Fife AC Membership fee increase

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Fife AC Membership fee increase

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At the Fife AC AGM an increase of £8/year to each membership category was approved. The AGM felt it would be helpful to post the rationale for the increase on the Forum for all the members to read. This is the first membership fee increase for five years.

Out of the membership fee our members pay, a significant amount is paid to Scottish Athletics. Of the current £38 fee for seniors, £21 is immediately passed onto Scottish Athletics as the individual’s membership of Scottish Athletics. Fife AC is extremely unusual in that the Club membership fee includes the Scottish Athletics membership fee. For example, this means that our athletes are eligible for all championship events and pay a lower entry fee at all Fife AC-organised races, and many other races in Scotland.

A further £7 from the Fife AC membership fee is also passed to Scottish Athletics as part of the Club’s affiliation fee to Scottish Athletics. Therefore out of the initial £38, only £10 per senior is retained by the Club. The proportions are similar for other membership categories, with Fife AC retaining only £3 per person for each of our juniors.

For the last 3 years, Scottish Athletics has increased their membership fee by £1/year, so £3 of each proposed increase balances out the increase passed onto the Club by Scottish Athletics.

Fife AC’s membership fee is much lower than other local clubs. At Senior level, Pitreavie charges £30, Dundee Hawkhill £37, Central £95 and their members must pay their £21 Scottish athletics membership fee in addition to this club membership fee. At junior level, Dundee Hawkhill charges £27 and Central £120 – and again athletes must also pay the £10 Scottish Athletics memberships in addition to their club membership fee.

Fife’s income comes almost entirely from the races we organize. Part of the race income is of course used to pay for the costs of the races themselves - venue hire, prizes, contributions to land owners, road closures, safety pins, printing, pens, refreshments etc. We use the remaining income in a variety of ways:

1. Race Entries: Fife AC is virtually unique in that we pay entries to Scottish Athletics Championships for Club members. In almost all clubs, athletes must pay the race entry fees themselves separately. To provide a snapshot of how much this costs, let me explain how much we have spent this XC season so far:

East District XC Relays:
• Young Females: 4 Teams @ £14.00 per team of three athletes.
• Young Males: 3 Teams @ £14.00 per team of three athletes.
• Women: 5 Teams @ £22.00 per team of three athletes.
• Men: 7 Teams @ £22.00 per team of four athletes.
• Total for the event is £362.00

National XC Relays:
• Young Females: 3 Teams @ £15.50 per team of three athletes.
• Young Males: 4 Teams @ £15.50 per team of three athletes.
• Women: 5 Teams @ £24.00 per team of four athletes.
• Men: 5 Teams @£24.00
• Total for the event is £348.50

Short Course XC in Kirkcaldy
• Juniors 14 @ £6.50
• Women 20@ £8.00
• Men 32@ £8.00
• Current total for the event is £506.00

We also pay the East League XC entries, which cost £3/person/race, a total of £448 in 2018-19.

This illustrates once again, if justification is needed, how much financial benefit the membership fee is for an active Club athlete and this is merely a snapshot of the cross-country season. It doesn’t include the Scottish Athletics National XC Championships which will be around £8/head, the Road Relays – junior and senior, Track and Field Championships, and so on.
2. We are committed to paying for our coaches to qualify and then upgrade their coaching qualifications as this is fundamental to the success of the Club. This has cost over £1500 in the last 12 months.
3. In the last 12 months we have run 4 workshops because we believe part of our role as a Club is to enhance the knowledge and understanding of Club members in a variety of areas. Workshops have associated costs in terms of venue hire and paying the speakers.
4. We are committed to supporting our best athletes to compete outside the local area, thus ensuring they can, for example, compete in UK national-level competitions. This has cost nearly £2,000 in the last 12 months.
5. We make a contribution of £1500 each year towards the running costs of Kingdom Athletic, to ensure our U17 and U20 athletes have the opportunity to compete in national T&F competition. This year, because Kingdom qualified for the UK national final, the Club contributed a further approximately £500 to the cost of the final.
6. We pay league fees for the RAM League, the Women’s League and the Forth Valley League so that our athletes can compete in T&F competitions for free. This is a further £731. We also pay the Club’s membership of the East XC League.
6. We contributed to the cost of Fife AC’s senior women’s team representing the UK in the European Athletics Team XC Championships in Portugal in February, thus providing our senior women with an international race opportunity and promoting Fife AC internationally.
7. We spend money on required training equipment. For example at the end of the summer we agreed with the Cupar training group that the Club would buy a variety of equipment needed to enhance their T&F training. The equipment will be stored in coaches’ cars/garden sheds and so it was agreed the equipment will be bought next spring, for the convenience of the coaches.
8. Club administration – while this is kept to a minimum, and our many volunteers give their time and expertise generously, there are still costs. We also have website costs, computer software costs, and so on.
9. The cost of hiring training facilities, for example at the various high schools and St Andrews University used as training bases. While these costs are largely covered by those using the facilities, the difference is paid by the Club.
10. The cost of hiring this venue for Board meeting and this AGM.
As you can imagine, this isn’t a definitive list but I hope it provides you with a clear picture of what Fife spends its money on. The accounts are available online and if you ever have a question about Club accounts, please feel free to contact the Treasurer.
Fife AC is in the fortunate position of having reserves which have built up over the years. At the end of the financial year these amounts to £24,806. However this was a reduction of £4,916 on the previous year and is equivalent to just over five months expenses. The accountants consider that the level of reserves is reasonable and adequate to allow the Club to continue for the foreseeable future. The fragility of our income stream was demonstrated last year when the ‘Beast from the East’ led to the cancellation of the Cupar 5, one of our big earners. If similar weather led to the cancellation of the Devil’s Burden, our finances would be very negatively affected. In reality, the Club is just about breaking even each year.

Therefore the Board recommended that the Fife AC membership fee be increased by £8/year from 1st January 2020. The recommendation was approved by a majority at the AGM.

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