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Athletics Ireland: Proposed road race levy



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭rovers_runner

    A money grab. For years they ignored road running.

    They want to corner the market and bleed it dry. Just so they can keep a few family members and mates on the payroll.

    They survived for decades without this so why the need for it now? Pure greed.

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,124 Mod ✭✭✭✭adrian522

    Road race events in Dublin are incredibly difficult now, changes in road closure costs, advertising road closures, paying Garda time, race permit from council (or councils if your race crosses into another council area), traffic management plans including road signs etc. Prior to 2020 a lot of these costs weren't there.

    It's pretty prohibitive to put on a race in Dublin if you have to adhere to the above, only the big for profit races can afford this and entries will need to be very high in order not to run a loss.

    I can see a lot of smaller races falling by the wayside if these requirements aren't waived. You can see already the move for the St Patrick's 5k out of the city, several traditional races won't be going ahead this year also.

    Adding an additional €3 to each entry makes it less likely you get enough entries to cover costs unfortunately, particularly if that €3 is going to AI.

  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭MrMacPhisto

    Is the aim to encourage people to join clubs or is it a pure money grab?

    As a non-club runner who often runs in club organised events, I will simply stop racing these events or be very selective on the events I take part in. There are free weekly timed events close to most of us in the country I believe....

    I believe ppl who want to be member of AI by means of a club will still join a club. Using a stick to encourage other people to join is not going to work in my opinion. Clubs will lose the much needed funds they get form non-members entering races and in some cases, races will disappear from the calendar.

    Maybe I have this wrong, but this is not the way to encourage and grow the sport.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭rovers_runner

    It will become a club Vs commercial stand off and it would be sad to see clubs have to face off against AI to stay afloat.

    Affiliated organizations like bhaa, imra, MCI etc have yearly subs which people opt into but this would cover many aspects of their numerous events throughout the year and keeps them sustainable.

    Commercial/club races being forced into this isn't workable as most will have one event per calendar year.

    AI however already has national funding which it chooses to spend on salaries rather than what other running orgs use it for.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,093 Mod ✭✭✭✭robinph

    It's essentially the same as in the UK where entry fees for non affiliated runners are £2 more. There isn't any ban on running non affiliated races though... Although I think they may be tried it when there was a breakaway created from UK Athletics but nobody noticed and ignored it as far as I know.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,080 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67

    Went about it arseways, should have been positioned as a €3 discount for AAI affiliated members.

    The potential ban for running in non sanctioned races is archaic and heralds back to the NACA BLE days.

  • Registered Users Posts: 606 ✭✭✭echancrure

    AAI does nothing for road racing, they could not even organise an elite only national marathon for 2 years during covid. As a club member, I am barely aware of the AAI. They should leave that sector alone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,541 ✭✭✭Dudda

    Is the AI more of a Dublin thing (genuine question)? Went through a list of races here in the west of Ireland I'd have done over the years. They're set up by GAA clubs, local charities, community groups, schools, the odd commercial, etc. They involve associations with sports partnerships, Sport Ireland, local authorities, etc but not the AI from what I can see. Very very few are actually club races and it looks like the only AI permitted ones are the club races. Definitely less than 10%.

    If these events are all doing well without the AI why would they now choose to have their event AI registered? It really does look like the only ones that benefit are the AI in such a situation. If I had to choose I'd have no problem skipping the 2-3 club races around me and doing all the others. It's actually the non club ones that are better organised with more facilities (showers/toilets in local halls), food spreads, entertainment, organised parking or marshals, etc with a much bigger social aspect. Club / AI races are more to the main point (racing). Again what I'd have experienced around Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Roscommon. That cork page linked in the original post says they had 650 permitted AI events. I'd love to see a breakdown of that list.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,449 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    The linked article (on Cork Athletics site - apologies, not Running in Cork as previously stated) has now been withdrawn, with the following message:


    This article has been temporarily withdrawn following request by Athletics Ireland, who believe that there are inaccuracies in the document


    THey've linked the slides from the original AI presentation, which (arguably) positions the €3 as both a levy and an insurance coverage cost - unfortunate slippage here, possibly, although the document was probably not intended for publication without comment.

    Apparently AI will get back to RiC today with more clarifications.

    Post edited by Murph_D on

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,449 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Genuinely don't know the answer to that. The AI permit might be considered a mark of quality - for instance, that the course has been accurately measured by a certified professional (although as we all know, a professionally measured course can still be set up incorrectly). AI certified events up to a certain size are also covered by AI insurance, which is possibly a big thing. Also the AI imprimatur possibly attracts a deeper field, which in turn is a marketing advantage for some races.

