected to Provincial teams
· Increased qualifiers for Western, Age Group and Senior National Championship meets.
These identified areas will show some indication of the stability and depth that is needed for a healthy and successful competitive swim club. In order to achieve these it is important to continue to give swimmers adequate pool time, access to facilities and provide competitive opportunities that are new and stimulating, encouraging swimmers to follow the core values of the club: “Dedication, Determination and Pride”.
3. Leadership provided by a qualified, professional staff
The Kelowna Aqua Jets believe that a motivated, professional, coaching staff with exceptional leadership skills is key to empowering swimmers to dream big and work hard. Because of the power of the coach/athlete relationship, it is imperative the club look to both attract and retain professionals that have the skills and up to date knowledge to teach, train and motivate competitive swimmers to their fullest ability. The club recognizes that swimming is rapidly evolving and that professional development opportunities are important for our coaches to learn and grow, taking our club to new heights.
The Board of Directors will work with the Head Coach towards developing an objective plan to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the club’s current coaching staff to ensure that everyone is working together toward the vision of “a culture where commitment, teamwork, and excellence are embraced”.
4. Active family involvement
As a non-profit organization, KAJ relies heavily on the efforts of volunteers. The statement “commitment, teamwork and excellence are embraced” applies not just to the athletes but also to the team working behind the scenes to ensure a strong and successful club. Families will be encouraged to be actively involved in the club. The existence of a strong culture of volunteerism is also something that the BC government considers when it decides the level of gaming support it will provide to the club.
There are many volunteer roles that are available and the higher the level of family participation from the membership the more successful the club will be. The Board of Directors will work towards establishing the following:
· Social/fundraising committee
· Swim meet committee
· New member liaison group
· Group representatives
· Provision of adequate opportunities for parents to train as an official.
5. Pride in Team Spirit and Leadership in the Swim Community
The Aqua Jets recognize that individual accomplishment is possible only through the efforts of a team - a team of coaches, a team of parents and, most importantly, a team of athletes. To help support and promote a strong sense of pride and team spirit, the club will explore ways of supporting initiatives to enhance team bonding and spirit, including but not limited to:
· Exploring options for team travel to every swim meet outside of the Okanagan Region
· Investigating and arranging, if financially feasible, swim camps outside of our region, province and country. Participants in the camps will be responsible for fundraising events to help pay for the cost of the camp.
· Supporting coaching staff initiatives for team building activities both inside and outside of the pool setting
· Developing and maintain positive relationships with the various swimming group stakeholders in our community to promote the sport of competitive swimming (i.e. combined swim camps/training camps, pooling coaching and other resources if it is mutually helpful, organizing competitions and helping each other with the running of the events, promoting cooperation amongst coaches, parents and athletes to mutually benefit all athletes)
· Recognizing the social benefits of belonging to a club, with promotion of team activities not only for swimmers, but for parents as well
· Encouraging Aqua Jets swimmers, coaches, and parents to consider team participation in community events, in order to show our community spirit, and as a secondary effect to increase recognition of our organization
· Attracting and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with corporate/community sponsors in a way that fosters excitement and pride in being affiliated with the Aqua Jets team.