netball post

On Saturday March 25th 2017 England Netball held an Extraordinary General Meeting in Loughborough to propose an increase in membership fees following Sport England’s announcement that the sport would receive a 34% reduction in funding for the next four-year cycle through to 2021. The importance of this vote was summarised by England Netball CEO Joanna Adams in the attached video. After an extensive discussion and questions from the floor, the motion was agreed and a £10 increase for England Netball adult membership will take effect for the 2017/18 season and be held for four years. With netball understanding and accepting the need to become more self-sufficient and with the desire to see the sport continue its recent excellent progress in growing participation, the resolution was passed, 115 to 84 with one abstention. We had an excellent response in terms of members voting.This was the largest return of its type and the strongest expression of views by members in the history of general meetings since the inception of England Netball. The netball community came out in huge numbers to debate this crucial subject as England Netball laid out its plan to maintain service levels and protect funding for the grass roots of the sport. Joanna Adams, Chief Executive said: “England Netball has always worked closely with Sport England and understands the very challenging funding environment that has resulted in the most recent awards to NGB’s. “We will continue to invest Sport England money to deliver the outcomes we commit to as a sport. We will also strive to meet the new targets we are being encouraged to address, outside our traditional markets. “We are delighted that our members are amongst the first in the country to recognise what needs to be done and by their actions have committed to make a substantial additional contribution to securing the future of the sport they love.” This will be the first significant increase to fees in 11 years and the membership was assured that the organisation will also be seeking to grow its commercial revenues more aggressively and creatively in order to help fill the gap in funding. This exercise has been an extensive and i sensitive process with the organisation  learning a huge amount about how to communicate better with our members. Below are some summary extracts from the meeting that we hope capture the nature of Saturday’s discussions and we would like to thank those members who took time to attend:

Board minutes from 2015 are now published on the website and these had suggested from some time ago that EN anticipated a cut in funding. What steps have you taken since that time to overcome this reduction and why were members not asked for funding at the last AGM?

We did not predict a cut of 34%, based on the earlier discussions we had been engaged in across the sector we had assumed the cut would be nearer to 20% and had built our new strategy around that level of funding. We were made aware of the final funding decision on February 4th 2017 which was post the AGM. We have already begun to make cost efficiencies across the business and we are currently in a consultation period with staff to look at a more streamlined staffing structure.

If you are changing structures, how can we work together as one team and how can members  feel their opinions matter?

This has been a lesson as to how we can better engage with our members – we already speak regularly to chairs at county and regional level, we now need to reach out further to members. We need to have closer contacts with leagues and we have commissioned a piece of work to understand how we can add value to the Leagues. The video link we circulated to many people was generally well-received, so this is a format we will look to repeat on a more regular basis in future.

England Netball says there will be no further increase in fees over the next 4 years, but knowing how Sport England funding works; if the vote does go through, and membership numbers decrease, coupled with the general economic situation in the country, might it be that netball may still face a shortfall or not get funding in another 4 years-time?

That a good point, two thirds of funding has come from Sport England over recent years. We need to reduce that proportion and we must be less reliant on government money. Sport England’s funding currently does not judge how many affiliated members we have but how many people play our sport so if our affiliated numbers went down but people continued to play it would not affect Sport England funding. We need to continue to grow revenues from our showcase fixtures and events as well as driving up our commercial income in other areas

Why did you not look at a staggered payment or charging more to juniors?

We did look at both these options but settled on a recommendation that, whilst being potentially high-risk, was the simplest to implement and gave us the greatest degree of certainty of bridging the funding shortfall. Our current growth in membership is mostly coming from our junior sections and this is the future of our game so we were keen not to put any barriers in the way of young members becoming committed long-term members. We also did not want to penalise a mum with daughters who we felt would simply end up picking up the cost of any increase for juniors. We ran many permutations of staggering the increase but this was the only one which managed to fill the gap with the degree of certainty we need in order to provide a period of much-needed financial stability.

We need our keep our frontline NDO’s and NDCC's to help support the growth of netball, the increase is only 80p per month, 20p per week, we don’t want to lose our front line delivery staff and should support the proposal.

Several members echoed this comment and the Executive staff and Board Directors were grateful for the level of understanding shown during the debate and for the offer of support from so many quarters. Next Steps An announcement confirming membership fees for the 2017/18 season will be made in due course and the minutes of the EGM will be available on the website shortly. England Netball would like to place on record it’s thanks to the membership for supporting the proposal and looks forward to working with the whole netball family as we look to nurture and protect the future of our sport.

