Archery in Great Britain is growing fast. Events such as London 2012 and films such as The Hunger Games have generated interest and membership is at an all-time high at nearly 47,000. That is a 32 per cent increase since 2012, with 40 per cent more juniors and a 37 per cent rise in women members.
Over the last four years we have attracted 1.2 million in funding for the development of archery, from non-commercial partners including Sport England, Youth Sport Trust and Sports Coach UK. That funding has been spent is through the distribution of small grants for clubs, disability projects and the development of our increasing participation clubs.
Since 2013 UK Sport has invested five million into the Archery GB Olympic and Paralympic programme for the Rio 2016 cycle. In 2013 we received our first ever talent investment from Sport England of a whopping £750,000, which enabled us to launch three regional performance academies. Due to exceeding our targets in the first two years, this year we received an additional talent funding of £109,000 from Sport England's rewards and incentive funding. Archery GB was one of only three to receive the funding out of 40 that applied.
The additional funding has allowed us to develop seven Archery Training Centres to support the National Talent Development programme, which underpins the academy selection.
Membership fee changes
Membership is at the forefront of all we do at Archery GB and this is evident in the year on year growth we have seen. Our growth is fantastic news for the sport and Archery GB aims to ensure that we are delivering the best possible service to our members, which means putting the member at the heart of everything we do. We want to ensure we continue to offer the best customer service to all our members. In November last year, we held three roadshows to present and gain feedback on some ideas for a new fee structure which, we believe, will make our sport fairer.
Currently Archery GB has en-bloc clubs for juniors. We have nearly 11,000 junior members of which 82 per cent are members of junior en-bloc clubs. Each junior en-bloc club pays the same en-bloc fee, but the clubs vary in size.
The average size of a junior en-bloc club is 17 members, but they can range from two or three members to over 100. Most of the clubs pass on the en-bloc fee to their junior members, which means the amount our junior club member's pay can vary from less than £1 in the bigger clubs, around £4 in an average sized club, to over £20 in our smaller clubs.
It is clear from these figures that this type of fee structure is unfair to some junior members, some receive very inexpensive or, in some cases, free membership, whereas juniors who are not in an en-bloc club can pay as much as a £47 fee. During the roadshows we presented ideas on how we can make our sport fair for all juniors by introducing a small fee for all juniors instead of the club en-bloc fee. Following feedback from the roadshows we propose to introduce a small fee for juniors, which we propose will be set at 25 per cent of the senior members' fee (aged 25 and over).
Archers with disabilities
Archery GB also has en-bloc clubs for archers with disabilities. There is currently no charge to the members of these clubs. However, depending on how members affiliate, the fees for archers with disabilities can vary from £49 to free of charge. We are very proud of the inclusive approach in our sport and following feedback from our roadshows and discussions with the disabilities committee, it is felt that we should ensure parity across our sport. We believe that archers with disabilities should be able to join any club at a reduced rate and propose the introduction of a small fee for archers with disabilities, set at 25 per cent of the senior members' fee (aged 25 and over).
We have a number of clubs in schools, guides and scouts troops. Our intention is for these clubs to continue to affiliate as an en-bloc club. Our concern is that the introduction of a fee for these clubs might be a barrier to participation, which would be detrimental to our sport.
During the roadshows, we presented ideas to introduce a reduced fee for students. However following feedback from the roadshows, it was clear that the introduction of a university student membership fee could be a barrier to participation. Further work and a clearer understanding are needed before making any changes to the way universities affiliate.
The full details of the new fee structure can be viewed on page nine of the AGM Information booklet. To register your vote, please contact your club secretary. If you have any queries regarding the proposal please contact membership services by calling 01952 677888 or email email@example.com