Compulsory membership killed the growth of the sport...going gang busters, sold out races then someone came up with an idea of growing themembership of the national association as the expense of clubs. Club members who didn't join the national association just walked away, lost and it was as high as between 60% and 80% at some clubs, I know my club at the time was one such.
Great idea to try an increase sponsorship by showing large member numbers but when you punt the fringes of the sport, you end up with a free fall in membership like you have now as you killed the pathway of people trying the sport without commitment. Anyone looking at it, can see the sudden growth, with a current year on year decline and will question where the sport is headed. Anyone that understands the sport and people could tell you membership decline they currently have year after year was coming, is simply a natural default of the model chosen, bit like a pyramid scheme when you think about it.
The sport will land at its right membership level eventually, not sure if 18/19's numbers are out yet but would be disappointed if its still in free fall membership wise like above, hopefully they've halted it or even improved it. I suspect they'll reach the decline point of compulsory membership at some with an ever increasing population in Australia. Triathlon will continue but it will never be like the times Roxii talks about above. It's still a great sport and deserves respect. Probably should explore its history a bit more like with what jabbs posted the other day...assuming of course you want to grow the sport.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. In jabbs we trust. Stuffed if I know why they dont beg him to take it over.