    Don't know if there's a list of AI certified road races (I doubt it), but 650 certainly seems too high. The number probably applies to all AI permitted events (or could be one of the inaccuracies referred to).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭rovers_runner

    Aims are the people who you get for verification and measurement, IE for big city marathon qualifying courses.

    AI seem to have a monopoly on permit issuing. They offer nothing past hanging on to high standard athletes and bleeding them dry too.

    They are probably counting MCI/bhaa/imra and club registered races in their totals. I'd say you could count the number of their races easy enough.

    Couldn't even organise a national marathon the last two years the wasters.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭rovers_runner

  • Registered Users Posts: 606 ✭✭✭echancrure

    There are only 3 AAI approved marathons between now and the end of August (5 months): Longford Canal, Cork and Longford... No way AAI members can stick to these.

    PS the original article is still cached by Google:

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭deisedude

    The Cork Athletics Webmaster is prone to making mad statements however I had read the article before it was pulled and I couldn't disagree with the sentiments. The statement from North Korea/Irish athletics basically telling people to watch what they say online smacks of Hamish and his cronies cowering behind their keyboards

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭rovers_runner

    The chancers are effectively now pushing that the standard requirement of public liability insurance is some brand new feature of their events... So ye didn't have insurance in the past lads?

    Personal Accident Insurance Benefits (for members and non-members in the Race Series):

                                                              Adult Members              Under 18           Excess

    Death                                              €20,000                            €10,000             €Nil

    Permanent Injury                             €20,000                            €10,000             €Nil

    Permanent Total Disablement         €20,000                            €10,000             €Nil

    Medical Expenses                           €5,000                             €5,000              €50

    Dental Expenses                             €2,500                            €2,500               €50

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭MY BAD

    €3 off for all members for every AI registered race would be a better option get more people involved in Athletics Ireland, which in turn would lead to more registrations meaning more income for AI if that's their goal. Anyway, I think clubs and particularly county boards could be doing more to promote athletics. Where there is a track available every country board should organise at least one open meet similar to the Day of the Irish PBs. They should also have at least one open cross country race similar to Castlegar AC in Galway who do fantastic work in promoting athletics or BHAA cross country races. As mentioned in this thread the cost of running a Road Race particularly in Dublin and other big urban areas so maybe a track met or xc is a better option for those clubs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 139 ✭✭purple cow

    A somewhat related question: other than organising a local road race, how do athletics clubs raise money? given the challenges listed above in organising road races in large urban areas, how would a club raise a few quid to keep the lights on so to speak?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,376 ✭✭✭diego_b

    Outside of road races my club raises funds through a few ways, membership fees (our annual charge is low) would be one, it's not that much you get to keep out of the fees when you take out the various fees (AAI fee is 15 euro for juveniles/20 euro for adults, county levies of 6 euro per member). We also hold other juvenile events but they are just a nominal charge to cover the costs of the medals/trophies used. Outside of that we charge a weekly fee for training (2 euro), this covers facility hire...depending on the time of year can be quite costly but in other times of the year exceeds the cost. Then you're looking at various grants (to cover equipment) and possibly some small amounts of sponsorship for kit/events. Church gate collections once a year but you wouldn't want to be relying on that. Other clubs do things differently, some charge a larger membership fee and no weekly fees, get the bulk of the money they need at the start of the year. Other clubs do such things as run lottos and bucket collections.

    In my experience to date the best way of raising funds for general year to year costs is through road races, particularly if you can attract sponsorship to help cover some/all the costs. For larger once off costs like capital expenditure on developing facilities you are most likely going down the grant road and specific fundraising drives.

    Post edited by diego_b on

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭rovers_runner

    Someone's desperate for money, virtual race series entries available at €12 a pop..............

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭rovers_runner

    Current understanding is that races that take entries before Jan 1st don't have to include the levy.

    Why are some races adding it on now?

    I've entered a few races for 2023 recently, all AI permit secured, no levy.

