Why Registration Fees Had to go up...., News (Oakville Rangers Hockey Club)

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Why Registration Fees Had to go up....
Submitted By Melissa Wolk on Thursday, June 14, 2018
Dear Rangers Members:

I am writing to you today to explain an increase in Registration fees for the upcoming 2018/2019 season. As a Not-for-Profit hockey organisation we recognise that the cost to play hockey can be a barrier of entry into the game and as such make every effort possible to keep the registration fees manageable. Unfortunately, there are times when fee increases are unavoidable and the ORHC is currently facing one of those times.

First, some related facts:

  • Ice costs, which account for more than 80% of our overall operating costs, have consistently increased each year by 2-3%.   In November 2017 we were informed by the Town of Oakville that the ice rental cost for 2018 would be going up 6% (2018 Oakville Ice Rental Rates)These increases are already on top of the highest rates in both the Halton region and GTA.  We also anticipate to have to utilize other more expensive private arenas such as Canlan to compensate for Oakville Arena being out of commission.
  • On January 16, 2018 the Ontario Hockey Federation announced that it would be raising its participant fee from $3.70 to $4.25 (players, coaches, bench staff and on-ice volunteers) for the 2018-19 season.  (OMHA Memo)
  • On January 31, 2018 the Ontario Minor Hockey Association informed us that the Hockey Canada insurance premium per member (players, coaches, bench staff and on-ice volunteers) would be increasing from $17.44 to $23.00 for the 2018-19 season.  (OMHA Memo)
  • Our apparel costs for the 2018-19 season will also see an increase given the expiration of existing contracts with Bauer in House League.
  • Despite renewed efforts, corporate sponsorship continues to decline.

To combat some of these increases we have already reduced our office space by 1/3 and renegotiated our lease; cut honorariums in half with the intention of continuing to reduce them; cut administrative costs and eliminated non-essential programming and other expenses.

Unfortunately, despite our continued efforts, there remains a significant gap in our operating budget before the season even begins inevitably leading to the need for an increase in registration fees.  As a not for profit organization with an obligation to operate in a fiscally responsible manner, we must increase the registration fees for the 2018-19 season to cover this shortfall.  Our Core registration (Tyke to Bantam) will increase to $695.00 while Jr. Timbits, Initiation Program and Minor Midget-Juvenile programming will increase by $20.00.  Despite this increase, we remain comparable with other Hockey Association fees. 

While this fee increase solves the short-term problem it does nothing to address the longer-term issue. The longer-term issue is the decline of minor hockey in Canada.  The reasons for this decline are well documented as are the solutions.  Hockey is an expensive, intimidating, confusing sport to those who are not familiar with the game.  We need initiatives to attract new players and coaches to our great game, ensure that their early experiences are positive and development programs that improve skill, keep them engaged and keep them coming back to our own community.  Those programs cost money and we have had to cut most of them to balance our books.  That is a short-term solution that is going to contribute to a long-term problem.

Understanding that continuing to increase registration fees may not be sustainable, we are currently exploring fundraising initiatives to be launched prior to the start of the 2018-19 season to promote these development plans and to keep hockey more affordable. If anyone reading this post has any suggestions on how we can keep hockey affordable or would like to offer up any help in this regard we would love to hear from you! Melissa Wolk, our Director of Operations can be reached at [email protected] 

If you have any questions or concerns, let me know.  Thanks!

 

John Verdon

President

Oakville Rangers Hockey Club

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