What your membership fees fund

Author:
Rebecca Hughes

Publish date:

Please note - this news article was published more than six months ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

The Board of Table Tennis England has taken the decision to propose to the AGM that membership fees for the 2019/20 season are unchanged.

It means the price of a Player Member will be £16 for a senior and £8 for under 18s, while the Player Licence will remain at £38 for adults and £19 for juniors and cadets.

An adult player membership next season will cost less than 31p a week. While these may seem like small figures, these affiliation fees help fund an incredible amount of important work at grass roots level which we explain in more detail below.

You also help us unlock other funds so we can spend more on grass roots. In fact for every £1 of membership fee income we receive, we invest an additional £2 in Sport England funding supporting grassroots table tennis. This amounted to almost £1 million annually for the past two seasons.

That’s why we say that when you buy a membership with us you become more than a player – you become part of a bigger picture, part of the fabric of table tennis in England.

CEO of Table Tennis England, Sara Sutcliffe, said: “When you buy a membership with Table Tennis England, you are not just buying a number of benefits for yourself, you are helping to develop and safeguard the future of table tennis at all levels.”

How your affiliation fees benefit you and the sport you love:

Supports clubs, centres and leagues:

Membership revenue helps us support the network of clubs and leagues across the country, and develops programmes and products to help grass roots grow. This area of work benefits hugely from the Sport England investment we receive but is bolstered by our own membership money so that we can support you further.

This includes:

  • Tapping into the expertise and time of our staff, through programmes including Be TT, which utilises extensive research and data from playing habits across the country, and allows Table Tennis England staff to work closely with clubs and leagues to build better experiences across our sport. Over the past two years, our staff worked across 97 Be TT projects that reached more than 25,000 people.
  • Subsidised conferences – including this year’s National Conference, of which over 50 clubs and leagues attended, and whose thousands of players will benefit indirectly from the learnings they took away.
  • The league and fixture management platform, of which we have recently announced a partnership with Rocca Creative to deliver this for the 2019/20 season and beyond, to provide a more affordable and sustainable platform in the long run.

Provides peace of mind insurance

Your affiliation fees pay for your £10 million public liability insurance and personal accident insurance that comes with your membership. It also pays for insurance to cover clubs, leagues, competitions, officials and volunteers. To find out more about insurance and why you need it, click here.

Creates a world class workforce:

Your fees help provide modern and accessible training for hundreds of tutors, coaches, officials, umpires and volunteers every year to develop their skills and knowledge to make playing table tennis possible for thousands of people around the country.

Promotes table tennis & celebrate our sport:

You help subsidise marketing and communications, helping us to put table tennis in the spotlight to raise its profile and visibility to get more people playing for longer. Your fees enable us to liaise with both local and national media to gain coverage of everything from grass roots through to elite level, and to provide live footage of events to outlets like the BBC to ensure you can watch world class table tennis wherever you are in the country.

Your fees also help fund our website, our email newsletter system and printed and digital publications such as the Annual Review, which help keep you informed about the most recent-happenings in our sport, and the archiving of the history of the table tennis in England to preserve the past achievements. The centenary of the creation of the first English Table Tennis Association takes places in 2021, with a number of leagues celebrating their own centenaries in the coming decade. Membership revenue will help us collectively celebrate these milestone achievements in our sport.

Supporting our volunteers:

Affiliation fees are necessary to fund volunteer expenses across the numerous national committees, competitions and tournaments that take place across the country including National Council and the new Members’ Advisory Group. Without the tireless work of our volunteers, our sport would struggle to operate. That’s why your fees also fund the Pride of Table Tennis Awards – an annual event that ensures these dedicated volunteers are recognised at local, regional and national levels.

Gets school children started in the sport:

Our school table tennis programmes do not receive Sport England funding, as it is outside its remit, yet we know that when people start playing young, they are more likely to stay playing the sport permanently.

So your affiliation fees, along with partners like the Jack Petchey Foundation, are crucial in helping us ensure young people experience our sport. Together we provide subsidised table packages, foster school-club links and support teachers who wish to add table tennis to the school curriculum. We also fund the schools competition pathway from local to international level.

