Thank you for your great response and engagement with the recent member survey that we sent out. An incredible 133 of you submitted your opinions, thoughts and ideas. As a committee, we were really pleased to see so many people taking part.

In this blog post, we will share some of the results of the survey and how it is helping us shape our thoughts surrounding membership payments, and the 2018-2021 development plan we are currently working on. This piece of work will form the roadmap and the project plan for how we intend to improve the playing and off pitch experience for all members over the coming few years. We want this process to be as open and inclusive to all members and hope that you will take a keen and active role in helping this club to thrive. This will be the first of many blog posts over the coming months to keep you updated on the project.

Please note, that the topics discussed in this post are mainly related to the senior section of the club.

It was clear to see from the survey the enthusiasm for upgrading some of the facilities at the club. Projects such as increasing the security through proper fencing, refurbishing the dug-outs, building an adjacent AstroTurf warm up pitch and viewing stand were popular choices. All four of which are being seriously considered in the drafting of the development plan and can be achieved and led by the hockey section. Other popular projects such as upgrading the changing facilities and kitchen in the clubhouse are projects that AWMA lead on, and although we provide pressure on the executive committee of the AWMA on a regular basis to do so it is something that we cannot do alone. Increased coaching, training and improved teas were other extremely popular suggestions. We will be working to put a plan in place to develop that over the coming months and years.

We would like to put a strong emphasis on facility development over the coming few years, but of course this will require investment.

Members overwhelmingly stated that they felt the club provided good value for money (nearly 9 in 10 survey respondents). When our fees are compared against fees of other clubs in the area we fair very well in terms of yearly cost to an individual player. At local clubs the cost of a playing membership and playing 15 games a year (8 in 10 respondents stated they played at least this number of games) is between £250 – £550 per year.

Of course, value for money is based on two factors. The first, the amount paid by an individual. The second, the things an individual gets in return. As you can see we do well in comparison to local clubs on the first point.

To speed up plans to develop the hockey club we recognise that we need additional funds. This can be achieved by two main factors: extensive fundraising projects, and slightly increasing subs/ match fees (or equivalent). Most members agreed that they would be willing to contribute more if the money was spent on specific projects and/or the hockey section alone. We can confirm that any potential increase in contribution would solely go to the hockey section and the outcomes we want to achieve.

Following the recent committee meeting two proposals have been put forward for further consideration for next season:

  1. Raise match fees from £8 to £10 (£4 to £5) and keep the current additional yearly one-off payment (£120/£70).
  2. Alter the payment method to a direct debit over 8 months of the season to cover the current annual subscription fees, all match fees (including summer league) and other activities (excluding socials). The total cost for adult members currently being considered is around £300.

The survey showed a 50/50 split when asked if individuals would prefer a system that involved a direct debit instead of the current system of yearly subs and weekly match fees. At the AGM members will receive a proposal from the treasurer which has been supported by the committee for the attendees to then vote on.

Some of the current pro/cons identified for each are outlined below:

Option 1: Increasing match fees to £10/£5

Advantages

  • Members are used to this system
  • Increases income to the club and increased the money available for projects by an estimated ~30% year on year.
  • Allows for when players are off injured/ holiday
  • Ease compared to £8/£4 when dealing with change etc.

Disadvantages

  • Money is collected by several different people – opportunities for error
  • Delay in subscription money from AWMA often several weeks
  • Subscription monies/ match fees are not always paid (at all or on time)
  • Considerable weekly effort for captains
  • Weekly effort to remember cash by members
  • Confusion, especially in new members, with how subscriptions are paid
  • Difficulty in paying in coins – many members would prefer to pay £10/£5
  • Uneven distribution of cash flow throughout the year

Option 2: Alteration of payment system to direct debit

Advantages

  • Consistent, predictable income throughout the year
  • Increases income to the club and increased the money available for projects by an estimated ~110% year on year.
  • Ease of workload on captains, and summer league captains
  • Ease for members on a weekly basis
  • One account to deal with for members (covering AWMA membership (set at £35 year) and hockey)
  • Fairer to players that currently pay promptly and fully
  • Encourages members to get involved with the widest range of activities at the club

Disadvantages

  • Relies on a new system where direct debits are set up each year
  • Does not account for when players are ill/ injured
  • Relies heavily on one member of the committee
  • A new system to reimburse umpires and those that drive to away games would need to be developed.

We would welcome further comments and suggestions ahead of the AGM where proposals for the coming season will be voted upon. To do so please email: [email protected]

Finally, an email will be sent to you shortly outlining how you could help in the development of the club. Please keep an eye out for that!

Sam Jackson, Treasurer,

On behalf of Leeds Adel Hockey Club Executive Committee