All you need to know to date about ACU/Sport 80

All you need to know to date about ACU/Sport 80


It’s not often that I write in this website from a personal perspective, but I think the time has come for me to make some pertinent observations and hopefully, riders who take part in Northern Centre events will be aware of what the current situation is. (See article above about how to renew your licence)

Most regular competitors will be aware that the ACU has changed from a very effective and relatively simple to use website to a new site by a company called Sport80, that is incredibly difficult to use, only works periodically and quite simply – in my opinion – is a total disaster.

The situation as I understand it now, just two days before Christmas is that all riders must have a 2023 competition licence if they wish to take part in next year’s (2023) trials. The 2022 licence will expire on January 8, so I understand.

The intention of the new site is to: A) provide an easy licence system for riders; B) an easy system for clubs to set up a page where riders can join a club; C) an on-line procedure for clubs to apply and pay for permits (now called “sanctioning”), which is now compulsory through the ACU office at Rugby and not via local centres; D) a on-line system for riders to enter events in which clubs have put all the details and where the ACU collects the entry fees through a third party payment system (STRIPE), and then pays the balance after commission fees have been taken out into a holding account which the club will have set up through Stripe, who then pay the club the money directly into the club’s bank account.

In principle this all sounds pretty positive, however the system works for some clubs but other clubs come up to a total brickwall and because the office staff at Rugby are over-whelmed with problems regarding this site, it’s very difficult, in fact nigh on impossible to get assistance when snags occur.

It’s common knowledge that I (Mike Rapley) have, for the past two years, been organising the on-line entry system for the Westmorland, Barrow and Bootle clubs. Stuart Gaskell is Bassenthwaite’s new secretary, Ronnie Looker is the Sedbergh Club’s secretary, Graham Teasdale, Derek Wilson and Robin Oliphant head up Cumberland County and Hughie Irving looks after Lakes Grass Track Club.

As trials secretary for three clubs, the system appears to be unable to operate more than one club via one operator and I’m currently in the situation where I have been able to affiliate all three clubs to the ACU and to apply for sanctioning (what were called permits!!), but no way will the system allow me to progress further to set up a club Stripe account for more than one club; I can’t set up a Membership page at all – all I get is a message “This Site Can’t Be Reached” -, therefore I can’t set up an on line entry system.

I recognise that some other clubs have successfully negotiated the system, but it doesn’t happen for me.

If you have managed to get this far, then congratulations, sorry to be boring but now is the crunch notice. I have spoken to Hughie, Stuart, Graham (by e-mail) and Ronnie Looker of Sedbergh, none of whom have been successful negotiating through the new site, and at least until February, all entries will be taken on the day.

The event on Boxing Day by Barrow and those from  January 1 by Cumberland County, Bassenthwaite on January 8, Lakes Grass Track at Holmscales on January 15, Bootle at Fell Green on January 22 and Westmorland with the Lonsdale on January 29 and Barrow with the Frank Jackson on February 5 WILL ALL BE ENTER ON THE DAY.

In addition, club organisers need to note if they haven’t already picked it up, that the insurance for each adult trials competitor has risen by 50p and is now £6 with the youths still half that at £3

I hope this clarifies to some degree the situation and I shall keep everybody informed as and when there is some clarification.