The CSA and union fee (approximately the price of a dinner with the family or a round of golf) is often viewed as a “barrier to entry”.
The CSA board made a decision a year or so ago, to introduce the category of “social member”.
This membership category costs R100. It officially registers you with CSA and allows you to enter club time trials, minor flatwater races, and inshore surfski races (once you have completed the respective proficiency test).
It does not allow you to enter any major races, provincial championships, river races, or open ocean races.
So, paddlers wishing to enter the short inshore surfski series races such as the Marine Series, the Seadog series, the Wall and Back series, etc, plus some of the flatwater races, can do so with no guilt by parting with their R100.
The organisers of races who allow unregistered paddlers to participate in their races are putting themselves under massive exposure WRT public liability. They are also compromising our relationship with SAMSA.
Those paddlers wishing to register themselves under this category, who then decide to become full members (because their mate convinces them to do the Fish or Berg), will need to then register themselves as full members.
An indication of why Gauteng is the economic hub of the country is the fact that in a single club alone in that province, there are over 400 registered social members. In the Western Cape – zero.
We have even gone one step further. We have introduced a “day license” for major races.
Many paddlers complain that it is unfair that are obliged to pay an entire years’ worth of registrations when they only ever do one race a year. Whether it be the Drak, the Fish, the Umko, etc.
To combat this exodus, CSA has introduced a “day license”.
The way it works is this. If you have been a fully registered paddler before, you can elect to race one major race per year without having to pay a CSA or union registration fee. You will, however, be charged a fee equal to 50% of the race entry (over and above the actual race entry). Also, if you have utilised your one “day license” and you then decide to do another major race, you will need to pay a full membership, and kiss your 50% goodbye.
Life is full of choices.
These dispensations (social and day license) have nothing to do with club fees. Your club fees should be aligned with value received in the form of facilities and cold beers.
We, as a federation are trying to grow the sport and encourage participation. We have to do this within the parameters that are dictated to us by outside agencies like SAMSA, SASCOC, SRSA, SAPS, Events act, etc.
Many of the rules that we have had to introduce are not put there out of our own free will but because we have to comply with certain conditions.
The CSA rules that are in place have been formulated, over the years, by paddlers such as yourselves.