England Athletics Affiliation Fee Increases

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03/10/2012 at 09:32

I’ve just had a letter from England Athletics regarding future registration fees. As expected, there will be a steep rise. The club affiliation of £50 stays the same but the others with planned year by year increases until April 2017 are:

            2013   2014   2015   2016
Seniors £20     £21    £22     £23

The fee details were accompanied, by the usual waffle and not one, but two glossy booklets (more cost!) 'justifying' the rise, for example comparing affiliation fees to other (selected) sports. 

I'm a member of a tiny running club - of only 8 members.  We've worked out, that our club (& individual) affiliation costs would rise from £90 to £210 . . . . . . . a considerable increase.

We started out some 8 or 9 years ago; after enthusiastic discussions in a pub - after which our club is named. We wanted to become a 'proper' club, so with that in mind, we affiliated to England Athletics - we have been affiliated ever since.

We are very 'average' runners and do not compete on the track; we just stick to road, trail & fell events. Thing is though, most of the other runners that we meet, are also 'ordinary' runners. In fact, I've never even met anyone who competes regularly in track & field events.

In the past, we've been to various events and others have assumed that we are just a 'pub team'; we have always been pleased to say that we are affiliated to EA and that we are a 'proper' club. From our perspective, the ability to say this, has been the only benefit of affiliation.

For our club and possibly the dozens of other small running clubs dotted about the country, I suspect that being affiliated to EA brings few other tangible benefits. I receive 'glossy' brochures every so often, but they relate to an entirely different sphere to that in which our club exists. In a sense, we don't begrudge the increases that EA are proposing; we can see the benefits that athletics brings to thousands of youngsters throughout the country. However, 'we' aren't part of that world, nor do we wish to be.

We are just a few guys who like to go out for a group training run once a week and to take part in a few races now and again; it is a very simple & basic concept and appears to be far removed from EA's agenda and bureaucratic style of operation.

As an organisation, we feel that EA is not 'interested' in small road running clubs such as ours. We believe that the increases will be the catalyst, which will lead other road running clubs to move over to the ARC.

We have discussed the fee increases and have decided that the best course of action for our club, would be to join the ARC. Oh yes, the whole process of affiliation is much easier, than it is to join EA.  

We feel that apart from saving money, the ARC is an organisation which is more closely aligned to what we do.  I like the 'simple' and uncomplicated ethos of the ARC . . . . . . . which accurately reflects the sport that we do.

 

 

UFO
03/10/2012 at 09:58

You quote the track and field increases. The "off track" increase for road runners is to £10 from 35 for the years you quote.

If you want to promote a body that isn't the NGB, doesn't get London Marathon club places and that has a chip on its shoulder, at least get your facts right or don't deliberately misrepresent them (I think I mean lie).

UFO
UFO
03/10/2012 at 09:59

From £5

UFO
03/10/2012 at 10:07

They probably included the two explanatory leaflets in order to make that sort of thing crystal clear.

03/10/2012 at 10:31
UFO wrote (see)

You quote the track and field increases. The "off track" increase for road runners is to £10 from 35 for the years you quote.

That isn't the way it reads on the forms that I've been sent !

UFO wrote (see)

If you want to promote a body that isn't the NGB, doesn't get London Marathon club places and that has a chip on its shoulder, 

The ARC appears to be well on the way to becoming the NGB which reflects the aims & needs of small running clubs.  No London Marathon places; well, we still have the option of applying within the normal ballot; and as a tiny running club, we've never been afforded any places anyway.

The ARC appears to 'have a 'chip on its shoulder', really ?  . . . Unlike yourself then 

 

UFO wrote (see)

. . . . . . .  don't deliberately misrepresent them (I think I mean lie).

I made the posting in good faith; oh yes, it was done with good manners !  

 

 

 

 

Ultra AJH    pirate
03/10/2012 at 10:41

I read the email as an increase from £5 to £10 for non running. Which seems ok.

 

That will make my total fees for running club £25. I easily save that in race fees over the year.

03/10/2012 at 11:15

What do we get for the £10 apart from paying the lower rate for races?

03/10/2012 at 12:31

The increase for road running is from £5 to £10 - it seemed quite clear to me.

That is a very big increase, can't see what we get for it.  They don't even send out dated cards any more - they now say "this card is only valid if the current registration fee has been paid".

Not sure how stores who give discounts are supposed to check if the fee has been paid!

I'll be putting it to my club members, but I expect we'll stick with EA, so that we get the LM place.

Andy - we are a tny club too (fewer than 20 members) but we get a LM place.

Edited: 03/10/2012 at 12:32
03/10/2012 at 12:40
Cinders wrote (see)

What do we get for the £10 apart from paying the lower rate for races?

A lot of sports shops (and certainly Sweatshop) give a discount to UKA members. 

03/10/2012 at 13:02

Thanks Wilkie, wasn't sure. 

