Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Termly Roundup

We've just got to the end of Michaelmas Term 2014 (or, for non-students, December 2014 just started!), so we thought we'd do a roundup thing.

Who are you: Nikolay Timofeev
What was your involvement?
President and 'coach' - Organised sessions, maintained communication with people contacting Oxford Parkour with regards to... All sorts of things really :/ Also managed various IT and web things (inevitably breaking things along the way) and found some time to jump on stuff in between all that.
What did you think went well: 
Because we have more people able to organise sessions, we were able to run around double the amount of sessions as we did last year. Better yet, I have had the pleasure of training with SO MANY OF YOU! Thank you to everyone who has turned up so far, I have enjoyed getting to know you all immensely.
Hopefully we have had more variety of session as well, combining both structured and unstructured styles of training, as well as the odd gym session here and there.
What didn't go as well as you might have liked:
One thing we haven't done too much of is stepped out of pattern very much. We have the regular sessions, but as far as doing other one off things, such as trips to other cities and communities, that has not happened too much, which is a shame as that brings communities together and shows all involved a fresh approach to training, and pushes people out of their comfort zone, thus helping progress.
We have also not managed to organise a social, something like a parkour movie night or just an meal or something like that, to bring our community even closer together, which was something we were hoping to do.
Finally, we have not done very much exploration of Oxford and not done any days where we explore new (or even just different) locations, which we could do more of!
What you hope to do next term:
All of the above! And it would be nice to slowly start putting out more media - Oxford's a wonderful city, full of great architecture - showing more movements here will lead to more people joining and will make a nice historic record for future practitioners to look at and be inspired by.

Who are you: Alex May
What was your involvement: I coached the Tuesday BCS and the Wednesday COM session, and trained a bit outside this too. And I helped discuss things and organise this with Nikolay and Harry (despite not being elected or on committee!).

What did you think went well:
  • We got loads of interest at Freshers' fair, and the attendance in 1st week was huge (I think 60+ different people turned up to try out parkour). The two sessions were well attended, usually around 8 on Tuesdays and around 3/4 on Wednesdays, despite the weather.
  • The COM Wednesday session was a success, in my eyes, in encouraging diversity (in non-male form) into our community.
  • There's now a good number of people in the Oxford Parkour Community, which is great!
What didn't go as well as you might have liked:
  • I found that I was busier with the usual Oxford-stuff than I had thought, so didn't have as much time, meaning that I didn't get to train much aside from coaching and that I didn't put on any additional sessions as I had hoped.
  • Didn't do more advertising after the start of term - should have sent reminder emails to the mailing list to encourage more people to come along to the Tue/Wed sessions (though until 4th week, the sessions were full!)
  • The tshirt company I used was busier than expected, so took them longer to do the order than I had hoped, and they didn't arrive far enough before the end of term to sell them.
  • Security (from the university) seemed to be fairly active in asking us to leave various areas, which is a shame.
  • Nothing social. I've been wanting to host a parkour social for awhile, but didn't manage this term, partly due to busyness, partly because the one attempt I made to book a room in college got confounded by the rules on filling out event forms in advance.
What might you do differently next term:
  • Put on some 'Focus' sessions, not aimed at beginners, for the non-beginner components of the community. And hopefully a bit more variety outside of that
  • Social!
  • Sell the tshirts!

Who are you: Harry Cruse
What was your involvement: Vice President. I organised the freshers' fair, organised many sessions and a few gym trips, designed and ordered the business cards. I also gave my opinion and advised on many issues and decisions that the group faced.

What did you think went well: We got a huge number of new members this term, mainly from the freshers’ fair, it’s always nice to see new people trying out our sport. We got them all off to a good start, and a decent number of them stuck around. We’ve also had loads of sessions this term (up to 4 or 5 a week) which is brilliant, the more parkour the better!
Our new Facebook page has worked well, and due to it being public it’s brought in a few people that don’t have Facebook. It’s also nice to have an official entity that can post when the sessions are, so it’s organised by Oxford Parkour rather than by a person.
What didn't go as well as you might have liked: I think we have been a bit forgetful and lazy in some situations. We never got round to organising a social or a London trip, and the gym trips only really started happening towards the end of term. It would also have been nice to have more weekend sessions (which is entirely my fault).

What might you do differently next term: Be more on the ball! We should get better at organising things, and let people know earlier in advance. We should definitely do a social, with at least a week’s notice; and a London trip would be great, but I’m not sure if that will actually happen. I think we’ll also advertise the gym trips more often, and I’ll make an effort to put on more weekend sessions.

We would also love feedback from anyone who has attended - please be honest and direct, we won't get offended and it's useful for us to improve things!

Feedback form:
What did you do with the group this term?
What parkour experience did you have before training with us?
What did you think was good about the sessions you attended?
What could be improved, either sessions or group organisation or anything?