    Anyone know what the situation with is with organizers who don't tow the line and fall in with pravda, sorry I mean eventmaster?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    Can’t speak for all clubs but our club “hoping to organise county track events (mostly juveniles) and then praying for coffee and tea sales”. The road race is the biggest fundraiser though as it is hard enough to find people helping out keeping the club running. Never mind finding people to organise additional fundraisers.

    so anything that leads to increase in membership fees = less members renewing and signing up

    anything that increases costs for race entries = less funds taking in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,141 ✭✭✭rom

    The big issue is that all races now have to go through eventmaster a single company that makes commission on all races. Essentially a monopoly. If they choose to change the fees then not much can be done. Also membership costs cost more since AI moved over to them recently for registration of athletes as they charge more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,831 ✭✭✭Annie get your Run

    Hadn't realised that about eventmaster, where does that leave Pop up races and My Run Results? IIRC we used pop up races for our club events (when I was a club member). I entered the Cobh 10 mile recently, takes place in 2023 but had to pay the extra charge for not being an Athletics club member.

    Clubs take some of their running costs from membership but a lot comes from events and corporate sponsorship of those.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭rovers_runner

    Ian O'Riordan already outlined what they stand to make from each entry. It's a joke but nothing new for this country.

    Be interesting to see who are the directors of the company and their relationship with AI.

    Some clubs and events seem to be standing firm while others who are in the clique have fallen in ahead of time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    It’s not like everyone is forced to go through eventmaster. Popup and Myrun and whoever else just decided to use them as their system is easy to use and low in maintenance (I think). Clubs and races could also decide to not go through them and use a different booking system but the benefit just isn’t there. I wonder if you also have to pay the extra charge if you sign up on the day and pay cash 🤔. Sure, would only apply to non sell out races but still wonder what would happen there.

    athletic memberships probably went up but not by much. At least not down to moving to AAI. More down to increasing running costs like electricity, insurance etc and less members renewing. Basically a vicious circle. You need to increase fees to cover lost revenue from non renewing members which lead to even more members not renewing.

    same time you can’t just drop the fees as it isn’t guaranteed that everyone renews or new members will sign up. And then there are those who shout for free access to tracks, clubhouse use etc.

    so am I totally against that extra levy? Not sure. I can see why less May sign up for races same time I’m hoping more sign up with a club to bypass that. Which will then hopefully lead to decreasing fees so that everyone wins.

  • Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭SuspectZero

    I believe the sanctions on AI registered members running non permitted races has always existed, but was never enforced. I remember a very controversial race 8 or 9 years ago where any runners who were club affiliated were told not to wear club vests as sanctions could happen due to the blowback and it clashing with another high profile permitted race in the area.

    I believe that rule was in place to try clamp down on the issue of GAA/charity events siphoning numbers away from club/AI races happening in the same area at the same time as there is rules for AI races where they can only be one race within a certain distance and time frame of another. I could be wrong on this still being an actual sanctional rule but for as long as I can remember, I've always been told it was.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,554 ✭✭✭Ceepo

    I see that Sticky Bottle (cycling website) are reporting that there is a legal challenge to the new charge

    "However, despite the opposition, the higher charges are now in place within Irish cycling. But in the Irish athletics community – where a one-day licence system has never been in place before now – the introduction of the new €2 one-day licence, since January 1st, for all road races is now being met with a legal challenge.

    Shannonside Radio today broke the story, reporting that a legal action in opposition to the one-day licence had now been raised with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

    In a statement to Shannonside Sport, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said: “A complaint has recently been made to the CCPC alleging anti-competitive practices in this sector. Due to the legal nature of this work, we are precluded from providing an indicative timeframe or updates on our examination.”

    The new €2 one-day licence is being introduced as part of a new contract between Athletics Ireland and EventMaster. Under that deal, promoters of Athletics Ireland-sanctioned events must use EventMaster as their entry platform rather than being allowed to choose what system to use, as had always been the case."

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,649 ✭✭✭rovers_runner

    Glorious, someone obviously knows the workings of what went on to give this chancer from eventmaster a free run of everything.

    No wonder they are counting their pennies after last weekend.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,478 ✭✭✭lulublue22

    Bit annoying to be fair - was going to sign up to the cork city 10k @ €27 by the time I got to checkout it was€31.xx due to the levy and eventmaster fee's. Got the hump and didn’t bother going ahead though will prob cave over the next few days and sign up. 🤷‍♀️

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  • Registered Users Posts: 830 ✭✭✭omicron

    I don't think the levy is a bad idea in itself - after all athletics Ireland provide insurance for sanctioned events which is ultimately being paid for by club members, so it's not unreasonable to ask people who are not members to chip in.

    The implementation and monopoly of eventmaster is a joke though, so whoever is taking the legal challenge is dead right.