On Saturday March 25th 2017 England Netball held an Extraordinary General Meeting in Loughborough to propose an increase in membership fees following Sport England’s announcement that the sport would receive a 34% reduction in funding for the next four-year cycle through to 2021.

The importance of this vote was summarised by England Netball CEO Joanna Adams in the attached video.

After an extensive discussion and questions from the floor, the motion was agreed and a £10 increase for England Netball adult membership will take effect for the 2017/18 season and be held for four years.

With netball understanding and accepting the need to become more self-sufficient and with the desire to see the sport continue its recent excellent progress in growing participation, the resolution was passed, 115 to 84 with one abstention.

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We had an excellent response in terms of members voting.This was the largest return of its type and the strongest expression of views by members in the history of general meetings since the inception of England Netball.

The netball community came out in huge numbers to debate this crucial subject as England Netball laid out its plan to maintain service levels and protect funding for the grass roots of the sport.

Joanna Adams, Chief Executive said: “England Netball has always worked closely with Sport England and understands the very challenging funding environment that has resulted in the most recent awards to NGB’s.

“We will continue to invest Sport England money to deliver the outcomes we commit to as a sport. We will also strive to meet the new targets we are being encouraged to address, outside our traditional markets.

“We are delighted that our members are amongst the first in the country to recognise what needs to be done and by their actions have committed to make a substantial additional contribution to securing the future of the sport they love.”

This will be the first significant increase to fees in 11 years and the membership was assured that the organisation will also be seeking to grow its commercial revenues more aggressively and creatively in order to help fill the gap in funding.

This exercise has been an extensive and i sensitive process with the organisation  learning a huge amount about how to communicate better with our members.

Below are some summary extracts from the meeting that we hope capture the nature of Saturday’s discussions and we would like to thank those members who took time to attend:

Board minutes from 2015 are now published on the website and these had suggested from some time ago that EN anticipated a cut in funding. What steps have you taken since that time to overcome this reduction and why were members not asked for funding at the last AGM?

We did not predict a cut of 34%, based on the earlier discussions we had been engaged in across the sector we had assumed the cut would be nearer to 20% and had built our new strategy around that level of funding. We were made aware of the final funding decision on February 4th 2017 which was post the AGM.

We have already begun to make cost efficiencies across the business and we are currently in a consultation period with staff to look at a more streamlined staffing structure.

If you are changing structures, how can we work together as one team and how can members  feel their opinions matter?

This has been a lesson as to how we can better engage with our members – we already speak regularly to chairs at county and regional level, we now need to reach out further to members. We need to have closer contacts with leagues and we have commissioned a piece of work to understand how we can add value to the Leagues. The video link we circulated to many people was generally well-received, so this is a format we will look to repeat on a more regular basis in future.

England Netball says there will be no further increase in fees over the next 4 years, but knowing how Sport England funding works; if the vote does go through, and membership numbers decrease, coupled with the general economic situation in the country, might it be that netball may still face a shortfall or not get funding in another 4 years-time?

That a good point, two thirds of funding has come from Sport England over recent years. We need to reduce that proportion and we must be less reliant on government money.

Sport England’s funding currently does not judge how many affiliated members we have but how many people play our sport so if our affiliated numbers went down but people continued to play it would not affect Sport England funding. We need to continue to grow revenues from our showcase fixtures and events as well as driving up our commercial income in other areas

Why did you not look at a staggered payment or charging more to juniors?

We did look at both these options but settled on a recommendation that, whilst being potentially high-risk, was the simplest to implement and gave us the greatest degree of certainty of bridging the funding shortfall.

Our current growth in membership is mostly coming from our junior sections and this is the future of our game so we were keen not to put any barriers in the way of young members becoming committed long-term members.

We also did not want to penalise a mum with daughters who we felt would simply end up picking up the cost of any increase for juniors. We ran many permutations of staggering the increase but this was the only one which managed to fill the gap with the degree of certainty we need in order to provide a period of much-needed financial stability.

We need our keep our frontline NDO’s and NDCC’s to help support the growth of netball, the increase is only 80p per month, 20p per week, we don’t want to lose our front line delivery staff and should support the proposal.

Several members echoed this comment and the Executive staff and Board Directors were grateful for the level of understanding shown during the debate and for the offer of support from so many quarters.

Next Steps

An announcement confirming membership fees for the 2017/18 season will be made in due course and the minutes of the EGM will be available on the website shortly.

England Netball would like to place on record it’s thanks to the membership for supporting the proposal and looks forward to working with the whole netball family as we look to nurture and protect the future of our sport.

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