AGB - no membership refunds

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
The thing is that we are currently going through a society changing event.

Peoples priorities and finances are fundamentally changing and a lot of people will be re-evaluating how much disposable income they have for hobbies. Plus isolation is breaking habits which, once broken, are gone or must be re-established. Already I'm thinking "Oh, yes, it's Friday. Isn't that the day I used to go to archery?"

This will be the perfect time for archers to switch clubs, switch associations, or quite possibly in a lot of cases give up archery completely.

The harsh fact is that AGB are going to lose members as a result of the current crisis. How many will depend, at least partly, upon the affection that archers have for AGB. And as Kerf put it, AGB suffer from disengagement. I rarely hear anyone say anything positive about AGB; at best they seem to be regarded in a neutral manner as the organisation that you have to compulsorily join to be allowed to shoot.

Discussions on how to reduce AGB fees, or how your fees are spent, are all well and good but they are really all too late. Plus, what would it save? 20 quid or so? It's an amount dwarfed by the other fees to shoot. I'd happily give AGB that £20 in return for the feeling that they gave a stuff about me. But I'm not on their competition conveyor belt so I don't matter.

Anyway. We are where we are. Disengaged. In lockdown. Considering our finances.

And then, AGB had a perfect chance to redeem themselves with a short moratorium on fees and they blew it. And followed it up with a cack-handed e-mail.
 
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ben tarrow

Well-known member
Coaches, beginner's courses and rules of shooting could be adopted from a much cheaper alternative governing body. Perhaps it's time AGB stopped thinking it offers some kind of superior product or have a monopoly. A more conciliatory attitude would help.
Coaches - AGB has made itself a coach course provider. Coaches pay AGB and their agents to take the course and get qualified. Therefore, once you've paid your money and got your license, you have no moral connection to AGB as a coach. Same as I paid St Johns for a first aid course but I dont have to drive ambulances.
Beginners courses - we dont need AGB to run beginners courses.
Rules of shooting - WA have a set of rules. Why do we need AGB's RoS?
AGB has become a self serving olympic medal seeking money go round.
My own club of 80+ archers has 10% who are interested in anything outside our club, but the AGB structure (inc county and region) survive on the cash from our 90% who just enjoy archery for the hell of it
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
AGB has become a self serving olympic medal seeking money go round.
I think that matches what I said some time ago about sports in general becoming a professional circus.
Most archers that I have come across are "just wanting to shoot". Some don't mind a bit of help when they first get started, from an experienced archers or a coach.
Some get on well and work hard to improve. They reach a stage where a life style change is required to get further up the ladder; and very few go that way.
Grass roots archers want to enjoy a couple of hours a week shooting with their friends. Some like to find out more about their gear and setting it up "properly". They ask a fellow archer or go on the internet.
If the club didn't explain where most of their joining fees go, many would never know anything about AGB apart from its name..
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
They reach a stage where a life style change is required to get further up the ladder; and very few go that way.
Lifestyle change. I like that. That's it in a nutshell. Very few people who are married and/or have children can buy into that. And AGB don't seem to cater well to that demographic.
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
What does this 'middle demographic' (?) need from AGB?
An acknowledgement of our existence would be a start.

Look at AGB's four demographic groups. It shows a direct correlation between competition involvement, cost of kit, and knowledge/ability. And that's just not true. I know loads of people with loads of ability, a collection of very fine kit, and loads of knowledge (or have the desire to acquire these things) but who just don't have the time or inclination or health to jump on the competition treadmill.
 

Stretch

Active member
I’d agree that given that AGB’s reason for being surely must be the promotion and continuation of archery in the UK (or some such marketing braff which is probably on their website) that the amount they charge to certify coaches seems excessive. It’s self-propagating, ultimately the coaches are the folks that bring in the new members.

