Archery funding doubled

PLEASE HELP TO FUND ARCHERY INTERCHANGE

Kerf

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I was saying that I am concerned once the money is spent as allocated will they then spend more money from elsewhere on the same thing.
If a grant is given for say a staff position and that position is then determined to be at a higher salary (lets say the minimum wage has changed as an example) the person will still have to be paid but the top up will come from more general membership funds and there is no possibility that any benefit can be had by the wider membership as a result of the post being created.

Used to get it all the time with research funding in universities. Some depts have got it so wrong they end up subsidising the research to the tune of 50% of the entire departments budget. Some loss leader.
I tend to agree. More than likely AGB will use some of this windfall to hire new staff like a psychologist or “wellness” coach or some other “expert”.
I say again and will continue until I’m blue in the face, no-one really cares about Olympic success or believes it swells the ranks of hobby archers. AGB SHOULD be an organisation which first and foremost looks after the interests of grass roots archers and the clubs to which they belong. Instead it has built an expensive structure to support the myth that Olympic medals and elite programmes are good for archery as a whole.
Cut away all the fat, the elite programmes and all their trimmings and membership costs would fall, clubs would (hopefully) be better supported and membership would rise. It’s a pretty big ask for each new adult archer to stump up £50 odd quid on top of club fees each year. Not so much of an ask if AGB membership was, say, £15 a year. More members mean more funds in the central coffers, SHOULD mean more support for clubs etc. It’s the economies of scale.
And while I’m on, ditch the printed hard copy magazine and, if we have to have it, make it e-mail version only. Can’t for the life of me understand why AGB needs a magazine when it has a website as well (though that could benefit from some work too.)
Rant over.
Kerf
 

ATH

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I tend to agree. More than likely AGB will use some of this windfall to hire new staff like a psychologist or “wellness” coach or some other “expert”.
I say again and will continue until I’m blue in the face, no-one really cares about Olympic success or believes it swells the ranks of hobby archers. AGB SHOULD be an organisation which first and foremost looks after the interests of grass roots archers and the clubs to which they belong. Instead it has built an expensive structure to support the myth that Olympic medals and elite programmes are good for archery as a whole.
Cut away all the fat, the elite programmes and all their trimmings and membership costs would fall, clubs would (hopefully) be better supported and membership would rise. It’s a pretty big ask for each new adult archer to stump up £50 odd quid on top of club fees each year. Not so much of an ask if AGB membership was, say, £15 a year. More members mean more funds in the central coffers, SHOULD mean more support for clubs etc. It’s the economies of scale.
And while I’m on, ditch the printed hard copy magazine and, if we have to have it, make it e-mail version only. Can’t for the life of me understand why AGB needs a magazine when it has a website as well (though that could benefit from some work too.)
Rant over.
Kerf
Your absolutely living on a different planet if you think cutting the elite program would make membership drop by 70%!!! The true number is likely somewhere between £1-4 per membership depending on how much you count things like the youth pathway programs.

AGB does spend most of its money on the membership as a whole. Yes the elite program exists and yes it spends a lot of money as well, but the point is that money comes from UK sport. The reality is that the costs of running a national governing body are larger than most people realise from their armchairs, and the elite program looks like a great target to blame.

Having said all that I completely agree there's no need to spend a significant proportion of the membership fee (more than goes towards the elite program!) on printing costs for a hard magazine.
 

little-else

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Re: the magazine. A massive portion of the cost is the printing and distribution rather than its creation. I would be happy if AGB sent a copy to my club for those that cant acces it online and made it available online in a format you can actually easily read. The costs of running the offices etc at Lillieshall are quite significant and I would suggest that a move to somewhere else such as Bisley would make sense. After all, the NRA, NSRA and the CPSA are all based there, there is enough acreage to accommodate some very large archery matches as well as permanent field and target set ups.
There may then be other economies of scale and certainly overlap in what is needed for "performance" when it comes to staffing for sports psychololgy, fitness, etc. and being together would make it easier for each body to argue that the begging bowl should be filled by Sport England.

AGB is living eyond its means when you consider that intangible of value for money. We have no choice but to stump up what they ask for or we cant exist either. The smaller organisations can keep their costs down because they are small and are by and large reliant on goodwill. The big thing that peopel are interested is insurance and I have oft argued that the club insurnace is separated from the other affiliation costs knowing damned well AGB wont do that because it is commercial suicide to offer it as a separate benefit
 

Kerf

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Your absolutely living on a different planet if you think cutting the elite program would make membership drop by 70%!!! The true number is likely somewhere between £1-4 per membership depending on how much you count things like the youth pathway programs.