Delivers youth programmes:

Your fees have helped fund the new TT Kidz programme – our latest initiative to get 7-to-11-year-olds playing table tennis, thereby helping to safeguard the future of the sport. Research shows that those who take up table tennis between the ages of 7-11 stay in the sport the longest.

You also help fund our Young Ambassadors programme, which is encouraging more young people to volunteer in their clubs and communities, allowing clubs to grow their volunteer base and for young people to gain personal skills, qualifications and vital experience to enhance their CV.

Creates the top talent of the future:

You help provide the stepping stone for our nation’s top talent from the England Youth Squad to the GB Olympic team.

The majority of this supports the talent development programme for our Hopes and 913 squads by helping to fund training and overseas competitions such as the European Youth Championships.

Membership revenue has been instrumental in supporting the elite teams including journey to winning a bronze medal in the 2016 World Championships and a bronze medal at the World Team Cup in 2018. It also provides a significant amount of funding needed for our teams to travel to and compete at the World and European Championships every year.

Although we recently received some funding from UK Sport’s Aspiration fund for Tokyo 2020 qualification, after campaigning for UK Sport to change its approach to elite sport funding, we provide additional support to support our elite athletes to help them achieve on the world stage, including the recent Commonwealth Games. Without this investment and contribution from you, our recent successes would not have been achieved.

Delivers administrative and technological support:

Your fees subsidise our customer services and membership team who are there to answer member queries and provide assistance at every stage of your membership.

This team is responsible for the rankings and ratings lists as well, and every year they input over 60,000 results to generate these lists.

Fees also pay for our membership management platform, where you can become a member or renew your membership with ease, plus manage your membership account.

Gives us good governance and guidance:

Your fees fund a number of key groups that act as a voice for players, clubs, leagues, coaches and officials. This includes the National Council and the new Members’ Advisory Group (MAG), which provides strategic advice to the Board and acts as a channel by which the table tennis community can raise strategic issues to be considered by the Board. The Annual Conference and AGM are also funded through membership revenue.

Create first-class competitions:

Your fees contribute towards the cost of competitions, of which members of all ages and abilities compete in every season. This includes the National Championships from Senior to Cadet level, and other national level competitions. Even if you do not partake in these competitions, they are a big part of the Governing Body’s remit and are important for the future health and growth of the sport.

Next month we are hosting the latest round of European Championship qualifying group matches for the England women’s team. Competing on home soil is valuable both to the players and spectators and would not be possible without membership fee income to support it.

It also subsidises discounted tickets for all members to the PG Mutual National Championships, plus any international events we host.

Protects players and the sport’s reputation:

You help keep our sport safe for all those that take part, particularly the young and vulnerable. Our work in safeguarding and integrity is subsidised by membership revenue.

Saves you money:

Your fees provide you access to the Membership Benefits portal, which has hundreds of offers on household-name brands and leisure activities.

On top of this, we have also negotiated and provided a number of discounts and benefits for paid-for members including:

  • 10% off UK Table Tennis products
  • Discount on holidays with Butlin’s, Fred.Olsen Cruises and Forest Holidays
  • Discount and member benefits from Volvo
  • Priority access and discounts to tickets for major national and international events in England
  • Income protection for £10 a month from PG Mutual, the sponsors of the National Championships

And… you help us unlock other funds so we can spend more on grass roots:

A strong membership base also allows us to access to other funds, including both national lottery and commercial funding. Diversifying our income sources is extremely important.

Sport England rightly expect to see that the members of the sport are also investing in the sustainability and development of the sport, and by you – and thousands of others – choosing to have a relationship with the National Governing Body for the sport, we become a more reliable and trusted partner to invest in. This means we have more funds available to spend on grass roots.

In fact, the funding Sport England gives us is in part conditional on us supporting our core membership – players, clubs, leagues, coaches and officials.

Therefore, for every £1 of membership fee income we receive, we invest an additional £2 in supporting grassroots table tennis.

This amounted to almost £1 million annually for the past two seasons. We plan to maintain this level of investment over the next two seasons, subject to income remaining as projected.

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