It’s why I’m not *a coach* but I have worked with plenty of people :eek:

However, ultimately they have the costs associated with what the membership has allowed them to become. So they’d either need to furlough all of their staff - which just increases burden to the nation, or they need to maintain an income. And that income will tip towards zero in October if there is still a shutdown.

But if you don’t like the bureaucratic nature of an organisation and the heavy administrative overheads then use your votes.

I’m not currently a member so I don’t get a say :censored:

I cannot see how the current funding model is sustainable if we get the post-lockdown economy everyone is expecting. Nice to have’s like Olympic medals are unlikely to sit highly on any list with the budgetary pressures that are ahead.

Stretch
 

KidCurry

Well-known member
An acknowledgement of our existence would be a start.

Look at AGB's four demographic groups. It shows a direct correlation between competition involvement, cost of kit, and knowledge/ability. And that's just not true. I know loads of people with loads of ability, a collection of very fine kit, and loads of knowledge (or have the desire to acquire these things) but who just don't have the time or inclination or health to jump on the competition treadmill.
I agree with what you say, but I'm trying to get a grip on what it is that AGB can do for this middle group. Eliminating time and health, is it inclination that's lacking? I would also train as a coach if it were not for the cost, but I'm also surrounded by under used coaches and would probably be wasting my time.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
The grass roots archers don't really make much use of AGB. Or county ,or region come to that.
I like the idea put forward in other sports where the higher involvement group pays more and gets more out. The grass roots hobby people want little and pay less.
 

KidCurry

Well-known member
The grass roots archers don't really make much use of AGB. Or county ,or region come to that.
I like the idea put forward in other sports where the higher involvement group pays more and gets more out. The grass roots hobby people want little and pay less.
I suspect, without ditching the 'money for medals' approach that AGB has, tiered subscriptions may be the best solution, if it can work. To be honest I would be very happy if AGB ditched the olympic dream and went back to an amateur sport status. This would allow counties to focus on supplying Olympic contenders, bin the middle men such as SCAS, and allow AGB to focus on supporting those counties and get much closer to the clubs.
In fact if you binned the 'once in four year' Olympic dream AGB could probably afford a tiered subscription system. I would vote for that!
 
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dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
But if you don’t like the bureaucratic nature of an organisation and the heavy administrative overheads then use your votes.
This year's (cancelled) AGM would have been the first time that I would have had a vote, with one man one vote just having been implemented...
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
I agree with what you say, but I'm trying to get a grip on what it is that AGB can do for this middle group. Eliminating time and health, is it inclination that's lacking? I would also train as a coach if it were not for the cost, but I'm also surrounded by under used coaches and would probably be wasting my time.
Well, personally, my main reason for not doing many competitions is that I'm just not that competitive. I like to shoot well, but if someone else is better, I'm happy for them. If you're not desperate to win, then attending a competition becomes a long journey to somewhere to stand in a field not doing much for most of the day.

But, like I say, I like to shoot well. So I'd like some occasional coaching. It's indefensible that AGB charges so much for archery coaching courses. More accessible coach training to a decent level would mean a few words of good advice when you need it on a club night.

And AGB spends a lot of time and energy on it's elite archers. Why doesn't that trickle down more in a more accessible manner? One page of ask the experts every other month doesn't cut it. Jake Kaminski posts frequent videos on YouTube and if you ask a pertinent question there's a good chance that he'll answer it.

How much does AGB spend on sports science every year? £100000 wasn't it? Where do members benefit from that? What's the best string material for instance? They must be looking at it. If not, why not? There should be articles on their research every month in the magazine or on the website.

Unbiased kit reviews. AGB is funded by it's members. It should be able to do insightful stuff without bias, unlike organisations that rely on advertising revenue.

There's some ideas off the top of my head.
 