AGB does spend most of its money on the membership as a whole. Yes the elite program exists and yes it spends a lot of money as well, but the point is that money comes from UK sport. The reality is that the costs of running a national governing body are larger than most people realise from their armchairs, and the elite program looks like a great target to blame.

Having said all that I completely agree there's no need to spend a significant proportion of the membership fee (more than goes towards the elite program!) on printing costs for a hard magazine.
If you actually read what I wrote you would see I opined that membership costs would fall if AGB “cut away all the fat, the elite programmes and all their trimmings...”. That is ALL the fat, as well the elite programmes, not just the elite programmes.
As little-else suggests, decamping from Lilleshall would be a start.
But let’s just look at the value for money element. This is from AGB’s website:
“Archery GB is the national governing body and provides infrastructure for the sport, such as membership services, website and magazine. It also has a performance unit delivering services to development and elite squads and teams for junior, senior and disabled archers, and is supported by national agencies such as UK Sport.”
For the sake of argument let’s ignore the performance unit and see what else AGB says about itself and the benefits it brings to it’s members. Again, I quote directly from it’s own website:
“an introduction to the sport through have-a-go events and beginner’s courses” - I thought clubs did that.
records, badges and awards” - as most of the organisation is done by clubs, counties and regions sending in details that is hardly a huge benefit
“guidance and coaching” - Guidance? Coaching is done through clubs by members who have paid for the “privilege” of attending coaching courses. Arguably the best coaching comes from experienced archers in the clubs.
safeguarding” - someone wrote some generic safeguarding guidelines, or cut and pasted them from Sport Uk or another national body, and then made them available on the website. My club got much more practical safeguarding advice from a local copper who’s a member ( though I recognise that is not available to all).
“a sporting structure including clubs, counties and regions” - waffle to fill out the corporate speak mission statement. Most of the counties and regions are sitting on membership monies of which the clubs, especially in these straitened times, have seen sod all.
“tournaments and talent pathways” - ahh, the performance unit rears its head again.
governance” - telling us how to suck eggs and defining the difference between have-a-go and taster sessions.
“support and advice” - erm?
insurance” - finally. The catch all that makes AGB a closed shop.
Oh, and please remember “joining Archery GB means you are supporting our mission to lead, grow and promote archery to create better value for our sport.”
Seems to me we’re all being taken for a ride.
And why can’t the performance unit exist solely on it’s recently doubled funding? Is it because a) it calls the shots at AGB and b) because it’s too fat?
 

dvd8n

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Re: the magazine. A massive portion of the cost is the printing and distribution rather than its creation. I would be happy if AGB sent a copy to my club for those that cant acces it online and made it available online in a format you can actually easily read.
I was always a big cheerleader for the magazine but recently I've started to question its existence; I realised that the only reasons that I wanted a physical magazine were that I wanted a tangible benefit for my membership fee, and that I could read it in the bath. However, I've realised that I need to find some place to keep them, I never read the old copies, and I don't remember when I didn't just shower for the sake of convenience.

And I'm not a fan of PDFs or online magazine readers as to me they just seem to me to combine the disadvantages of physical and digital media with none of the advantages.

Meanwhile, AGB has a website with a news section that I rarely visit as it's not updated often enough with compelling enough material to drive me to the page. I'm now of the opinion that the articles should be put online as they are written, interspersed with the news, driving people to the AGB website. With a comment facility, it could perhaps encourage community too.
 

Kerf

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I was always a big cheerleader for the magazine but recently I've started to question its existence; I realised that the only reasons that I wanted a physical magazine were that I wanted a tangible benefit for my membership fee, and that I could read it in the bath. However, I've realised that I need to find some place to keep them, I never read the old copies, and I don't remember when I didn't just shower for the sake of convenience.

And I'm not a fan of PDFs or online magazine readers as to me they just seem to me to combine the disadvantages of physical and digital media with none of the advantages.

Meanwhile, AGB has a website with a news section that I rarely visit as it's not updated often enough with compelling enough material to drive me to the page. I'm now of the opinion that the articles should be put online as they are written, interspersed with the news, driving people to the AGB website. With a comment facility, it could perhaps encourage community too.
Your website and comment facility is an excellent idea. AGB might learn a few home truths, which is why they won’t do it.
 

dvd8n

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Your website and comment facility is an excellent idea. AGB might learn a few home truths, which is why they won’t do it.
At one time I would have said the same thing but I've heard things that would lead me to believe that the current board recognises that it has an issue with grass roots enthusiasm for AGB and would like to fix things.

