England Athletics has announced the details of its club and member body affiliation fees, and athlete registration fees, that will apply for the 2021-22 affiliation year effective from 1 April 2021.
We have also provided early details of a new England Athletics Club Development Fund that is being created in recognition of the challenges that continue to affect clubs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the 31 August athlete registration deadline date approaching, a significant proportion of clubs have already registered their athletes and we are extremely grateful for their support.
Whilst we recognise that many clubs have now made steps towards a return to organised training and competition, we are fully aware that challenges remain and that we will need to continue to monitor this situation carefully, and work together collaboratively, during the coming period as this pandemic continues to impact our way of life.
Effective from 1 April 2021
The affiliation and registration fees for 2021-22 will be as follows:
- Club and member body affiliation fee will remain at £150 per club/member body. We will next review this position in September 2021 ahead of the affiliation year starting 1 April 2022.
- Athlete registration fee will remain at £15 per person. This fee has remained unchanged since 2017-18 and we feel that this is the right decision to make now given the remaining uncertainty and numerous challenges faced by clubs, member bodies and individual athletes and runners as a result of COVID-19 related impacts.
- Club and member body affiliation fees, and athlete registration fees, for 2021-22 will be payable from 1 April onwards with all clubs required to affiliate by 30 April and with the athlete registration cut-off date, for those existing (2020-21) England Athletics registered athletes, being fixed again at 31 August to allow more time for clubs to coordinate payments in light of the continued impact of COVID-19.
- Should clubs wish to pay their athlete registration fees on 1 April or soon after as they would ordinarily do then that is absolutely fine.
- New club athletes and runners would need to be registered with England Athletics before their first competition.
- We will be digitalising our club and athlete affiliation packs including member benefits building on the approach we have taken in 2020.
- Currently 80% of our member clubs pay affiliation and registration fees online and we will be working to encourage 100% of clubs to follow this process effective from 1 April 2021, moving away from cheque payments and streamlining our payment process to provide a quick and efficient affiliation and registration service for clubs and athletes.
England Athletics Club Development Fund 2021
In recognition of the challenges faced by our member clubs during this time, and in acknowledgement of the support we have received from our members during 2020, we are looking to create a new Club Development Fund that will be open for applications from all England Athletics affiliated member clubs. We will look to allocate between £250-£2,000 towards individual projects that clubs wish to initiate to help them continue their return from the impacts of COVID-19. The full criteria for this programme will be released in the Autumn and we will be encouraging bids from clubs in late 2020 with the first grants being awarded in early 2021.
We also wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that access to our www.funetics.co.uk and www.runtogether.co.uk participation programmes remain free to our member clubs and we would encourage access to these resources to enhance your activities for younger participants and social runners in clubs, schools and communities whilst generating income to sustain the club. We understand that athletics and running clubs play a fundamental role in supporting not only the growth of our sport but in helping to address wider goals across areas such as health (mental and physical), education and community development. As a foundation sport, rooted in physical literacy there is so much to celebrate thanks to the efforts and achievements of our members and we hope that these specific resources help as we all continue to recover from the effects of COVID-19.
Reminder – Athlete Registration Deadline for 2020/21
Monday 31 August 2020 is the deadline for athletes to renew their registration with England Athletics for the current 2020/21 year (extended from the original end June deadline in recognition of the impact of COVID-19).
Membership Secretaries are therefore encouraged to login to their Secretary’s Portal and check the current payment status for athletes at their club.
Any athletes looking to pay their fee should contact their Club Membership Secretary who will be able to process the payment. If your club confirm they have sent you a payment request to pay your registration fee online and you have not received this, please make sure you check your spam or junk folder in your email account for the payment request email. You can also ask your Club Membership Secretary to resend your payment request email from the portal. If you have already paid your registration fee to your club, but you are not currently showing as registered in the myAthletics portal profile, please follow up with your Club Membership Secretary who will be able to confirm when the payment will be made from your club to England Athletics to confirm your registration.
On Tuesday 1 September, athletes whose £15 Registration fees are still outstanding will show as Not-Registered during the competition licence checks conducted by competition organisers in conjunction with England Athletics. As our sport starts to return to competition, it is important to note UK Athletics Rules for Competition G 2 (21), where athletes that fall under the Not-Registered category are liable to disqualification (although they can still compete in road, fell, hill, mountain and trail events as unattached athletes) and are no longer entitled to claim the registered athlete discount on entries into road races.
As part of our ongoing review process and webinar programme, we have sought the input and thoughts of the England Athletics National and Regional Councils and also conducted consultations to elicit the views of registered athletes and affiliated clubs/bodies to ensure that what is being offered through England Athletics membership provides value.
This exercise has also been useful in helping us understand more about how we can develop our service to meet the various needs of those in the England Athletics family. As communicated previously, the headline feedback from our last consultation (2018-19) relating specific to affiliation fees included the following:
- 78% of athletes who responded feel the current athlete registration fee of £15 represents good value for money.
- 57% of athletes say that the fee pays for itself through discounts and offers, 65% feel their fee is contributing to improving the sport and 45% feel more connected to the sport and athletics community through the payment of the fee.
- 63% of athletes stated that a £1 increase in the athlete registration fee over the next 12 months would be acceptable, 21% are neutral to the idea of an increase and 23% are against any increase. 45% of clubs who responded feel that a £1 increase is acceptable with 34% against any increase.
