|Guidelines for Sports Tours
Overseas Visits By Naval Service Sports Teams
1. Overseas visits by RN sports teams provide the chance to travel to destinations not often visited by the Armed Forces and consequently can be of diplomatic, PR and community value. From a sporting perspective such visits offer the scope to play against challenging opposition with different national cultures and in an environment distinct from that experienced in the UK. They can be used as a reward for loyal players at the end of a long season or can be used as a period in which to develop team spirit and team work for a season or competition ahead. Training camps allow athletes to improve their performances by training in climates and facilities not available in UK whilst the Winter Sports Championships conducted overseas require geographical features not found in the UK.
2. When an overseas sports visit is planned either in response to an invitation, or as a personal initiative, the following points must be given early consideration.
a. Visits must involve no cost to Public Funds. Neither CILOR nor travel to and from UK ports of departure is admissible.
b. Tour parties are limited to the numbers at the Annex.
c. Applications to tour from Associations, Commands or Units will not be approved more frequently than once every 2 years.
d. Visits must not be longer than 2 weeks in duration.
e. Visits should be based in a single location avoiding the expense of long distance in- country travel
f. Funds should not be sought in support of excursions during the visit.
g. The status and level of competition to be encountered must always be carefully considered to ensure that opposition is of a realistic standard.
h. It is MOD policy that British Service teams may not compete in any event under the aegis of the CISM (Conseil International du Sport Militaire).
i. The strength of reserves or reserve squads should be taken into consideration should first choice players not be available. Organisers should arrange for availability slips signed by both players and their CO’s to be completed in good time.
j. The importance to prestige and public relations of fulfilling overseas commitments must be borne in mind. Last minute cancellations and major alterations to arrangements must be avoided wherever possible.
k. The need not to over extend the hospitality of host countries /organizations must be considered. Over-exploitation may reduce their willingness to accept future visits by other Service teams.
3. Proposed overseas sports visits are to be incorporated into RNRM Sports Associations’ 5 Year Plans giving notice of those years in which they intend to undertake tours and likely destinations. The planning for individual tours needs to begin some 12 – 18 months in advance of the tour’s departure date, and advice sought from the office of SO1 NSR at HMS Temeraire regarding finance, travel and accommodation etc.
4. Clearance. All sports visits abroad require the approval of SO1NSR and an absolute minimum of 12 weeks is needed to obtain the necessary Diplomatic Clearances. It is advisable, however, to allow longer especially to politically sensitive destinations.
5. Applications. Permission to undertake all overseas visits must be obtained directly from SO1NSR by the appropriate RNRM Sports Association for all RN Representative teams. All other applications, including those for Command, Area, or individual unit teams are to be forwarded to SO1NSR through normal administrative channels giving sufficient time to meet the 12 week clearance deadline. ARO’s and unit PT&RO’s are to ensure that tour organisers are made aware of the contents of this letter.
6. All applicants are to give sufficient information to enable the tour’s viability to be assessed. The application should contain the following in as much detail as possible:
a. Itinerary with dates.
b. Accommodation and transport arrangements.
c. Confirmation, preferably written, that the visit is acceptable to the host service or other authority and, where applicable, the relevant National Governing Body.
d. Statement of proposed income and expenditure.
e. Nominal list of the touring party (Including Service numbers).
Casualties and Insurance
7. It is appreciated that nominal lists are likely to change between the time of application and the departure date. It is, however, essential that the final list provided is up to date, and includes full Service details with NOK and Regional Welfare Authority.
8. Tour Managers are to be fully conversant with DILFOR regulations (BR 8587 1910-11) particularly regarding contact with the local Naval authority, Naval Attaché or British Consul, and with Casualty Reporting Procedure in JSP 751
9. JSP 765 provides full guidance on ‘Duty Status’. In summary, authority to travel overseas includes the approval of ‘duty status’ on the following occasions.
a. Travelling to and from authorised overseas destination.
b. Participating as a player or official in an authorised fixture.
c. Travelling to and from such fixtures.
d. Travelling to and from and participating on organized training for such fixtures.
