Statement on the current club activities and committee position
29/9/2020 – By Paul Ward (Coaching Coordiantor)
At the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis the club was forced to suspend all organised running activities for the safety of our members and the community that we live in. This was a difficult time for all of us and as a committee, when the future was uncertain, we didn’t believe it was appropriate to ask for Membership Fees to be paid.
Instead we froze membership fees but continued to provide support through weekly updates, virtual coaching sessions and completely revised our risk assessments so that we could return to organised training when permitted. This also included a new booking system for training sessions to ensure we maintained the required records for Test and Trace.
Over the summer we have offered organised training sessions in a safe and structured way. This has been through the hard work of our leaders and co-operation with the owners of the facilities we use. I am extremely proud to say that we have supported members when many other clubs simply posted that they had stopped organising training sessions.
I would like to focus briefly on the relationship we have with Southgate Hockey Centre (SHC). We moved to the SHC several years ago and it has been a base for us in the centre of Trent Park ever since. A substantial proportion of our funds pay for the rights to use SHC as our “Home” and benefit from the facilities including Free Parking, Toilets, Changing Facilities inc. showers and the use of the Bar/Restaurant facilities. We also use the centre for meetings, staging race events and social events with no additional charge.
Unfortunately, due to the present situation SHC are not able to provide the facilities that they and we would like to experience. This is the same for the Hockey Club and all other SHC users. Through discussion with members of SHC committee we have listened to each other and it is clear that both parties would like to continue the long relationship that has been established. In order to do so TPRC needs to contribute to the financial running of the centre. All other clubs that are based at SHC have continued to provide the same level of financial support as pre-COVID19, but with reduced money from Bar sales and Social events SHC is running at a loss every month. Like many other businesses they have benefitted from Government aid but whilst we continue to live in a restricted world their losses will continue.
Robert Pick, Paul Ward and Chas Taylor attended a meeting with members of SHC last week and agreed a financial agreement that is below what was initially requested and substantially below that paid in previous years. The details are £500 per month for August and September and then £42.50 per senior member through to March 2021 (6 months). This recognises a reduced level of facilities available but also helps ensure the financial viability of SHC and our “Home”.
We recently communicated our intention for a reduced Membership fee of £50 to be paid from the 1st October. The reasons for this are two-fold. Firstly, the reduced fees recognise that members are not able to enjoy the full experience of running with friends in the way we would all like to do and also considers the potential financial strain on some members. Secondly, we believe that whilst the club is financially able to pay SHC from its balance sheet we need to retain financial strength and ask for a members contribution for this year’s membership. This will allow us to continue developing the club as we move forwards. The committee therefore recommended £50 as a fair payment for the 2020-2021 membership year (reductions for all other membership classifications applied). This would still leave us with a shortfall on this year’s account.
However, as a number of members have asked for further discussion regarding membership fees, no final decision will be agreed until after the AGM on the 26th October. This we will be happy to accommodate to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to air their personal views
If you would like further information regarding the meeting at SHC please feel free to contact Robert, Paul or Chas. Further details of the AGM agenda will be shared shortly.