Whether that's true or not I don't know but I'm trying to be positive.
 

mk1

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If you actually read what I wrote you would see I opined that membership costs would fall if AGB “cut away all the fat, the elite programmes and all their trimmings...”. That is ALL the fat, as well the elite programmes, not just the elite programmes.

~~~~~

And why can’t the performance unit exist solely on it’s recently doubled funding? Is it because a) it calls the shots at AGB and b) because it’s too fat?
But it does exist on its own. Several people have stated this - it's not just rue for archery, it's true for many other sports too. If the government funding went then the performance department would go. I'd opine that then Sport England would withdraw the development money it provides to the sport to help clubs develop and grow and improve how they are run. Sport England also support young athletes on the Olympic pathway - that and the banks of mums & dads.

Yes, maybe we are all a part of a government plan for our sports to excel on the world stage but just because you don't want to be an Olympic archer or even your club champion doesn't mean that others don't. It's quite a complex picture but many places, such as sports centres and school won't let to a club that isn't part of a governing body with safety standards and equity rules etc. I get that you can go out on a bike and go to your local swimming pool without having to pay to join a club so I can see how you consider membership a tax you are forced to pay.

If you look back in history though you have to ask why clubs came together more than 150 years ago to form a governing body. Not just archery other sports too. I watched a program on womens' golf a few weeks ago they started out as a few individuals who eventually formed associations and created inter club competitions and then British Championships etc.

As a competative archer for many years I've benefited from governing bodies at all levels, club, county and region/home nations; and thanks to world archery I've been able to shoot abroad in competition and on holiday. Some sports charge different levels of fees depending on level of participation with a bit of slack in the system to allow people to dip their toe into the next level of participation. These things take time, there is often the old guard - and we all become that eventually :) - who don't want anything to change and it's taken a few years of governance change at AGB to inject a level of agility and broader knowledge of how things can be done.
 

Kerf

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But it does exist on its own. Several people have stated this - it's not just rue for archery, it's true for many other sports too. If the government funding went then the performance department would go. I'd opine that then Sport England would withdraw the development money it provides to the sport to help clubs develop and grow and improve how they are run. Sport England also support young athletes on the Olympic pathway - that and the banks of mums & dads.

Yes, maybe we are all a part of a government plan for our sports to excel on the world stage but just because you don't want to be an Olympic archer or even your club champion doesn't mean that others don't. It's quite a complex picture but many places, such as sports centres and school won't let to a club that isn't part of a governing body with safety standards and equity rules etc. I get that you can go out on a bike and go to your local swimming pool without having to pay to join a club so I can see how you consider membership a tax you are forced to pay.

If you look back in history though you have to ask why clubs came together more than 150 years ago to form a governing body. Not just archery other sports too. I watched a program on womens' golf a few weeks ago they started out as a few individuals who eventually formed associations and created inter club competitions and then British Championships etc.

As a competative archer for many years I've benefited from governing bodies at all levels, club, county and region/home nations; and thanks to world archery I've been able to shoot abroad in competition and on holiday. Some sports charge different levels of fees depending on level of participation with a bit of slack in the system to allow people to dip their toe into the next level of participation. These things take time, there is often the old guard - and we all become that eventually :) - who don't want anything to change and it's taken a few years of governance change at AGB to inject a level of agility and broader knowledge of how things can be done.
The performance unit doesn’t exist on its own though, does it because all the elite programmes take money from the general membership fee.
Is there an accounting how how much money has been spent on helping clubs “develop, grow and improve how they are run” against the money received for this? And exactly how does AGB help clubs directly - I see little evidence of this in these pages and other forums?
I am happy you enjoy the competitive element of archery and that you feel you have benefited from the club, county and regional structure. But you pay the same membership fee as me so get more bang for your buck. You can therefore probably understand why us grassroots archers don’t feel so well served by AGB.
The idea of having a base level of membership with graduated increases for the more competitive archers, or a lower general membership and increasing competition charges (so one pays for one’s increased participation) has been mooted on these pages before with an interesting mix of reactions.
I am not trying to do away with AGB. But I do want to make it equitable with at least an appearance of value for money for all archers. I fear that eventually AGB will be lording it over just the few thousand archers who are willing to pay ever increasing fees while the rest of us have packed away our bows for ever.
 

mk1

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The performance unit doesn’t exist on its own though, does it because all the elite programmes take money from the general membership fee.