Our sport has been deeply affected by the pandemic that continues to disrupt our daily lives and impact on how clubs and other bodies working in the sport operate. At present there are c.35% fewer England Athletics registered athletes and runners than there were in this time during 2019. This illustrates the general challenges that clubs are facing during a time where training and competition, on and off the track, has been severely disrupted due to full or partial lockdown and the need to adapt activities against the impacts of COVID-19.
Clubs and athletes have been and are fundamental to helping the sport recover from this challenging period and we were acutely aware of this when considering our pricing structure for registered club athletes and runners. Affiliation and athlete/runner registration fees in England remain among the lowest of comparable National Governing Bodies for athletics and other sports, and England Athletics will continue to listen to views expressed by those involved in the sport to ensure fair and effective provision across athletics and running.
Plans for the rest of this year and into 2021 and beyond…
Developing opportunities for grassroots athletes and runners in England is at the heart of everything we do. Details of our existing and future plans can be viewed at www.englandathletics.org to support volunteers, grow participation numbers and to develop standards of performance up to Commonwealth Games level.
Your continued support as members of England Athletics will enable us to maintain and expand our work to improve the sport in a range of areas such as:
- Building on our Athletics & Running ‘@home’ and ‘safely distanced’ digital activities and virtual competitions that have been fundamentally important in ensuring that we could continue to support you, our members, since March this year. Working efficiently and embracing a digital approach in doing so will be core to how England Athletics operates as we look to the future where resources will continue to be restricted and capacity will be challenged.
- Continuing to focus on implementing our Track & Field action plan to improve the long-term future of track and field participation on the back of recent research and following consultation with the sport.
- Increasing the number of qualified and licensed coaches, leaders and officials across England, converting more content online wherever appropriate and providing development opportunities and resources through www.athleticshub.co.uk
- Continuing to roll out our funetics run, jump and throw programme to primary school aged children across England www.funetics.co.uk
- Continuing to invest in the popular ‘Track Nights’ and ‘Club Run’ coaching programmes for our member clubs through a combination of ‘virtual’ and face to face delivery as appropriate.
- Continuing to invest in the Age Group Masters endurance opportunities for club road runners across England of all aspirations and abilities by working with and through partner race organisers.
- Supporting talented club athletes and runners to achieve their goals through a coordinated programme of athlete development opportunities across England as we work with our partners UKA to evolve our Talent Hub programme in designated locations of England.
- Providing activities for talented club athletes to compete for their country in a coordinated international team calendar of competitions, including preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham during 2022.
- Sustained investment in competition for club athletes and runners of various abilities at a national, area and local level through our partnerships with bodies such as the English Schools Athletic Association and other innovative providers.
- Continued investment in the support provided by our staff, available to clubs across England on important matters such as coach/run leader development, facility development, equality & inclusion, club management, participation, resources, membership services, marketing resources, road running, RunTogether and volunteer recruitment.
2020-21 income and expenditure overview
As a direct result of COVID-19 we reviewed how we work during the first 6 months of this financial year.
We have previously communicated that our income has been adversely affected by the pandemic and because of this we have needed to make some changes to the way in which we operate. We furloughed c50% of our staff when the government scheme became available and we also reduced our activity expenditure and converted much of our support and service to the sport online through digital platforms (which will continue to be a core aspect of our work moving forward).
By July we realised that these steps were not enough to steer us through this period and beyond so, in addition to members of our executive and board taking pay cuts, we initiated an internal reorganisation during August 2020, reducing our overall staffing headcount from 64 to 45. Other bodies in the sporting sector have faced similar challenges and are going through their own operational changes as they battle against the impacts of this virus. This was not an easy decision to take but a necessary one to protect the organisation and to ensure its sustainability for the longer term. We are mindful that we will need to continue to review our operating costs in the coming period and if necessary, further changes may be required. The new look England Athletics will be in place from October 2021 and a summary of those changes, and key contact details, disclosed in due course but supporting our member clubs, athletes, runners, coaches and leaders, competition providers, officials and volunteers will remain central to our work as we look to the future.
Operating as a not-for-profit membership organisation
We are mindful of the need to continually listen to our member clubs and participants and to evidence where we are spending your affiliation fees to support and develop the sport. As a not-for-profit membership organisation we want people to trust the decisions that we make and to feel proud to be a part of the England Athletics family. The sources of our overall annual (2019/20) income were as follows:
- Membership and Registration 39%
- Sport England 32%
- Other Grant Funding 1%
- Courses and Workshops 14%
- Road Race Licencing 6%
- Commercial Partnerships 6%
- Event/Competition Income 1%
- Other Income 1%
We continued to receive valuable funding from our partner Sport England during this period, but our reliance on this source had been decreasing year on year thanks to the support of our clubs and athletes and commercial partnerships with sponsors who themselves have been greatly affected by this ongoing crisis. Our total expenditure, at a headline level for the year 2019-2020, was as follows:
Club Support £2.70m
Coach and Athlete Development £2.10m
Competition and Events £0.93m
Overhead and Support Costs £0.75m
Communication and Business Development £0.86m
Membership and Affiliation £0.52m
The activities of England Athletics can be followed on www.englandathletics.org and through our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages and we are always looking at ways in which we can enhance the services and programmes available to our members. We would welcome feedback and ideas on how together, we can enhance our great sport.
Thank you once again for your support of athletics and running across England and for the contribution that you all make to our great sport and we wish you all a safe and continued progressive return to activity during the latter months of 2020 and into 2021.
CEO England Athletics