Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reports that the Norwegian ski federation’s membership numbers increased by 21% last year. “That’s nice, but we are going to get even bigger,” says ski-president Sverre Seeberg.
There are 146,000 registered members in the Norwegian Ski Federation. Norway’s population is 4.5 million. The increase from the previous year was 26,000 new members.
“We are increasing in all disciplines and all age groups” said an excited vice-president Kristin Felde to Aftenposten.
She believes that the increase is a result of good snow conditions, goal-oriented youth recruiting and better recruiting routines. The membership target is 160,000 before 2007.
“We have a potential reservoir in skiers that are taking part in activities but are not registered members. We can learn something from golf. You can’t get onto a Norwegian golf course without being a registered member. Only half of the racers in the Birkie are members of a club,” said Seeberg.
All disciplines experienced a nice increase this year.
“Great numbers. Everything is pointing toward continues growth,” says alpine committee leader, Odd Erik Karlsen.
“It looks like the parents are getting better at taking their kids to the tracks and that the emphasis on ski schools are paying off,” says Nordic combined leader Arnar Lien.
Cross country reports that they see increased participation in regional youth championship competitions and that they see fewer drop-outs among 14-18-year olds.
Membership numbers 2003 (increase from 2002) as reported to Aftenposten:
Cross country 112,733 (+18.7 %)
Alpine 22,124 (+24.1 %)
Ski jumping 7004 (+42.2 %)
Nordic Combined 1679 (+36.6 %)
Telemark 1623 (+47.5 %)
Freestyle 818 (+138.5 %) Â