England Athletics Affiliation Fee Increases

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.

 

 

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Comments

  • 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).

  • From £5

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

  • 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 image

     

    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 !  

     

     

     

     

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • Thanks Wilkie, wasn't sure. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. image

  • 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.

  • 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.

  •  

    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).

  • "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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • I really can't afford it any more. I belong to an athletics club and partake in track and field events, I also do xc and offroad races though the number of those is small. Financially I'd be better off not paying EA affiliation.

    The club I am / was a member of has enough trouble getting runners to race. This added expense is just going to mean that more people, esp female runners, will say no.

    It's going to price a lot of people out or make them rethink club membership.

  • It must be a big club KK..If they pay the membership and affiliation fees of all the fast runners  then all the slower ones would be paying twice as much for the privilege to watch the fast ones zoom off........

    you must have very rich slow members there .there would be an uproar in the valleys if our club tried that image

    welsh athletics is seperate I believe and doubled there fees last year I seem to remember

  • right...misunderstood..everyone pays the same here at our club.....so not sure how the opting in and out works..irrepsective if you race or not

    maybe the bigs clubs acan get sponsorship that pays the racing fees for all.....might be a good idea

  • I'll pay but begrudgingly. I'm unloved a lot in athletics and EA and UKA are bloody useless. The vast majority of people who are effectual ate volunteers or on very low wages. The middle management and top brass are ***ing useless.



    This money is to keep the top brass in their 100k salaries.



    I can see a lot of clubs defecting to the ARC and good luck to them.



    Have you seen the latest EA requirements for a road race
  • That should have said involved, unloved was a Freudian fat finger!
  • kittenkat wrote (see)

    You don't actually need affiliation unless you want to compete in races that it is necessary for.

    That's true - the majority of races you can enter without being affiliated.  At £5 a year, you only had to enter three races to recover your outlay, now it'll be five.  A lot of our members only do two or three local races a year. 

    Clubs should offer members the option of being affiliated personally, or not.  It doesn't really add to the admin, especially if you only register your competing members on the dbase.

    It's easy to separate them - at our club membership is due in September, then in March I ask all members if they want to be competing members, get the dosh from those who do, and put them on the dbase.

    I think that from next year there will be fewer.  As a club we'll probably stick with EA, in order to get the VLM place.

     

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