For those who don’t know me, I’m Simon Walliker DTM, and the D73 Club Coach Coordinator. I work closely with Club Growth Director Juls Davey DTM on Club Coach appointments, reporting and guidance; along with Club Retention Chair Alison Do, the person to go to when your club is off life support but is not yet in the clear.
A club coach is an experienced Toastmaster who coaches a club to rebuild membership and restore quality to the club environment. The measuring cup being that the club was aided to achieve recognition in the Distinguished Club Program with a path to club sustainability.
A club is eligible to receive a coach if the club has no more than 12 members in good standing at the time of appointment, the club is not suspended or closed, and a club can have 2 appointed coaches at a time. Whilst club coaches are appointed by the district, it is at the request of the club not the district. If you don’t ask, you don’t receive, and a club can decline the appointment if not satisfied with how it is working out.
Let’s talk about you. Under the revised Club Coach Program (changes took effect the beginning of the 2022–23 program year, July 1st) to be eligible to be a Club Coach, you must be a paid member in a club of good standing and must not currently, nor have been a member of the club you wish to coach, in the past six months. You must have served as a club officer for a minimum one annual term and have completed a minimum of Pathways Level 2 or the Legacy Program equivalent.
Prospective Club Coaches must complete the newly revised Club Coach Training module, freely available on Pathways Basecamp and this we recommend for all members, as half an hour well spent on revision of club best practices. The President of the club wishing to appoint a Club Coach (or delegate signing approval form) must also complete this Club Coach Training Module and then the approval form can be completed and sent to Juls at (who will wish to have a chat) before sending the form to TI for approval.
A Club Coach provides the tools, but the Club Coach does not do. The Coach achieves by building a rapport with club leaders and members, instilling enthusiasm, comradery, and structure within the club. They must work with club leaders to develop a Club Success Plan by assessing the club environment, recommending best practices, and encouraging the club to strive for Distinguished Club Program Recognition. In short, it is about the club as a team hitting the goal and setting itself up for a sustainable future.
What I believe qualifies me to discuss this topic, is that my home club of Frankston has been a Distinguished Club or greater for the last nine years in a row. As a club advisor, I sadly witnessed South Coast Speakers close its doors, as a Club Coach I worked with the team that brought Elsternwick Toastmasters from survival mode to become Presidents Distinguished, and I still have much to learn.
What I feel confident in imparting to you, is to take on a new challenge each year, raise your hand at every opportunity, and give back to this organisation that has helped you achieve your goals both in and out of this crazy thing we call Toastmasters.
I am encouraged by the new focus on Club Coaches as you may be aware, if you take care of what you have, it will shine and encourage greater growth in the long run. If this piques your interest, drop me a line, so together, let’s play the long game.
Simon Walliker, DTM
District 73 Club Coach Coordinator