It’s been two months since I was elected as chair of Halesowen A & CC. The time has flown by and it’s been a very rewarding experience. I’ve enjoyed working with the committee discussing new ideas and events for 2018.
We have spent a lot of time discussing the financial situation of the athletic section and in particular our membership fees for the next few years.Hopefully by the time you read this notification the new membership form for 2018-19 should be available on the club web site.
You’ll notice the form has changed from previous years as we’ve attempted to rationalise the fees and bring clarity and simplification to the subscription process.
This year the payment amounts have been “split”. We found that many members are unaware that a large proportion of the money we collect from each of you is passed on to the main club committee who manage and pay for the general infrastructure and maintenance of the club. This amount is set by the main club committee in agreement with representatives from the athletic section and each of the club’s other sections, Cycling, Tennis, Weights and Social. The clubhouse, bar, changing rooms, shower facilities, smithy, floodlights and club grounds are all paid for and managed by the main club committee. They pay around £20,000 – £25,000 each year for gas, electric and water, £10,000 to £12,000 on grounds maintenance and £8,000 to £10,000 on insurance premiums to protect the facilities we all enjoy.
We are unique as a club that we own our facilities, this brings benefits that we are in charge of our own destiny and can use the facilities such the track, changing rooms and clubhouse pretty much without limitation, however on the flip side of the coin it does bring a bring a huge level of responsibility on the voluntary officers of the club and athletic section that requires a great deal of time and commitment.
The main financial liability of the athletic section is of course, the track, that all of us have the opportunity to use throughout the year. This track was constructed 21 years ago in 1997. The average lifespan of a track such as this is 30 years so the track has a nominal refurbishment date of 2027. For the past few years the athletic section committee have been aware of our responsibility to pay for the track to be replaced and to this end a “Track Fund” account was set up and monies have been consistently ring fenced for this purpose.
The athletic section is not funded by the local council, central government, England Athletics or any other generous benefactor, the financial responsibility falls squarely on our shoulders. We are a “not-for-profit” organisation, but we realise that as a committee we owe it to all current members, the wider community, and future generations to be financially viable and sustainable in the long term. We still have a few years to sort out this situation but this year we thought we’d take our time in reviewing subscription rates and to gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision in order that we can ensure the future of the athletic club and its fantastic facilities. To this end,
- We have obtained two quotes to replace the track, both in the region of £100,000 + VAT at today’s prices.
- We have produced a financial plan projecting our financial situation over the next ten years.
- We have examined closely the subscription rates we charge you, the members of athletic club, and found significant variations across the differing categories that we felt we had to address.
- We noted members concerns at having to pay fees so early into the New Year and we’ve agreed to move our subscription year to a new start date of 1st April. In effect you’re currently getting three months FREE!!
- We’ll be introducing a “Card Payment” facility so subscriptions can be paid quickly and easily by credit or debit card.
- We’ve carried out research into fees charged by other athletic clubs and concluded that our fees remain very competitive with what other clubs are charging based on fair use of the facilities.
We are aware that it may be possible to access funding to help with the cost of track replacement but most of this would be on a “match funded” basis requiring the club to find a minimum of £60,000. Also, we cannot speculate on what funding may be available in the future so, in the short term we have to budget for the full cost of replacing the track.
We’ve taken the stance that “we’re all in this together” and decided that, with every member having the opportunity to benefit equally from the facilities we offer we would charge a flat fee, across the board of £50 per person. We believe that this fee will remain static until March 2020. The subscription rates this year have risen for many; for one membership category they have fallen slightly.
As mentioned previously we have moved the subscription year to April 1st however we request that any “NEW” members who have not previously registered with the club do so immediately; your membership will be valid until 31st March 2019. Dates will be published shortly when we will be available in the clubhouse with membership forms to take payments via Card, Cheque or Cash.
For existing members, we request fees are paid by April 1st, 2018, although we’ll be delighted to take payment early which will save our hard-working volunteers the job of chasing you for your fees.
Also, I will be available in the clubhouse on the following dates to answer in person, any questions you have, alternatively you can contact me by e-mail or phone, details below.
Monday 29th January – 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Wednesday 31st January – 8.15pm – 10.15pm
Tuesday 6th February – 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Wednesday 7th February – 8.15pm – 10.15pm
Thursday 8th February – 7.30pm – 9.30pm
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone – 07564 374226
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for supporting the committee in planning for the future of your club
Halesowen A & CC
New Membership Form 2018 Membership Form