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geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
On the subject of coaches having to pay for a training course, one reason might be that some archers go onto a coach training course thinking they will learn things that will benefit their own shooting. Perhaps the fees are in place to weed out those archers and recruit only those who really want to learn for the sake of passing on the benefits to other archers.
Then again, perhaps that is nothing to do with it.??
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
On the subject of coaches having to pay for a training course, one reason might be that some archers go onto a coach training course thinking they will learn things that will benefit their own shooting. Perhaps the fees are in place to weed out those archers and recruit only those who really want to learn for the sake of passing on the benefits to other archers.
Then again, perhaps that is nothing to do with it.??
I hear what you are saying, but I'd argue that if there were more easily accessible coaches around, then it wouldn't be an issue.

However, I agree that there are types of people around like badge collectors and people who like to hoard knowledge and you would need to weed them out. There are other ways to do that than just making the courses punitively expensive.
 

chuffalump

Well-known member
.... AGB spends a lot of time and energy on it's elite archers. Why doesn't that trickle down more in a more accessible manner? One page of ask the experts every other month doesn't cut it. Jake Kaminski posts frequent videos on YouTube and if you ask a pertinent question there's a good chance that he'll answer it. How much does AGB spend on sports science every year? £100000 wasn't it? Where do members benefit from that? What's the best string material for instance? They must be looking at it. If not, why not? There should be articles on their research every month in the magazine or on the website.

Unbiased kit reviews. AGB is funded by it's members. It should be able to do insightful stuff without bias, unlike organisations that rely on advertising revenue.
Well, I like those ideas. I've noticed coaches regurgitating facts with obviously no understanding of them. So, where there's doubt or inconsistency and hearsay and, let's face it, opinion, create some definitive answers.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Regurgitating facts with little or no understanding of what lies beneath, can go undetected for years.
Sometimes there is little harm done, (when the facts are correct).
Sometimes the lack of understanding puts the person passing them on, under pressure; in situations where further questions are asked on that topic. The danger then can be a desire to come up with an answer based on "not wanting to seem lacking in understanding."
I think it is natural to want to pass on facts to others. Often, there is no follow up, nor does there need to be. We get used to passing on facts based on research/studies done by others. We can't go checking up on everything we hear.
Often there is no mechanism in place for improving this situation; and putting things right.
 

Kernowlad

Active member
Well I had thought I was alone in being unimpressed with AGB but I’m glad I’m not.
NFAS isn’t perfect; I had a pretty awful experience last year (and on my Birthday) with membership and insurance but that’s all water under the bridge. What I do get out of it is a lovely group of people and tournaments to shoot for FUN. We had one experience of a full on AGB tournament and while our club certainly pulled out all the stops (as did the weather), shooting 144 arrows from exactly the same spot over six hours at the same targets was just miserable.

Walking around 36 completely different targets usually only shooting one arrow (if you’re any good) across lakes, through trees, up valleys, from
2-80 yards is just brilliant. We’ve come out of our two tournaments tired but beaming.

I really do think AGB needs a proper field representation rather than just an afterthought but NFAS does such a good job it for a fraction of the price, why bother?

The Wabtool league we’re doing at home is close range (5m) target shooting but with loads of variety and a bit of strategy needed. It’s reminded us that target can be fun and with the highest scores requiring a direct hit of a half penny sized circle, it needs a very steady hand!
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
I really do think AGB needs a proper field representation rather than just an afterthought but NFAS does such a good job it for a fraction of the price, why bother?
I have three reasons for maintaining my AGB club membership:

- working on form indoors in inclement weather and outdoors on flat in controlled conditions
- mates at the club
- the Scottish Field Champs at Oban that I do as a social thing; the only competition that I do since the Ironman faded away

For that I'm paying what amounts to a couple of big shops at Tesco's.

Next year that may be a choice and not just a comparison.
 

Nictrix

New member
I only have 2 reasons for joining AGB.
The first was to be able to visit and shoot at other clubs in the area and the second was to be able to compete in a few competitions.
For almost the first year of shooting I only had to contribute to the clubs own insurance which was £10 as they are not affiliated with AGB.
So if I didnt want to visit other clubs or compete I would save about £40 a year.
 
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