Why your membership is changing
From spring 2024, England Squash membership will change to a new ‘direct’ model which will enable us to provide enhanced support, benefits and value to players and clubs alike. We want the new scheme to help ensure that everyone can feel part of the squash community and has the opportunity to give back to the game they love.
We understand that any change, particularly a significant one like this, may cause some concern and we want to share the main reasons this change is needed, including how the community will benefit.
The current model has been in place for a long period of time and no longer reflects how modern-day organisations engage with their members. The benefits and value that the scheme offers to members have also not changed, meaning that membership does not sufficiently meet the needs of enough people within the squash community.
Changing the structure of the membership model will provide the opportunity for England Squash to:
Connect directly with members
Having a direct relationship with our members, will give us a better understanding of what people need from England Squash and significantly improve how we are able to communicate with people across the game.
Offer better value to members
Being closer to our members will enable us to offer more flexible, relevant and tailored membership packages, providing far better value to the members we serve.
Make membership relevant to a broader range of players, supporters and partners
Establishing a wider range of membership options will give greater choice and flexibility for current and potential members and will allow a wider range of players, supporters and partners to become part of the squash community.
By offering greater flexibility, England Squash membership will appeal to a much wider and more diverse range of players. We want to significantly increase the number of members and affiliated organisations over the medium and long term, which will in turn create greater opportunities to invest in the game at both national and local levels.
Provide better support to clubs, delivery organisations and partners
Through better engagement across the squash community, and a wider range of partners, we can improve how we support clubs and delivery organisations. We will be able to share best practice, provide wider access to programmes, competitions and workshops and give the squash community the tools they need to improve how the game is promoted and delivered.
Enhance the governance of the game
By eliminating the risks presented by sharing of personal data directly with England Squash, and by establishing better policy controls, clubs, counties, leagues and England Squash itself will be better protected.
Deliver a modern, fair and transparent membership scheme
The new model provides the opportunity to transform how membership is administered across the sport. This means that previous inconsistencies in the way policies are applied across different regions and in different scenarios will be eliminated, resulting in greater fairness and transparency.
Reduce the financial and administrative burden on the squash community
We have been listening to feedback from members and clubs who have told us about the challenges the existing model presents around the administrative and financial burden on volunteers and clubs in particular. By simplifying these processes, we will enable those within the sport to focus on the important job of delivering the game in their communities.
Give members a greater voice within the game
By connecting directly with all of our members we will be able to improve the dialogue within the squash community. This will give members a louder voice within the game and greater input into how their membership fees are used to develop the game.
Provide more options to give back to the game
We know that many existing members say that being an England Squash member is an easy and effective way to give back to the game they love. A wider range of membership options means that current and potential members will have more choice in how they engage with the game, and create more opportunities for people to give back.
We have been looking closely at how the membership scheme can be improved for the last couple of years, including conducting a strategic insight project looking at membership, and sharing extensive Return to Play surveys with clubs and counties in 2021. We also received feedback from a number of affiliated clubs about the suitability of the membership and affiliation scheme in this year, including at our AGM. These follow full membership reviews (including detailed community consultations) in the past, notably in 2015 and 2017.
Following this feedback, we undertook a full review of the membership and affiliation scheme during 2022. This independent review, undertaken by an external agency, included consultation with a wide range of stakeholder groups including clubs, counties and individual members. The key recommendation from the review was to move to a direct membership model.
Along with insight from the squash community, the plans for the new direct model have been informed by the approaches successfully adopted by other national governing bodies (including British Cycling,Badminton England and Table Tennis England, British Rowing and British Triathlon), as well as other national squash federations who are implementing similar changes (Australia, New Zealand). Switching to a direct model has enabled these organisations to connect better with their communities, offer improved member benefits, and increase the depth of their reach into their squash communities.
We believe that splitting club affiliation from player membership will result in a more modern, transparent and fairer system which will benefit clubs and players. Players will be able to choose the player membership that best suits their own circumstances and clubs will no longer be required to pay a per-player membership fee.. Clubs will receive smaller invoices and should benefit from a substantial reduction in the administration burden associated with the current membership model by not having to send us detailed member lists.
We recognise that switching to a direct membership model is a significant cultural shift for the squash community. We want the transition to work well for everyone and for everyone affected to have the opportunity to fully understand and engage with the changes.
We are therefore inviting players, coaches, clubs, league organisers, county associations and anyone else affected to join the conversation in order to refine the membership scheme and ensure it supports everyone across the squash community to thrive.
Please join us and
have your say!