Kapiti Coast United Football is in great shape as highlighted in Chairman Paul Leith's recently presented Annual AGM report for 2014.
What a season. So many highs and a couple of lows.
A couple of key facts that I would like you to ponder
KCU is the 4th biggest junior football club south of Taupo
KCU is the 3rd biggest combined club ( senior and junior) south of Taupo
KCU senior committee has less than 10 committed working members.
2014 started as what we have come to expect.
From a committee perspective that was all about to change. Within a couple of months we saw the resignation of two or our three Executive Committee positions. This would have been enough to compromise any club. Mark Vine and Angela Rayner gave their all for KCU and their contribution has been significant. They decided for their own different reasons to step down and two huge gaps were left. I was nominated by Mark to replace him as Chairman and the committee subsequently voted me in at the next committee meeting. The Club secretary role remained open for a few months until we found a fantastic addition Sharon Bannerman Cooper.
Amongst this change at an executive level we saw some more committee change. The current team of ever dependable Sean Kelly, the meticulous Catherine Chandler and journeyman Steve Rayner was greeted by passionate and fantastic additions in the Smiths ( Bridget and Tony) the Goodwin's ( Chay and Keri), Kendal, Oli, Ben and Greg. That's only one part of a two part dynamic. The other part and just as important – the Junior committee . They continue to be superstars and lead by Tracey and Jason do a phenomenal job across the junior club. it needs to be said that KCU are extremely fortunate to have volunteers of this calibre and passion to sacrifice their own time to provide for others. Please show appreciation for these individuals whenever you can.
Preseason the saw Increased interest at a Senior level which meant we were able to introduce a new team into the HK division. Any time you can introduce a new senior team is a good indicator that the club is growing. The junior club were also enjoying additional numbers – a good start.
We have some strong visions now for KCU. We constantly seek feedback from you and people craved change
We set about changing some fundamentals. A club of this size needs to be run like a business. A club of this size needs more of a presence in the community both local and football. A club of this size needs goals, aspirations, a flagship….
We needed a presence
Steve Jandrell and I set about building our website and Facebook. This has been a huge success. In terms or our club unity, messaging to our community and a significant selling point to our sponsors. Two more facts –
KCU website has between 4500 to 6500 views per month.
KCU Facebook has better activity stats than Kapiti Pak Save with 12000 members
We now feature on a weekly radio slot on Beach FM and More FM to talk solely KCU. The feedback from the stations was and continues to be fantastic. I am consistently surprised at the interest and support we get from our great community
In working with Randall at Kapiti Observer, we returned to the newspaper regularly and had plenty to share and celebrate. People are now reading about KCU again.
We needed to diversify our revenue.
In the past we have relied solely on bar revenue. This needed to change. We set out bringing in significant partners to our club, creating contracts with these companies , using their services locking investment in for multiple years. We introduced signage, on our website site, clubhouse and around our pitch. This is rollover revenue that our business community has embraced and still as a club has immense potential to increase revenue. We just need people actively driving these conversations and doing the deals…who do you know that would want to advertise?
We needed to give the club an upgrade. Inside and out
Then we had a fire – this rocked the club but gave us a chance to unite, rally and implement quicker the plans we had in place. In hindsight the timing couldn't have been worse but it forced positive change. This took a huge amount of effort in executing our extreme makeover and at a huge cost by KCU standards.
The quickest claim turnaround and make good of an incident of this size we are told!. A huge mention and acknowledgement needs to go to Catherine who coordinated this reinstatement. A huge amount of time and focus. The Smiths, the Goodwins, the Rushes ,Tommy Harty, Sean Kelly, Steve Rayner were all immense over this time also and again the club owes these people for their efforts. Please make a point some time to thank them…it means a lot.. We stayed open for our members and have treated them to a new and improved facility. An extremely marketable function venue which again has been our focus in promoting to diversify our revenue.
Our clubrooms is the envy of other clubs, our club flags, our coloured nets show our pride. Projector screen, Kids room with Big Screen TV, shelter viewing deck, couches for the mums, dart boards and of course our round table for our KCU royalty.
We needed a flagship
In my opinion – How to make the football world take notice, how to create a buzz in the community, how to interest sponsors and most importantly how to have our kids forming football aspirations…. A flagship – our first team.
Supporting the first team was an extremely important approach last season. Creating a new culture of professionalism, dedication, focus and consistency was key. We created player contracts for each numbered player within the first team and then set them a goal.
"Get KCU into Central League in Three seasons".
Aspirational, Aggressive but Achievable – they now had a purpose. The change in attitude, the application and the focus was instant. This was extremely pleasing from that playing group.
Alan Jones, Dave Copson and Marina need a special mention and huge thanks in supporting the clubs goal and leading this team to what has been a fantastic season. The first season was arguably the most important of the 3 year goal.
Spurred on by the first team success we succeeded across the club. Seven senior comps – 2 firsts, 3 seconds, 1 third and one promotion….we won the Easter junior tournament, we won at the Nation Junior Tournament in Taupo and were strong in Napier….football is thriving on the coast. So why stop at the end of winter?
There has been talk for years about summer football on the coast but no action. This year we have planned, marketed and delivered a TGIF Summer Football experience for young and old. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. a huge thanks goes to Sean Kelly for architecting this concept, Chay for getting the Juniors off the ground, Bridget for the social element and of course the club and the community for embracing it. A fantastic concept that is here to stay…
In my first season I am happy to report now to have clear goals and many flagships. We want KCU to attract and to satisfy – both family and football.
What's next for KCU… In my opinion, we have only started..
Continue to develop a winning and professional culture within our competitive teams that attracts players, coaches and supporters
Continue to make social football fun
Put focus and investment into our pathway from junior to senior
Build and support youth football
Have both committees Junior and Senior working closer together
Build on our sponsorship community
Build and support women's football
Put focus and investment into alternative training facilities
Continually make the KCU club family friendly and a place of choice to hang out all year-round
Continue to promote our brand
We can achieve all of this. If I am re-elected in as Chairman, I will lead us there….
We are KCU
Chairman - Kapiti Coast United Sports Club Inc.