Cycling Association ‘Westland Wil Vooruit’

Wielervereniging WWV

“We had a need to get members more involved in the club through an accessible solution. That became Socie.”

Mark Samwel of Naaldwijk is proud father of 2 sporty sons (one does rugby and the other has been a member of Wielervereniging Westland Wil Vooruit). He himself is a cyclist and occasionally does mountain biking. Mark has been a volunteer with Westland Wil Vooruit for many years. He taught training at the club for a while but stopped doing that. He is now on the PR committee. A year ago, the Westland Cycling Association began testing Socie. We asked him about his experiences!

Can you tell a little more about Westland Wil Vooruit?

Yes. We have an active club with 670 members from young to old. We do cyclocross, mountain biking and cycling for all ages at this club. The club was founded in 1951 and we have our own course in a beautiful location. The course is suitable for both road and off-road. For our club, fun, in addition to performance, is very important. Experiencing sports in a fun way with fun people at a fun accommodation. Westland Wil Vooruit is a well-known club within cycling sports associations in the Netherlands. We have our own uniform with our own distinctive club colors. We use a solution from Clubcollect for membership administration.

How long have you been using Socie?

We started testing the App in a small group about 1 year ago (early 2023). Then we set it up a little better with the experiences we gained in the beginning. In doing so, Socie also built something that made importing members a lot easier. I was very happy with that. That makes it a lot easier to import members. During the opening of the new canteen last May, we launched the App right away.

Why was the decision made at the time to deploy Socie?

We saw that recruiting volunteers was possible in itself, but was very difficult because we then struggled to divide tasks as an association. As a result, many tasks fell to a small group of people. We had a need to get members more involved in the club through an accessible solution. That became Socie.

How did the rollout of Socie go?

Pretty soon we had about 450 members in the App. That number now remains fairly stable, but the involvement of the latter group is persistent. Attendance is particularly high in youth groups. The “older groups” also have WhatsApp as an alternative to which they are already accustomed. We would love to have everyone in the App, but are also happy with the current group. We are still figuring out exactly what members want from the App, though. It is nice that you can configure the App yourself and choose what to use and how to use it. For example, we have created a “Share your moments” module to share news items with the club so that a specific group can add news items through the App.

How were the initial reactions?

Among volunteers and parents good. A new communication tool was deployed in addition to our website where a lot of information could be found. However, there is still a group that has trouble installing the App. Sometimes I help people with that for a while.

Who manages Socie?

Now the management lies with one person. Group administrators can, of course, manage their own groups. Westland Wil Vooruit’s calendar is managed by several people from the App.

Mark in actie als 'stand-in' fotograaf tijdens een wielerwedstrijd

How do you like Socie?

While we are convinced that the App has made a very positive contribution to higher engagement among members of the association, enthusiasm among a portion of members remains relatively limited. Youth members and their parents, for whom we initially started the App, are relatively well engaged in the App. But a group of senior members is currently lagging behind. We would love to have the remaining members in the App as well, but there is a lack of time to analyze it all.

We did get a much better idea of who our active volunteers are through the App and can reach them better. What is also really great is that I can always find contact information of persons through the App when I am looking for someone. By the way, I did protect personal data well with the additional FaceID access control within the App. I’m glad you guys are handling that well at Socie.

How do you deploy Socie?

Pretty wide. We share the latest news and the App is mainly used for the overview and what events are happening at the club. Also, the App is now being used to organize and schedule bar shifts. In addition, the membership list is thus well used, allowing people to contact each other. We also use the App for interaction. We also opened up the photo albums so anyone can add photos to the albums in the App. That’s really awesome though. The last module we have activated is the “Marketplace” module, where club clothing and materials are offered and exchanged. We also link to the clothing sale website.

Bekers wielerwedstrijd westland wil vooruit
The cups for the cycling race

What is the App called?

Just the Socie App.

What are you doing to keep the Socie App relevant? 

Periodically, we do an export from Clubcollect, our membership database, which we import into Socie. This is how we keep the membership relevant when there are new members. The group administrators provide current agendas so that there is an overview of what is happening on the course and in the canteen.

What has Socie brought to your community? 

Better opportunity for member involvement in the association. New members can also find a variety of information about the association in the App. And the App is a better communication tool for internal communication within the Wielervereniging Westland Wil Vooruit. 

Would you recommend Socie to other cycling clubs?

Sure. I favor digital capabilities and making things simple. Therefore, it would help if sports associations and, for example, the KNWU also offer information in a modern way that you can easily put in your App or on the website for members. Consider, for example, competition calendars. This saves not only typing, but also keeping the calendars up-to-date both in the app and on the website.

Read more

William van Rijn

Bring your community to fruition
with the Socie App

Questions? Please feel free to contact William to discuss the possibilities
that Socie can provide to your community.

This is a staging environment