Why clubs exist

A club is a community of local recreational pilots who share a passion for the sport and who pool their resources for a common purpose.

Clubs play a vital role in the growth and development of the sport:

  1. Skill Development and Training: clubs often provide development programs for beginners, helping them acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to safely enjoy the sport. Experienced pilots within the club may offer guidance and mentorship to novices.
  2. Safety and Regulation Compliance: Clubs play a crucial role in promoting safety standards and ensuring that members adhere to local regulations and best practices. This includes organising safety workshops, providing information on weather conditions, and disseminating guidelines for responsible flying.
  3. Community Building: Paragliding can be a solitary activity, but a club creates a sense of community among its members. Regular meet-ups, events, and social gatherings foster camaraderie, allowing enthusiasts to share experiences, stories, and tips.
  4. Access to Flying Sites: Paragliding clubs often maintain relationships with landowners and authorities to secure access to suitable flying sites. They may work to preserve these sites, advocating for responsible use and environmental conservation.
  5. Organizing Events and Competitions: Clubs organize various events, competitions, and festivals that bring the paragliding community together. These events not only showcase the skills of seasoned pilots but also encourage friendly competition and the exchange of knowledge.
  6. Equipment Support: Many paragliding clubs provide resources and advice on equipment, helping members choose and maintain their gear. This includes information on the latest technology, safety equipment, and maintenance practices.
  7. Communal facilities: some clubs may provide facilities to members such as clubhouse, hangars and storage containers.

Supporting role

While SAHPA focuses predominantly on elements of governance, risk and compliance, the clubs focus predominantly on nurturing safety and fostering a sense of community with members. However, SAHPA plays a supportive role, for instance, when there are discipline or safety issues.