AGB - no membership refunds

Whitehart

Well-known member
If you do competitions especially travelling nationally then on a weekly basis the AGB fee is peanuts compared to all the other costs incurred by Competitors, Hosting Club and Judges.

However, I do struggle to understand why AGB are seen as only for competitive archers and it is competitive club archers that benefit more than archers that just shoot at their club.

It is Clubs that put on shoots not AGB and provide all the facilities, organisers and field party they are also responsible for the shoot making a profit and running smoothly - all these unpaid volunteers do a fabulous job giving up their weekend and hours prior to the shoot getting it all organised sometimes just for lunch and a few burgers throughout the day.

Competitions need Judges, again volunteers who had to pay to become qualified and have similar costs to the competitor, they probably get some of their travelling expenses back (as they should (paid out of the entrance fee)) lunch and a small thank you gift.

All the equipment used is supplied by the clubs.

It is the hosting club volunteers that ensure everything runs smoothly.

The host club takes all the financial risk if cancelled.

Most shoots follow WA Rules
Awards are WA Awards
Even Imperial Round shoots only have a few idiosyncrasies in the rules and are sadly being shot less and less.

Target Competitions would still be put on by clubs without AGB as it is in most cases a form of fund raising to keep subscriptions lower.

Most postal and intercounties leagues are run by volunteers not AGB

To be fair AGB might give me a UK Ranking which in reality counts for nothing as the system is so open to playing the system unless you are in the top 8 -16, sometimes a badge and my name in small print in a magazine.

All the achievements in the Magazine would not happen without all the club volunteers and the efforts of the unpaid.

A good percentage of go to coaches in the UK are not even qualified.

I enjoy competing and it is great to attend well run shoots and I am grateful to all the people involved, but when I drill down and itemise who does what this is not AGB's doing it but 99% the hosting clubs efforts and enthusiastic volunteers with the 1% blessing of AGB.

Please somebody tell me I have missed something.
 


dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
If you do competitions especially travelling nationally then on a weekly basis the AGB fee is peanuts compared to all the other costs incurred by Competitors, Hosting Club and Judges.

However, I do struggle to understand why AGB are seen as only for competitive archers and it is competitive club archers that benefit more than archers that just shoot at their club.

It is Clubs that put on shoots not AGB and provide all the facilities, organisers and field party they are also responsible for the shoot making a profit and running smoothly - all these unpaid volunteers do a fabulous job giving up their weekend and hours prior to the shoot getting it all organised sometimes just for lunch and a few burgers throughout the day.

Competitions need Judges, again volunteers who had to pay to become qualified and have similar costs to the competitor, they probably get some of their travelling expenses back (as they should (paid out of the entrance fee)) lunch and a small thank you gift.

All the equipment used is supplied by the clubs.

It is the hosting club volunteers that ensure everything runs smoothly.

The host club takes all the financial risk if cancelled.

Most shoots follow WA Rules
Awards are WA Awards
Even Imperial Round shoots only have a few idiosyncrasies in the rules and are sadly being shot less and less.

Target Competitions would still be put on by clubs without AGB as it is in most cases a form of fund raising to keep subscriptions lower.

Most postal and intercounties leagues are run by volunteers not AGB

To be fair AGB might give me a UK Ranking which in reality counts for nothing as the system is so open to playing the system unless you are in the top 8 -16, sometimes a badge and my name in small print in a magazine.

All the achievements in the Magazine would not happen without all the club volunteers and the efforts of the unpaid.

A good percentage of go to coaches in the UK are not even qualified.

I enjoy competing and it is great to attend well run shoots and I am grateful to all the people involved, but when I drill down and itemise who does what this is not AGB's doing it but 99% the hosting clubs efforts and enthusiastic volunteers with the 1% blessing of AGB.

Please somebody tell me I have missed something.
I think that, weirdly, you are managing to hit the nail on the head and miss the point simultaneously.

Yes, the clubs do all that. They organise the have a goes, competitions, coaching days, pretty much everything. If AGB were to disappear tomorrow, most activities could continue as normal. For example, West of Scotland did for a few years and not many noticed their absence. The only thing that most people would miss even slightly would be the magazine, the membership card, and the insurance. Which for most people, most of the time, would be nothing at all.

The only people getting anything out of the machine are the elite archers.

Yes, the AGB fees are dwarfed even by club fees. But it's still over £50 which is suddenly seeming like a lot of money for insurance that costs AGB £1.60.
 


Stretch

Active member
Finding a balance between grass roots development of a sport and supporting elite athletes is a balance that most sports struggle with. If you don’t have the grass roots development then chances are your country’s next Olympic champion never even tries the sport.

It’s not an easy balance and many sports struggle. As a relatively casual observer it does feel like AGB are very a elite focussed and paying lip-service to grass roots development. Most of which is being done by people who just love the sport. I’d be happy to be wrong.