UFO
03/10/2012 at 14:43

The increases are probably to compensate for the funding running out and the Government's refusal to fund the country's hobbies (Cameron's words). The last thing we need is to go the way of boxing and darts and have multiple 'governing' organisations. We already have UKA, EA etc, SEAA, counties and who knows what else. We certainly don't need ARC to muddy the waters even further.

I don't see why the process of affiliation is difficult for a club. Any competent membership secretary can sort it out.

UFO
04/10/2012 at 08:23

I belong to a road running club but also compete in the vets track and field. I guess that means I have to pay £20 in fees as I compete on track, 2 maybe 3 times a season. A quadrupling in one season seems a bit excessive but I guess at 40p a week its small beer.
What gets me is the £15 for Under11s (from zero) even though they dont need a competition licence (yet). They do get a 'goodie bag' and a booklet to tell parents how the sport works, how coaching works and how the club supports junior development. Whoopee. I gasp at how I coped when my two went thru Under 11 athletics without this wealth of information available.

IronCat5    pirate
04/10/2012 at 08:37

I'm sure I read that there is an element of insurance included too (like the BTF)?

Yes, it's doubled, and with an increase in club membership fees it will bump up the cost. But we'll all swallow it.

04/10/2012 at 08:45

The way to raise more funds is to increase membership numbers, not to increase the amount each existing member pays.  Is this increase, likely to lead to a retention of members or bring more into the sport ?  I doubt it !

The funding hasn't 'run out', EA have failed to maintain government and commercial funds. 

EA should be asking themselves . . . is this really an athlete centred approach ?

Like it or not, the ARC will gain new members from this.

04/10/2012 at 08:51
IronCat5 in the Hat wrote (see)

I'm sure I read that there is an element of insurance included too 

The ARC provides this within the membership fees; which for a club of 20 members, is a (very reasonable) total of just £40.

It is not difficult to forecast, that ARC will gain members, at the expense of EA.

04/10/2012 at 13:18

 

UFO wrote (see)

I don't see why the process of affiliation is difficult for a club. Any competent membership secretary can sort it out.

It's not at all difficult.  You log on to the portal, enter the names, send the cheque. 

The letter from UKA stated that only 8% of their funding comes from athletes - the rest from corporate sponsors, and maybe eslewhere (can't remember the detail off-hand).

Edited: 04/10/2012 at 13:21
04/10/2012 at 14:30

"I don't see why the process of affiliation is difficult for a club. Any competent membership secretary can sort it out"
In theory , correct, as Wilkie says 'log on, enter names, send the cheque" but then who do you pay for and when?

A membership secretary is responsible for ensuring all members pay (on time) and chase those that don't , otherwise the club loses money.
It largely depends upon what sort of club you have & how many members...
We have road, track, junior, first claim, second claim, student (uni), facility use members (use our track but affiliated with other 'road' clubs) and so on. Oh and family membership, so the schedule for payments is variable (and the position of member secretary voluntary). 
Our club has 400+ members some of whom - and this may surprise you - don't pay on time. Do we pay the affiliation upfront? Do you segregate those road runners that may participate in track? What if one says they won't race on track then decide they want to at a later date? Turn a blind eye? Do we just put up all the fees we charge regardless to cover any 'admin' losses? The £15 for Under11s will add 25% to the fees before the club adds any increase if necessary, ditto a road runners fee if they also do the odd track race.

Don't get me wrong its not expensive in the big scheme of things, nor in comparison to other sports (as the blurb is at pains to illustrate), but I imagine there will be a few raised eyebrows when club membership letters go out and show a (minimum) 25% increase.

04/10/2012 at 15:37

UFO - URC is well established and popular with non-track clubs. Tangible benefits for clubs at a cost that doesn't include subsidising track and field and the blazers. From what you are saying, the steep increase is down to posh boy Cameron failing to take on board the "legacy" message. Is this really true? or did UKA administrators fail to apply for funding in the correct way? I assume that you are in the know based on your virulent defense of the rise.

Having said that, I shall continue to pay the registration so that I can compete in the county XC. I anticipate that my attempts to persuade members to affiliate so I can fill my cross country teams has just been made a bit harder (we live in a low wage area)

The valid point has been made that the best way to increase revenue is increase recruitment. Slapping new charges on junior members is hardly the way to go about it.

04/10/2012 at 16:04

Dustin,  our club is very small, so bound to be easier, and we only do road running. 

However, to make it even easier, we have one standard membership fee, and those who want to be competing members pay the additional cost on top.  We get payment up front from people who want to be competing members, and add them onto the UKA dbase when they've paid.

We don't even put people who AREN'T competing members onto the UKA database.  UKA don't need their personal details for anything.

04/10/2012 at 16:46

Wilkie, we do the same. £10 annual membership with a separate levy for those who want to compete. The club is also ARC affiliated, which covers the increasing number of ARC registered races.

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