You seem to be quite sure of this. From what I know AGB membership fund performance modestly for non-Olympic - ie Compound and Field. They get more than enough SportUK money for the Olympic side without taking from the membership money which is used to run the membership office - Child protection, Record Status events oversight, badges, coaching - courses need developed and run - and judges etc not to mention manning the phones.


Is there an accounting how how much money has been spent on helping clubs “develop, grow and improve how they are run” against the money received for this? And exactly how does AGB help clubs directly - I see little evidence of this in these pages and other forums?
I am happy you enjoy the competitive element of archery and that you feel you have benefited from the club, county and regional structure. But you pay the same membership fee as me so get more bang for your buck. You can therefore probably understand why us grassroots archers don’t feel so well served by AGB.
Of course there is accounting - it's government money. The annual accounts are published every year. You po-hoo'd governance in an earlier post - one facit of good governance is financial oversight.
 

Kerf

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Of course there is accounting - it's government money. The annual accounts are published every year. You po-hoo'd governance in an earlier post - one facit of good governance is financial oversight.
The fact that AGB does its accounts etc, as do all organisations, charities and businesses, is hardly a boastable benefit for its members. It’s an obligation. THAT’s my point.
 

little-else

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The voluntary aspects of what we pay our money for is common to most sports, the coaching, judging, organisation of tournaments ect is all doen by volunteers who if they are lucky get given their petrol money and a box of choccies but will have had to spend a good few quid to get the necessary qualificatiosn to begin with. The council of AGB may very well be stacked with professional people but the rule chaneg adopted a few years ago stops anyone from joining that group who isnt a chartered accountant or whatever and so the impression is given that they top is remote from the bottom because they have got there by a different path and your average club member who is interested in putting in a bit more effort cant actually join that group ever.
I remember Bimble expressing an interest in being a judge a while back and thougt it odd to give up competitive archery at such a young age whilst he is still fit to shoot t do something that would be such a drain on his time shooting becomes almost impossible. When you do a coaches course you are charges and the people who run the course egt their expenses back but the county makes a profit from the whole thing. This isnt a small amount per prospective coach where I live so the new coach will have much more time to allocate to the course, coaching etc and that reduces their time in participating themselves. Yes, there will be personal benefits and a general feeling of repaying the community but where does AGB head office actually come into this relationship?
Do we need county and regional organisations? and why does someone who joins AGB directly have to pay towards something they have decided they dont want to be part of anyway. I am not suggesting that a bog standard club memebr should be able to opt out individually but in some places the county organisations are just about non-existent and people still have to pay and the money just sits in a bank account somewhere.
Clubs should fund counties or regions but only to the amount they actually spend and that should be prescribed and agreed ebfore each financial year. Currently AGB spends what it takes a sincome rather than making decisions on what it shoudl be doing and seeing what that costs. Not a wish list but proper decision making based on the ethos of why the organisation was set up and not based abound the current buzz words that are there to make Sport England smile because they ticked another box.
 

Kerf

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The voluntary aspects of what we pay our money for is common to most sports, the coaching, judging, organisation of tournaments ect is all doen by volunteers who if they are lucky get given their petrol money and a box of choccies but will have had to spend a good few quid to get the necessary qualificatiosn to begin with. The council of AGB may very well be stacked with professional people but the rule chaneg adopted a few years ago stops anyone from joining that group who isnt a chartered accountant or whatever and so the impression is given that they top is remote from the bottom because they have got there by a different path and your average club member who is interested in putting in a bit more effort cant actually join that group ever.
I remember Bimble expressing an interest in being a judge a while back and thougt it odd to give up competitive archery at such a young age whilst he is still fit to shoot t do something that would be such a drain on his time shooting becomes almost impossible. When you do a coaches course you are charges and the people who run the course egt their expenses back but the county makes a profit from the whole thing. This isnt a small amount per prospective coach where I live so the new coach will have much more time to allocate to the course, coaching etc and that reduces their time in participating themselves. Yes, there will be personal benefits and a general feeling of repaying the community but where does AGB head office actually come into this relationship?
Do we need county and regional organisations? and why does someone who joins AGB directly have to pay towards something they have decided they dont want to be part of anyway. I am not suggesting that a bog standard club memebr should be able to opt out individually but in some places the county organisations are just about non-existent and people still have to pay and the money just sits in a bank account somewhere.
