In my previous post “Rogainers are Getting Older” I looked at the average age of rogainers and the fact that, on average, rogainers are getting older. This led to a number of questions like:
- If we have relatively more older rogainers which age groups are not coming?
- If we have a decline in some age groups is this just relative or absolute as well.
- Are more pople coming to rogaines?
So here is a barrage of graphs to try and help answer these questions:
The graph above is a count of all Paddy Pallin participants by event. This graph may not exactly match with participant numbers for the early events becasue I have excluded all records whose age was not known but the trend is correct. You can see participation peaked with the 2006 Paddy Pallin Wingello rogaine and numbers appear to be declining since that time. The number of people who attend an event is often quite dependent on distance travelled to the event, but we have repeated locations such as Colo which help to confirm the trend.:
- 2004 Upper Colo Paddy Pallin Rogaine 594 partcipants (age known)
- 2019 Upper Colo Paddy Pallin Rogaine 499 partcipants (age known)
The big question is why did attendance at Paddy Pallin rogaines peak in 2007 and what do we do about it?
The primary purpose of this post was to look at rogaining partcipation by age bands, not to look at partcipation rates overall.
This graph looks at % of partcipants by age band. There is a lot going on here but even a casual look would suggest that our 20-30 and 30-40 aged particpants are declining in numbers in relative terms. Note that these are percentages so one age group cannot increase without impacting another.
Here is the same data as a stacked area chart.
The charts above are quite busy so I have separated the older and younger age bands onto separate graphs:
The graph focusses on the older age groups and you can see the relative increase of the >50s but a decline in both the 30-40 and the 40-50 age groups.
This graph separates the youger age groups and you can see a clear decline in the % of 20-30 year old particpants.
The obvious conclusion to draw from these two graphs is that, at the Paddy Pallin events we are losing the middle aged partcipants i.e. those between 20 and 50 and experiencing growth in the over 50s and small growth in the under 20s.
This graph focuses on the count of particpants in the 20-30 and 30-40 age bands and there is a clear run off of participants in the middle aged bands since the 2006 Paddy Pallin rogaine at Wingello.
This set of graphs answers as many question as it resolves. For me this raises the following questions:
- Was the 2006 Paddy Pallin event the peak event for rogaining or just the Paddy Pallin event?
- Why are we losing middle aged partcipants at the Paddy Pallin events? What’s changed since 2006? What do we do about it?
The only way to definitively know why we are losing “middle aged” participants is to ask them. You should have their email addresses, most of which will still be valid, especially the more recent ones. Why not conduct an “exit poll” and simply ask them why they have stopped going to the Paddy Pallin and / or other rogaines? If they are not coming back, it won’t hurt to ask …