There has always been bitching and moaning. There will always be bitching and moaning. o_O

Stretch
 


KidCurry

Well-known member
AGB say their benefits are: (Bold added by me)
  • an introduction to the sport through have-a-go events and beginner’s courses. (this is run by clubs!)
  • records, badges, and awards. (at national level only)
  • guidance and coaching. (at higher level only, this mostly club provided)
  • safeguarding. (Yes)
  • a sporting structure including clubs, counties, and regions. (clubs/counties tend to structure themselves)
  • tournaments (very few) and talent pathways (for the luck few)
  • governance ( Yes, often hidden such as Judges, management and development)
  • support and advice (none in 33 years of membership)
  • insurance (yes)
So on the whole AGB are probably over selling the benefits. If they disappeared over night archery would just carry on for a while then bits would unfold such as Judging qualification and management, although I'm not sure how this works. So really for the non competitive masses:
Safeguarding
Insurance
:(

...There has always been bitching and moaning. There will always be bitching and moaning. o_O
But sometimes needed for progress. Sometimes just open honesty.
 


chuffalump

Well-known member
AGB provides a centralised framework.

You could get by without them. Personal insurance is <£20 a year so everyone could get independent insurance and save the rest of the AGB fee. If every club did this, then competitions organised by clubs, could carry on as normal. I could even imagine a central donation fund to help with Olympic hopefuls. Those that care can contribute, those that don't.....don't.

However, give it time. Then you'll see the current framework being ignored. Maybe some clubs start to group bow types in different ways to suit competition arrangements. Maybe the law changes and only the 'on the ball' clubs notice and comply. Can't quite get your range to fit current specs? No problem, no central body, we all have insurance, who cares? I guarantee that it will get to a point where it's the equivalent of clubs and regions speaking different languages. At this point someone has the bright idea that what we really need is a central hub. Some organisation, funded by archers, that makes sure everyone adheres to the same standards, that distributes information and controls the admin required for olympic hopefuls. I wonder what they'll call it.

Not that I disagree with many of the points raised. Or that there should be a shakeup in the way things could be done. I've often thought that the only benefit I get from AGB is insurance and the fact that membership is a requirement for competitions.
 


dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
I wonder what they'll call it.
Maybe something important sounding, reflecting the nationwide scope while still suggesting the inclusiveness of the organisation. Something less corporate sounding than AGB. Something like the Grand National Archery Society.
 


mk1

It's an X
Supporter
Again, a pretty arrogant attitude, Muriel. In my club, I'm the only one who can be bothered to compete and even then it's mostly at the International Masters so I could belong to any administrative body recognised by WA
.
Maybe AGB at all levels - not just HQ - should be looking at ways to welcome and support grassroots clubs right now at this major break point, because a lot of clubs will be reevaluating what their relationship is with AGB while they can't shoot.
I don't see why stating a historical fact about some tries to set up alternative organisations is arrogant - I was stating facts. I know who were behind these orgs and why they wanted to give archers and clubs a choice.

Over 150 years ago archery clubs all over England got together and decided to set up an overarching organisation. and at some point, a great deal later, Scotland decided to join. Many sports have a similar model with County and Regional organisations as well as the UK one; I'm sure too that many sports have grumbles from time to time about how things are run - it wouldn't be healthy if there wasn't!

I get puzzled by arguments on here and the comments that are made - I don't know if people believe what they write or they just want others to believe it.

"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? "

The Olympic archers are funded by UK Sport and the development teams by Sport England, Sport NI and Sportscotland and the banks of mum and dad. So, yes some of our tax payments and lottery money. severl of the Olympic archers are posting vids and tutorial online at the moment.

Yes, there are compound and field archers squads partly funded from membership fees, but I recall some consternation that many of those archers had to find their own sponsorship in order to train and compete as the support from membership fees for so measly. So for every person complaining about something there are others complaining about the opposite. So, who is right and who is wrong??

Sport England also fund a comprehensive club development program, but not all clubs participate as they have to volunteer to take part. I recall people on here complaning their club hadn't been asked even though the program has been running visibly for years. The Scottish Archery club development offocer is asking clubs what help they need.

I quite get that people who only want to shoot some arrows at their club a couple of times a week are paying the same fees a those who make more of their membership, but when I was competing a was paying money at each event to cover the record status element so was paying more - pro rata for the competitions I took part in. Of course it is clubs and volunteers who actually put on the events and staff them on the day(s) - the governing body has never said otherwise.

One person commented "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... "
The AGM was postponed not cancelled as was clearly stated on the announcement from Archery GB - You were emailed your vote - I hoped you voted!
 


Kernowlad

Active member
This is a very tired, worn out argument.
It works for you so dismiss all comments and claim it’s all fine.
How about you read the comments properly, try and take a view and realise that the majority here aren’t impressed.,
 


dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
The point is that AGB is facing an existential threat. It will need the goodwill of its members to survive, and goodwill seems to be in short supply.

The main gripes are that it is an elitist organisation that provides poor value for money.

To be honest I'm not convinced that fiddling with membership rates would help - £20 or so off a year's shooting is not a big saving. And de-funding the elite archers wouldn't help - the proportion of membership fee going to them is tiny. It's just that the elite archers getting something highlights to a lot of members that they get so little.