Clubs should fund counties or regions but only to the amount they actually spend and that should be prescribed and agreed ebfore each financial year. Currently AGB spends what it takes a sincome rather than making decisions on what it shoudl be doing and seeing what that costs. Not a wish list but proper decision making based on the ethos of why the organisation was set up and not based abound the current buzz words that are there to make Sport England smile because they ticked another box.
Good points, well made.
 

dvd8n

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Counties / areas have always been a bit problematic.

I get the impression from other members that some counties are really active and worthwhile. However all my experience is with the West of Scotland. In the decade or so that I have been shooting I have been a member of the West of Scotland; I have paid my £3 to them every year. For about half of that time the West of Scotland hasn't even existed; some years it has and some years it hasn't. In any given year I've never been able to tell the difference. Does it exist this year? I've no idea. I wouldn't even know how to find out. Yet I still paid my £3.

My feeling would be that AGB should remove the requirement to be a member of the county or area. Those counties that genuinely add value to a member's experience would continue to flourish. The marginal ones would have a reason to up their game. The dead wood would disappear.
 

Shirt

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I was always a big cheerleader for the magazine but recently I've started to question its existence; I realised that the only reasons that I wanted a physical magazine were that I wanted a tangible benefit for my membership fee, and that I could read it in the bath. However, I've realised that I need to find some place to keep them, I never read the old copies, and I don't remember when I didn't just shower for the sake of convenience.

And I'm not a fan of PDFs or online magazine readers as to me they just seem to me to combine the disadvantages of physical and digital media with none of the advantages.

Meanwhile, AGB has a website with a news section that I rarely visit as it's not updated often enough with compelling enough material to drive me to the page. I'm now of the opinion that the articles should be put online as they are written, interspersed with the news, driving people to the AGB website. With a comment facility, it could perhaps encourage community too.
The magazine is nice. It's informative. If you get a Star/Target/Rose award you can see your name in print. You might even get your picture in it and be able to show your family that you've 'made it'.

What's more important is the cover price. By having a relatively high cover price, and a proven circulation, you can attribute a chunk of income to the magazine. Which happens to be exempt from VAT.
 

dvd8n

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The magazine is nice. It's informative. If you get a Star/Target/Rose award you can see your name in print. You might even get your picture in it and be able to show your family that you've 'made it'.

What's more important is the cover price. By having a relatively high cover price, and a proven circulation, you can attribute a chunk of income to the magazine. Which happens to be exempt from VAT.
Yes, I understand and agree with all that. I was musing, however, whether the benefits of putting it online in an online news format, namely:
  • Reduced production cost
  • Zero cost for longer articles, more photos
  • Possibilities for more content
  • Content with embedded multimedia
  • Content delivered in a more timely fashion
  • Drives people to the website
  • Drives member interaction
  • Searchable archive of old content
  • Ability to correct errors in content
  • AGB can see what content is popular
  • More sustainable
  • More easily 'accessible' to special needs members (if you do it right)
might outweigh that. Of course you wouldn't get it for free; on top of everything that you said (including the accounting tricks which are probably a big factor), you'd have increased IT costs, you'd need to moderate, and you'd disenfranchise members without IT skills. But we are in the third decade of the 21st century now...
 
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dvd8n

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Oh, and here's another one: if they didn't paywall it, it would be visible world wide, and if the content was good enough it would raise the visibility of AGB across the planet.
 

Whitehart

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You will be amazed how many archers have nothing to to with the internet - unless it's shopping.

Having looked into becoming a qualified coach I am not impressed with the content of levels 1, 2 and County (apparently it is supposed to have been re written for the past 10 years) especially compared to the World Archery Qualification that would be far more useful and a better way to spend my money. Also the content is readily available for download.
 

Geophys2

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You will be amazed how many archers have nothing to to with the internet - unless it's shopping.

Having looked into becoming a qualified coach I am not impressed with the content of levels 1, 2 and County (apparently it is supposed to have been re written for the past 10 years) especially compared to the World Archery Qualification that would be far more useful and a better way to spend my money. Also the content is readily available for download.
Yes, I have taken both of the Level 1 and Level 2 AGB courses, and to be honest both were, to a large extent, a waste of time and money. I do hold the qualifications but when I coach I use the WA level 1 and 2 coaching manuals as my resource, that and the KSL material. I coached to GB taem level in another olympic sport previously, and the AGBs courses were a bit of a culture shock.
 
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