The Membership Consultation document proposes the move away from a membership model based on the number of teams to an individual membership model to tackle some of the existing challenges faced by the sport. Do you like the idea? If not, why?
Feedback from EKA membership consultation
Thoughts from both the British Student Korfball Association (BSKA) and Norfolk Korfball Association (NKA):
1. Whether we should move away from our existing team based membership to an individual based affiliation scheme to tackle the stated problems?
In regards to changing to an individual affiliation scheme there has been a mixed response but the majority of it has been negative. Although this is not to suggest with amendments to the proposal that people aren’t willing to have an open mind when discussing the idea of an individual affiliation fee. The key area for discussion, as you eluded to in your consultation document, is that people want to know that they are getting value for their money. Currently, for many it is not obvious that the money clubs pay leads to recognisable benefits for all members (as you also mentioned, ‘cons’ pg. 6), so it ultimately comes down to
‘Can you convince members that they will
see worthwhile benefits from a change in system and cost?’
It is acknowledged that ½ clubs will be paying less, but it is vitally important to convince the clubs that will be paying more the benefits of moving to this system.
Would it be
possible for you to produce an exact breakdown of how you would plan to spend
the extra revenue? This would only have to be a 1 page document detailing what
you plan to specifically spend the
One other issue raised was that the extra administration an individual membership system would involve. Many believe this is unfair as it falls on club committees to carry out, as raised in Appendix 5 point 3. It would appear unfair to increase the administration for club committees when this is an EKA initiative and then fine clubs if they do not comply. This is an important issue for many members when feeding back on the consultation document
A change in system may impact student clubs quite heavily. Currently some club’s affiliation is covered by their University (U)/Student Union (SU) so the U/SU would have to be convinced to commit the same sum as paid for team registration to individual affiliation.
this be managed by the EKA?
students already pay insurance cover through a sports association/insurance
membership to their U/SU so could the £15 proposal being suggested be amended
to remove the £5.49 cost (listed pg. 10) out of the £15 so students aren’t
paying for insurance twice?
Furthermore, the added cost that could be incurred by University clubs may actually lead to a decrease in player growth in the HE sector. The great work student clubs are doing to increase participation is possible due to their ability to offer cheap memberships* to prospective new students. It might be counterintuitive for student clubs to have to increase their membership fee if the EKA wants to increase player participation to 10,000.
*It must be
noted that not all student clubs provide cheap join-up fees. Many universities
make their club participants purchase a gym membership if they want to join a
sports club. An increase in affiliation fees would further increase the hefty
sum that some individuals may have to invest, to play korfball.
This is not to say we don’t think students should also help fund the sport as everyone else is doing, but it needs to be done carefully as to not stunt growth in the HE sector.
Would it be possible financially to offer free affiliation to members in their first year, for both community and student players? Once individuals are embedded within a club, it is more likely they would see no issue in having to pay to continue to play korfball if it was offered at a reasonable cost.
*Also a note of caution to consider, a number of the BSKA members are not affiliated to the EKA as they are Welsh or Scottish, although Cardiff pay some money to the EKA to play in the South West regional league.
How would this impact Cardiff as one example?
2. If so, do you support the
proposed membership categories (i.e. casual/active) inclusive of how we
classify casual vs non casual membership*
We think you need to look at how you define a casual member. If they play one game they don’t get charged but if they play two they do, so maybe this needs a tweak to 5 games.
3. Do the membership
benefits and fee represent value to your club and its members?
We don’t think the membership benefits stated offer value for money at the moment. As mentioned previously would it be possible for you to produce an exact breakdown of how you plan to spend the extra revenue? This would only have to be a 1 page document.
What specific benefits would student clubs receive from the change in affiliation system?
As at the moment student clubs don’t understand how the EKA benefits them, so why would they want to ask their members to pay more?
5. Our proposals and principles to tackle the deficit in income?
We understand the importance of not using
the reserves but we would like to know what other major projects the EKA
require money for as there has already been investment into the development of
the new coaching course. Surely with the significant coaching investment having
occurred already there will not be the need to increase revenue/use the
reserves to cover this again.
Option 2 – Raise new income through charging casual members, volunteers, referees and officials?
Agree with you sentiments that it is not an option to charge volunteers, officials and referees.
Option 3 – Reduce current scope of services provided
What would a reduced service look like? Would what we keep and what would we lose out on if we decided not to adopt the new affiliation system?
6. Additional suggestions / areas we should look to invest in (i.e. funding for clubs)?
What other areas are being explored to increase revenue into the sport, either through sponsorship or grant requests to Sport England?
7. Whether you would support an
increase in the current fee to support greater investment into the Sport, and
if so, on what?
Participation - Get the bottom of the sports development continuum right first as it will increase revenue to support other elements such as the ‘International’ programme. I think the Inspire programme is a good start to this but needs to be expanded. In addition, there needs to be more investment in the HE sector as this is the largest sector for growth.
I think an app would be nice but more important areas to prioritise.
Questions and other
Can you provide a range of examples of how much other sports charge for individual affiliation?
Also with number 5 of the strategic priorities being to grow the playing base to 10,000 members it does appear counterintuitive to make new members pay an individual upfront cost if we want to achieve this.
key recommendations from British Student Korfball Association and Norfolk
1) The EKA needs to outline specifically how they would spend the increased revenue to deliver a better service to members under a new affiliation scheme.
Rationale: The membership need to have trust that this is a worthwhile change based upon improving the sport.
2) First year individual affiliation should be made free.
Rationale: If we want to encourage new players into our sport and reach the target of 10,000 players we should attempt to remove the initial barrier of cost.
3) It is not for club committees to administer individual affiliation.
Rationale: Club committee’s already large workload should not increase because of this change in the affiliation process.
4) Student fee should be reduced from £15 by £5.49 to £9.51 due to students already having paid insurance cover.
Rationale: Students should not be having to pay for insurance through the EKA affiliation as they have already paid insurance via their University/Student Union.
5) The EKA needs to invest further funding into HE Korfball as this is the biggest sector for growth.
Rationale: Currently, student clubs do not feel they get enough support from the EKA so would be reluctant to charge their members increased fees without a significant return on that financial contribution.