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Harmeny Athletic Club

Edinburgh based athletics club, Harmeny Athletics, recently signed up to LoveAdmin through a personal recommendation in order to better keep track of the club’s finances.

Harmeny Athletic Club was founded in 1977 by David Hammond of Harmeny School, Balerno, for the benefit of the school’s pupils who were not allowed to compete in SAAA events. After two years, the club opened up to members from the Currie, Balerno and Juniper Green areas of Edinburgh. The club’s track and field competition is geared towards local youngsters who compete in the Forth Valley League, the East District Cross-Country League and indoor competitions and open matches.

Although the club has always had a few adult road-runners it wasn’t until 1997 that Bob and Anne Douglas set up a Sunday morning running group. In 2002, Harmeny was one of the first Scottish clubs to join in the jogscotland scheme launched by Scottish Athletics to promote the recreational side of running. Harmeny introduced the branding of Harmeny Pentland Runners to encourage non-competitive runners and Bob and Anne worked with former UK Olympic competitor, Christina Boxer, to get the first Wednesday evening jogscotland beginner programme underway. Harmeny has run jogscotland beginner programmes every year since, and the Sunday and Wednesday groups have expanded to encompass runners of all abilities, including club members who have competed for Scotland and GB. The club has runners competing in events ranging from weekly 5K park runs to multi-day ultra-events with a fair few podium places over the past few years.  They organise two races every year, the Rigg Race – one of the oldest 10K races in Scotland – in conjunction with Balerno Children’s Gala Committee, and the 7R multi-terrain half marathon which is so popular it sells out in 15 minutes. The club also organises trips abroad to run races, and have visited such places as Marrakesh, Mallorca and Iceland, to name only a few.

The Challenge

The club membership has seen huge expansion over the past few years and admin was becoming more onerous.  Records were kept on spreadsheets and payments were made by cash or cheque and sent to the Treasurer to reconcile with bank statements. Communicating with members by email involved setting up groups which was time-consuming and far from ideal.  When the membership secretary was on holiday, the club was unable to send out any urgent emails.  The club decided that they needed to simplify record keeping, give members responsibility for updating their own information, make online payments, improve communication and delegate more tasks to other committee members.

The Solution

Coach and former Treasurer, Lorna Broadhurst, commented: “I had a look at some online systems and had a chat with the Membership Secretary of Edinburgh AC as they use LoveAdmin. He ran through it with me and it looked ideal for our requirements. The proposal was put to the AGM and we agreed to sign up. Paul was very helpful in the initial set up and in answering queries and assisting while we got used to the system.”

Initially, the system was used to collect only annual subscriptions. It was soon extended to collect training fees and to order clothing as well as communications to members and various groups, eg. coaches and committees. Having such a comprehensive system and being able to allocate permissions to different people is an enormous help in spreading tasks among volunteers.

When the Club became part of the Scottish Athletics Club Together programme, junior membership increased, and many more training sessions were set up.  It would have been a herculean task to administer this without an electronic system.

The Result

Since the implementation of LoveAdmin, the club now runs much more smoothly with less paperwork and less confusion.

Lorna adds: “I’d have no hesitation in recommending LoveAdmin, it really has made a huge difference to the running of the club – we are all volunteers so anything that cuts down on time spent and makes life easier is always very welcome.”