A huge budgetary cut has put the future of the University’s Rowing Club in jeopardy and threatened their insurance provision this year.
A reduction by 80% to the club’s annual YorkSport grant has forced them to spend the majority of its grant on insurance, forcing other projects to be sidelined.
Raeesa Chowdhury, Rowing Club Treasurer, has confirmed that the grant has been reduced from over £5000 to just over £1000. She said: “The YorkSport grant is meant to cover a wide range of costs that clubs face and the fact that our grant was reduced this year meant that there is no prospect for club development… all the money is being spent on insurance!”
Despite what Chowdhury calls “a high volume of member increase this year”, the club have been forced to abandon expansion plans in order to meet insurance demands.
Chowdhury, however, confirmed that “at the moment and for the next 12 months, we are fully covered and there’s no danger.”
“It’s a real shame that there hasn’t been much club development this year, considering the club’s popularity has increased so much from last year,” one first-year member of the Rowing Club stated.
YorkSport President Alex Lacy, who oversees all sports club grant allocations, admitted that he had no acknowledgement of the Rowing Club’s lack of boat insurance at the beginning of this year, and claimed that he was unaware of the unprecedented 80% grant cut.
“We elected Lacy last year thinking things would get better… the situation is quite unfair,” said Chowdhury, who mainatins that Lacy was made aware of the grant.
The club were able to gain funding from York Annual fund, on Lacy’s recommendation, which enabled the team to buy a new boat.
Lacy attributed the lack of insurance to last year’s Rowing Club committee, but said that he expects this year’s team to be capable of ensuring that their prospects aren’t damaged for next year. Lacy is planning a rehaul of the current YorkSport grant that should allow for a more even distribution of money, ready for next year’s teams. He is expected to announce his new scheme later this term.
Chowdhury, however, expressed concern that the problem could be exacerbated next year, admitting that the club must simply accept the grant allocated.
“It depends on whether YorkSport decide to cut our budget next year as well, since we ‘got on so well’ this time round,” she said acerbically.