AGB need to engage the rank and file; to make them feel valued and make them feel that they are getting something for their membership fee. SAA seem to manage to engender a feeling of belonging with a few emails and somebody coming to the club once every few years to chat about some upcoming vote. But engagement seems to be beyond AGB.

But ... the time to address this would have been a few years ago - its too late now. Like I said, AGB is facing an existential threat. We may still be in lockdown when the fees are due in Autumn. Who is going to pay them out of a feeling of loyalty? A few will but I can't help thinking that those who don't will outnumber them.
 


bimble

Well-known member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
The point is that AGB is facing an existential threat. It will need the goodwill of its members to survive, and goodwill seems to be in short supply.
Only if a handful of members on an internet forum are representive of the wider membership...
 


Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
Chatting in the Real World, it's not far off. Most people think ABG is a dinosaur they have no alternative to join and if it weren't for the insurance, they wouldn't. They don't see the relevance of the structures, particularly regions. They are happy that their volunteer club committee looks after them and deals with the faff higher up for them. Again, the volunteers.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
For me, it isn't the money on its own that is an issue. It is the fact that most archers are not in need of much more than a place to shoot and a bit of help now and again. The rules are there and can be followed; they can be viewed by anyone who wants a closer look.
Paying each year is not an issue for many that I meet. When they find out that the total cost isn't just for paying club membership, but for county, region and AGB, it seems over priced. What do they get for their extra money, when they get all they want from paying their club subs?
There seems to be a "disconnect" between what they want; and what they are being asked to pay into as well.
It's a bit like a school football team being asked to pay to support the premier league.
 


KidCurry

Well-known member
This is a very tired, worn out argument.
It works for you so dismiss all comments and claim it’s all fine. How about you read the comments properly....
I think everyone on this forum has the right to say what they want without being derided. That way you know how people feel. I am more than happy to listen to views polar opposite to mine.

To be honest I'm not convinced that fiddling with membership rates would help - £20 or so off a year's shooting is not a big saving.
42% cut would mean I get governance, Insurance and a magazine for £27/yr or 52p/wk. Just to get individual insurance costs me £26.00/yr. or buying 1 and a bit ACEs.

We may still be in lockdown when the fees are due in Autumn. Who is going to pay them out of a feeling of loyalty? A few will but I can't help thinking that those who don't will outnumber them.
I think if we are still in lockdown in September, rather than just some people who will still be isolating until a vaccine come along, sports club membership will have gone the way of the economy and will be the least of our problems. Mind you, given the demographic of the sport that might be half the membership.
Yes, I will pay my subs, principally to avoid a crap storm of unregulated shooting and the nightmare of setting up a new system, but for most people expressing their feelings here, they will not want to be involved until the work is complete and there is another organisation to join. That's not to say people shouldn't express their feelings about AGB. They should.

Out of interest does anyone know what NFAS pay for their insurance? I couldn't find their accounts anywhere.
 


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dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
42% curt would mean I get governance, Insurance and a magazine for £27/yr or 52p/wk. Just to get individual insurance costs me £26.00/yr. or buying 1 and a bit ACEs.


I think if we are still in lockdown in September, rather than just some people who will still be isolating until a vaccine come along, sports club membership will have gone the way of the economy and will be the least of our problems. Mind you, given the demographic of the sport that might be half the membership.
Yes, I will pay my subs, principally to avoid a crap storm of unregulated shooting and the nightmare of setting up a new system, but for most people expressing their feelings here, they will not want to be involved until the work is complete and there is another organisation to join. That's not to say people shouldn't express their feelings about AGB. They should.
I was really meaning that £20 isn't a big amount when considered as a proportion of the total cost of shooting. And that I'd rather pay the extra £20 and feel that I was getting something for it. On the whole, I'm happy for AGB to do the stuff it's doing, I'd just like them to do something for me.

On the lockdown front, I can see the restrictions easing but amateur sport still being affected in September. You can argue that you can do archery and maintain social distance but it's easier for those in charge to legislate and police if it's just a blanket ban. And as you say, a lot of the archery demographic may still be self isolating anyway.
 


Kernowlad

Active member
I don’t know what NFAS pays but it can’t be much as the annual fees are so low.
And I don’t think a major restructure of AGB would create “a sh1t storm of unregulated archery;” it might create a group that actually engages with its members rather than sending them snotty messages about refusing to even consider membership refunds.
 


Stretch

Active member
Which brings you back to the choices:

  • Join another organisation that you think is better
  • Work to improve AGB as you see fit
  • Start another organisation that better meets your values
  • Go maverick and shoot on your own with or without insurance
  • Take up tiddly-winks instead
Opinions are just opinions, they don’t change anything unless you do something about it.

Many shooting clubs (non-archery) have private insurance that covers members and supervised visitors on their site. Then the competitive members pay additional dues to governing bodies of the disciplines that they compete in. That model would be viable for a club wanting to offer their non-competence members an option if there really is a high volume of “just shoot at the club” members.

Stretch
 


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