For the past 15 years the cost for members to play badminton on a Saturday afternoon has been $10.
Originally the club played for two hours each Saturday although this was subsequently increased to three hours on a Saturday as part of the annual membership fee introduction. Effectively, this meant that members were then paying $10 for three hours play each week. As the Club has grown we've introduced an additional weeknight playday at Gillies Ave, though we were recently forced to move to St. Cuths School on a Wednesday.
Over the same 15 years, the court hire and shuttle costs have been increased year on year. Initially these increases were simply absorbed by the Club and then the introduction of the annual membership helped to reduce the impact of these cost increases. The Club would receive membership fee income at the start the playing year and this would offset any losses incurred on particular playdays, pay for the Christmas Party, the website costs etc.
Over the year the Club would essentially then break-even. This was sustainable as player numbers increased and the Saturday and Wednesday playdays proved popular. However the last few months there has been an additional and unexpected increase in court hire costs together with a significant reduction in attendance on the Wednesday night. As a result the Club is no long able to guarantee that it will break-even at the end of the year using the current financial model.
The Club has a long history and is an important part of the LGBTQI community. It is therefore important that the Committee maintains its financial viability so that it is still going strong in another 15 years. To that end, the Committee has been working at containing costs and progressing our formal affiliation with ABA (the badminton governing body for Auckland) whilst we developed a new financial model. This work has clearly demonstrated that we need to increase playing fees, increase attendance numbers especially on a Wednesday night, manage our costs including the numbers of shuttles we use and look to secure external funding once our affiliation as has been finalised.
Therefore, as from 1 September, playing fees on Saturday will increase from
- $10 to $15 for members for 3 hour play. $5 per Hour
- $15 to $20 for non-members and visitors for 3 hours play. $7 per Hour
There will be no increase on the cost to play on a Wednesday night at this point and this will remain $10.
I do not take this step lightly and recognise that members may be unhappy. I can assure you that the Committee has looked at various options and that this fee increase is the only way that the Club can maintain its financial viability over the medium term. Longer term, we will be looking to secure external funding but this can only happen once we have become affiliated and as yet we do not have a timeline for this.
Doing nothing would be financially irresponsible as the Club would almost certainly run out of money to pay for courts and shuttles before the end of the financial year
For those that play at other clubs, it is important to note that they are most likely fully affiliated clubs that have a different cost structure for their court hire and ABA fees and importantly also receive external grant funding. It is therefore difficult to compare what you pay at another club with the cost of playing at Auckland Feathers.
I am happy to talk to people and discuss the Clubs financial situation and our plans for the future in person on Saturday or via Messenger or cellphone. The rest of the Committee will also be available to talk to members.
Thank you for your support of our Club
Auckland Feathers Badminton Club Inc.