Great North Swim: Safety Cover

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andy g
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Great North Swim: Safety Cover

Post by andy g »

Are any of you providing safety cover for the Great North Swim in September?
If so please be warned that payment for your services is likey to be very very late.

60 of us were retained by Nova International (the event organisers on behalf of the sponsors British Gas) for the Great London Swim more than a month ago, and despite (broken) promise after promise we have still not been paid.
The coach (whom we all respect and trust) who peronally recruited us on behalf of Nova is deperately embarassed about the situation but has been tearing her hair out to extract any money from the organisation.

I don't want to recommend you to take any particular action, but if do want prompt payment it would be a good idea to get something sorted in advance and insist on payment on the day, or you may still be waiting well into October.

Andy

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morsey
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Re: Great North Swim: Safety Cover

Post by morsey »

There are several ways that these type of events get organised.

Clubs organise the events to raise funds for their club/charity. They often give incentives to their members and friends to help out. The incentives can range from T-shirts, goody bags, dinner, beer, pasties, vouchers, free race entries etc.

Event management companies also organise events. They are companies in the business of making money from running events. They will subcontract out to specialist clubs and other companies. They may recruit marshals directly and pay them and or give goody bags, expenses. For specialist areas they will usually use a club or contract out. Dealings with the event management company will be the same as ordinary business, you do the work, you invoice for the work, thirty days later they will think about issuing payment.

Some clubs have either set up non profit making companies or have changed their clubs to PLC's in order to be able to operate in a fashion that allows them to draw up invoices and receipts, and to record where paid work has been carried out, and generally run as a business to take care of duties should as safety cover and race promotion without liability being placed heavily on the club committee. If the club/company is switched on they will invoice prior to the event and immediately following the event and issue a request for payment following the second invoice (Some companies have a policy where they will not release payment until two invoices and chase up has occurred), and payment should come to the club/company within a month of the event, if not it adds delay. It is then down to the efficiency/practise of the club/company as to when they pass on the funds. A week should allow depositing and clearing and then it needs to be distributed to those who helped (electronic payment saves loads of time).

Thirty days plus one week would be the minimum time you can expect to wait if you do not have a payment on the day schedule set up. Any less is a bonus, any more is due to inefficiencies on someones behalf, or the policy of one or other company. Where expenses are concerned you should not be expected to wait for reimbursement of say travel expenses, it should be normal practise for that to be covered within a matter of days if not done so on the day.

For big swims, triathlon races they do not take entries on the day so funds will already be available to the event management company prior to race day.

The way I see it, if you are putting on a taster day for your club, you give your services freely. If you are putting on a race/event for your club and it is to generate funds for the club, then you cover expenses and give out goody bags/incentives as a small reward. If you are putting on a large event that has a company making profit from the event, then they pay for the helpers and specialist support (Part of the reason people do the big races is because they know they get the infrastructure and smooth operation that is provided by a dedicated professional team. Clubs can sometimes provide this for their own events for hundreds of racers, but not normally on the scale of thousands of racers), but remember they are a company operating to their policy. Race day for them is flat out ensuring everything goes to plan, admin that can be done after the event will be done after the event. They should be up front about their payment schedule. But hey, the business world does not care for niceties like staff happiness and retention. Get yourself an agent, give him a hug and then you will see the money. :-)

andy g
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Re: Great North Swim: Safety Cover

Post by andy g »

Morsey
I have no doubt that everything you mention above has a sound basis, but I feel it kind of misses my point.

The company Nova International promised payment to safety kayakers would be made either on the day or within one week. Neither promise was kept, and a lot of us feel pretty p*****d off with this. I was merely warning others to be aware of the situation.

Yes Nova International are a commercial company , but their cash flow from this event is positive in spades.
With 3000 entrants paying an average of £70 apiece well in advance, plus TV fees , etc they must have at least £250,000 up front, and by delaying payment to people who can ill afford it they are increasing their own profitability at the expense of the people who work for them.

My money arrived yeseterday so I feel a bit happier about the situation, but this is over a month late, according their their initial (broken) promises.

Regards
Andy

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morsey
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Re: Great North Swim: Safety Cover

Post by morsey »

Your sole point seems to be to slag off this company. You should take things up with Nova if you have issues, doubt they read UKRGB much.

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