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Membership 2016-17

This year, Whitley Bay Rockcliff RFC is moving the administration and payment for all of its members onto the Rugby Football Union’s Game Management System (GMS). For new members, this will be an even easier way to sign up to join the club and many existing members will notice little difference in how things are organised, but for some there are some subtle changes.

The main difference is that every member is asked to complete new membership forms which for adults (including Vice Presidents and Social members) are here, and for Junior members and their family are here.

What happens next?
If you choose to pay your subscriptions in full, simply hand in your membership form, with the required payment - you can also pay by card at the clubhouse. Your form will be processed by either Sharon Hayton, Rockcliff’s Membership Manager, or Andy Sugden, the Secretary, and that’s it!

If your membership is for playing rugby, you will be given the opportunity to pay your subscription in 12 monthly instalments. If you make that choice, your form will be processed and you’ll receive an email (sent via GMS) with details on how to setup your Direct Debit. Simply complete the steps online and then your subs will be drawn in regular instalments from your account.

Why change?
All rugby clubs in England are expected to use GMS to record their membership details. The RFU and Northumberland Rugby Union use this information to assess the dynamism of the club and support decisions such as how many international tickets we are allocated or whether we are eligible for certain grant funding.

Rockcliff was in in the awkward position of using GMS for all its Junior and Senior Playing membership details, but using separate systems for managing how subscriptions were paid: two separate standing order systems, and different arrangements altogether for Vice Presidents and Social members.

From this September all membership information and payment details are being handled in the same way. This means that there will be better information available to team managers and coaches (as well the RFU and Northumberland Rugby Union) and it puts each member control as they will be able to manage their own contact information using their own GMS account.

Are we expecting any problems?
It’s a new approach for the club and it would be silly to think there weren’t going to be some hiccups, but the GMS system is in use across the country and Rockcliff has allowed other clubs to test the water (or make the early mistakes!) first.

The main issue we are likely to face is dual paying for those members who have existing Standing Orders and who also set-up Direct Debits without first cancelling their Standing Orders. If this happens, simply flag up the issue to either Andy Sugden or Sharon Hayton and we’ll sort out a reimbursement as soon as possible.

Once established, we are confident that the use of GMS will make managing the club’s growing membership and their related subscriptions much easier and more transparent.


Andy Sugden, Secretary |


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