Participants are ‘off duty’ in all activities outside the primary aims of the visit. Examples are; social events, sightseeing visits. BR 8588 outlines the requirement for adequate corporate or individual insurance cover. Advice on insurance requirements, including cancellation insurance, can be obtained through SO1NSR.
10. Overseas sports visits are to be self supporting and must not involve cost to Public Funds. Neither CILOR nor Representative Sports Travel is admissible. All tour costs are to be incorporated into the statement of proposed income and expenditure and financed through personal contributions and other non-public sources.
11. Applications for non-public funding for Sports Tours will be considered as a single grant from the Sports Lottery. Applications are to be made using Form RNSL1 applications form.
12. Grants to individuals undertaking sports tours to the following geographic areas are for up to a maximum of:
a. Mainland Europe - £350
b. Eastern Mediterranean (includes Cyprus and Turkey) - £400
c. East Coast USA and East Coast Canada, Middle East - £500
d. West Coast USA, West Coast Canada - £600
e. South Africa, South America, Far East and Australia. - £800
The figures above are by no means guaranteed and will depend on affordability and whether the aims of the tour could be achieved at lesser expense at an alternative venue. It is stressed that the figures per person are an absolute maximum and should not be seen as a spending target. RNRM Sports Lottery membership is a condition of grant approval.
13. Personal contributions should be not less than 30% and no more than 50% of the total cost. This, together with the maximum grant for geographical areas will assist in assessing the upper limit for the cost of the tour. Whilst further assistance may be sought from Corps, Unit Welfare Funds or sponsorship, money from Association Annual Sports Grants, which is designed to fund operating costs only, is not to be committed.
14. Command/Unit tours are normally to be restricted to European destinations, except for ships deployed. Teams wishing to travel further will be restricted to maximum grants of:
a. Unit team – the European rate of £350
b. Command Team – the Eastern Mediterranean rate £400
Command/Unit teams are to inform the relevant parent RN Sports Association of their intention to tour at the earliest opportunity and seek their advice and endorsement.
REPRESENTATIVE SPORTS TEAMS – TRAINING AND CONDITIONING CAMPS
15. Over recent years it has become increasingly apparent that teams representing the Royal Navy have, on occasions, been disadvantaged by not having access to the quality of training facilities enjoyed by the sportsmen and women of the other two Services. In an attempt to redress the balance it has been recognised that there may be circumstances where our teams would be better prepared if they were allowed access to training and conditioning camps aimed specifically at making them competitive at Inter Service level.
16. It has been agreed that bids may be submitted to the RNRM Sports Lottery by RN and RM Sports Associations who believe they have a sufficiently strong case to undertake a training camp. Bids will be subject to the scrutiny procedures contained in the ‘Applications Criteria and Guidance for Grants from the RN/RM Sports Lottery”.
17. Training and Conditioning camps are to be structured to enhance the fitness and skills of established sportsmen and women in preparation for a specific event and will, therefore, be limited to those participants who have the proven ability, or potential to benefit from high quality training and coaching.
18. In order that a common rationale can be applied to training camp applications the following criteria will be used:
a. Applications must be forwarded through parent RN and RM Sports Associations having first been properly scrutinised and approved.
b. Participants must be members of the Association’s representative squad with the potential to compete as a part of the representative team.
c. Training camps must be designed around a properly structured training and conditioning programme supported by a suitably qualified coach/trainer.
d. The training camp must have a clearly identified objective and be specifically targeted at an event of at least Inter Service standard.
e. The timing and location of the training camp must have a direct bearing on the event being targeted.
19. The numbers of participants allowed on an overseas visit is shown at the Annex. These figures have been agreed by the Combined Services Sport Board and any increase requires the specific approval of SO1NSR.
20. Whilst parties must be in possession of in-date passports and Service ID cards, some destinations require additional documentation including VISAs, NATO Travel Orders and Medical Exempt Letters etc. There may also be a requirement to make contact with the military authorities once in the country. Information relating to destinations requiring specific pre tour action can be obtained through SO1NSR’s office. If in doubt ask.
21. It must be borne in mind that if reciprocal visits to UK are offered whilst on tour no funding for these visits will be made available from central non-public funds. Tour organisers are to guard against making reciprocal offers which later result in financial embarrassment to their Association.
22. A short summary of each overseas visit undertaken, including financial and logistic arrangements, is to be submitted to this office within one month of completion of all approved tours. These are made available to subsequent tour organisers for advice and guidance.
Accouting for Sports Tours and Trainng Camps
23. It is a fundamental requirement of charity accounting that all receipts and payments are shown gross i.e. there is no offsetting one against the other. This means that all receipts and payments for tours or training camps should appear in the annual accounts. Some sports funds are very good in this respect and provide detailed records fully supported by vouchers, all of which pass though the treasurer’s books. At the opposite extreme, some funds receive the grants and pay it straight out to the tour manager and consequently expenses and personal contributions do not appear in the annual accounts. In some cases the major financial activity of the sports charity in the year is the tour but this is ignored in the accounts.
24. In addition to the legal requirements of charity accounts, the grant making bodies such as the RNRM Sports Lottery require that sets of accounts are provided for their own audit purposes. It is disappointing that many Sports Associations fail to comply despite it being a condition of accepting a tour grant that Associations provide tour accounts. Association and Club Chairmen should ensure that their officials do so.
25. It is appreciated that some tours are organised as one package provided by specialist companies and that some of these take personal contributions direct from individuals. Clearly one size does not fit all, but nevertheless accounting for tours must fall into one of two basic methods.
a. All grants, personal contributions, flights, accommodation and miscellaneous expenses pass through the treasurer’s cashbook and are supported by the relevant vouchers. An extract can be drawn up to provide a breakdown of tour expenses and income for grant making bodies.
b. Grants are received into the fund’s accounts and then paid to the tour manager, possibly after large expenses such as flights have been paid by the treasurer. This advance is effectively an open voucher. (In other words the receipt for this advance remains as part of the treasurer’s cash holding and no action is taken in the books) On return from the tour, the tour manager provides the treasurer with a breakdown of tour income and expenses plus any surplus cash and vouchers for the transactions. This will clear the open voucher. A duplicate of the tour financial breakdown will also double as the accounts for the grant making bodies. If personal contributions are paid direct to the specialist company, the sums involved must also be provided.
Either method will provide an audit trail when the books are examined and tour finances will be evident in the charity’s annual accounts.
26. It is appreciated that it might not always be possible to obtain receipts for some minor expenses, although some funds are very good at this, but the appropriate vouchers must always support major items such as flights and accommodation. Minor expenses such as tolls can be certified by the club official but Treasurers or Tour Managers should not self certify payments to themselves. Internet bookings for flights and accommodation are becoming increasingly popular and often will not involve invoices but Internet printouts are acceptable as vouchers.
MAXIMUM NUMBERS FOR OVERSEAS VISITS BY SERVICE SPORTS TEAMS
Angling Coarse 12
Association Football 22
Athletics Track and Field 34
Cross Country 10
Road and Mountain Bike 10
Combined (Road/Track/MB) 15
Equestrian Sports 10
Gliding/Hang Gliding/Paragliding 10
Lawn Tennis 10
Martial Arts 8
Modern Pentathlon 6
Motor Sports 10
Real Tennis and Rackets 8
Rugby League 30
Sport Parachuting 8
Squash Rackets 10
Sub Aqua 12
Table Tennis 10
Full Bore Target Rifle 15
Small Bore Target Rifle 12
Target Pistol 12
Clay target 12
Water Polo 16
Alpine Skiing 12
Skeleton Bobsleigh 8
The maximum number for mixed gender teams will be subject to approval by SO1 NSR in each case. It will normally be significantly less than twice that of a single gender team.