Minutes of the AGM of 6 July 2010
Ralph thanked the members of the 2009–10 committee for their work before proceeding to the election of a committee for 2010–11.
|position||nominee||proposed by||seconded by||elected|
|Secretary||Sam Hughes||Joe||Nuno Esteves||yes|
All those nominated were duly elected unopposed.
2 treasurer’s report
Provisional figures suggest that this year the club will have run at a loss of approximately £2500. Some of this was due to one-off purchases such as the external kit store (£600). We also have invested in much needed new equipment this year as well as moving to the new and bigger hall at Rye (£4250/year). The loss is not necessarily a problem as there is a reserve, but we need to try not to dip into it.
The club’s income was roughly £9000, half from subscriptions and half from courses.
We project that next year we will require £10,000-11,000 to cover the increased cost of the hall (fees are increasing by 5% or so) and the proposed coaches’ retainers (agendum 3). An increase in the membership subscription is therefore needed (agendum 4).
For many years the club has only paid coaches for leading footwork/warm-up sessions and courses, while lessons are charged directly to the individual. The number of people having private lessons has dropped noticeably and the coaches’ time is not being fully utilized. We need to have a new coaching plan.
The committee proposed that the club would pay an annual retainer to Olly and to Matthew, who in return would provide systematic supervision of fencing within the club, helping fencers of all levels to improve technically and tactically. They would continue to be paid for specific courses and tasters and to charge members directly for individual lessons. The third coach (Danny) would take a special interest in the development of sabre but would not receive a retainer in 2010–11. The AGM was asked to accept this proposal in principle and to authorize the committee to negotiate exact terms with the coaches.
Questions from the floor centred around how criteria to which the coaches would have to adhere would be set and on how their performance would be monitored. It was agreed that the committee would have the responsibility of overseeing coaching and would cooperate with the coaches in devising criteria that could be published on the website. After 6 months or so an EGM might be called to discuss the new system in detail and to gauge member’s response.
The motion was proposed by Ralph, seconded by Danny, and passed unanimously.
Ralph noted that there had been only a small increase in the subscription over the last four years despite a dramatic expansion of the club and improvement in the facilities it offers, with consequently higher expenses, including the purchase of new kit and the cost of a much larger hall.
A subscription for 2010–11 of £145 (or £13 pcm by standing order) was proposed by Ralph, seconded by Jorge, and accepted unanimously.
Clubmark is a national scheme that offers sports clubs accreditation that they have met a range of criteria relating in particular to provision for children and equality of access. The committee has taken the view that whether or not it will finally apply for full accreditation it will be helpful for the club to consider at least some of the recommended policies and procedures. Mark Leech has generously agreed to coordinate our efforts and has already begun to gather relevant information.
Mark wanted the AGM’s approval for him and the committee to begin to create and adopt policies required for Clubmark. These might include:
1) a code of conduct for coaches, volunteers, officials working with children
2) a list of the medical conditions of young people
3) an equal opportunities sports policy
4) a policy for recruitment from the community
5) a code of conduct for parents, carers and supporter of children
6) rules for children and young people
7) a special pricing policy for children
8) a development and outreach policy
Ralph suggested that we put some of these policies on the website at an early date, as they could immediately relevant to the day-to-day running of the club.
Mark proposed that he, in conjunction with the committee, would draft policies that would be made available on the website for review and comment, after which, if there was no problem, they could be implemented; Ralph seconded this motion, which was passed unanimously.
6 future directions
Sam asked that members be aware that there will soon be a new caretaker at Rye and we must be sure to be packed up and off the site by 10:15 on Tuesday and by 9:45 on Friday; we will have to start to clear away well before the nominal end of the session at 10:00/9:30. All members should help to set out the equipment at the start of the evening and to pack it away at the end, as this is still being done by the same few people. The coaches should prompt fencers to pack up 10 minutes or so before the end of the session.
Mark asked about there being more inter-club competitions. Gordon reported that it was surprisingly hard to make definite fixtures, but he is currently in talks with 3 other clubs and has set a date for a friendly match with Stowe (24 September 2010). It was also mentioned that the club has approximately 49 fencers involved in some level of competition (national, regional, local etc), which is excellent.
Will asked if the club would pay for a coach to attend a competition if multiple members of the club were taking part. This was discussed, and the feeling of the meeting was that the club as a whole should not fund a few competitive fencers in this way, but groups of fencers might well make a private arrangement with a coach.
Members had been invited to submit comments by email relating to this agendum, but none had been received.
7 any other business
Gordon thanked the chairman for his efforts over the past year.
The club’s annual general meeting will take place in the sports hall of Rye St Antony at 7:45 on Tuesday 6 July 2010
1.committee for 2010–11
4.subscriptions for 2010–11
7.any other business
notes for members
Anyone may be proposed and seconded by current members of the club for election to membership of the committee or to hold the office of chairman, secretary or treasurer. A maximum of eight people, including the three principal officers, may be elected to the committee.
The following are willing to stand for re-election to the committee for next year: Ralph Evans (chairman), Sam Hughes (secretary), Gordon Hardie, Mark Leech and Martin Carter. At present Gordon is competition coordinator, Mark has special responsibility for Clubmark, and Martin is the club’s armourer. Other members of the club are of course free to stand against the existing officers and members of the committee.
2 treasurer’s report
The treasurer will not have final accounts for 2009–10 but will offer an overview of the year’s finances. He will explain why the club has made an operating loss in the region of £2000 this year and why this should not continue in future years.
There are now three coaches in the club with different levels of qualification and experience but we are not making very full use of their considerable expertise, and attendance at the club is not proving economically viable for the coaches. At the AGM the committee will propose a new arrangement so that in addition to teaching specific courses and offering individual lessons two coaches will be paid annual retainers and in return will provide systematic supervision of fencing within the club, helping fencers of all levels to improve technically and tactically. The third coach would take a special interest in the development of sabre. If the AGM accepts this proposal the committee will ask for authorization to negotiate exact terms with the coaches.
4 Subscriptions and fees
The club’s subscription in 2006–7 was £100; this year it is only £110. But in the last four years the club has expanded almost beyond recognition. We now fence not once but twice a week, and in a splendid new sports hall; ours is a genuine three-weapon club with a wide range of ability at each; we cater for all ages and have a growing number of very young fencers. Costs have gone up correspondingly. The new hall is more expensive than the old, and the rate will rise next year. Introducing a fairer and more effective coaching regime will also increase costs. We have necessarily spent large sums on new equipment this year, including complete sets of apparatus for additional electric pistes, and electric foils, lamés and épées in children’s sizes. In order to invest in the future of the club we have had to draw upon reserves built up in earlier years.
Our current subscription is almost absurdly low, both absolutely and in comparison with other fencing clubs. It may not be feasible to jump to a realistic level in a single year, but we need a substantial increase to sustain our development without making further losses. The committee will propose a subscription of £145 for 2010–11.
The committee will also propose that the present slightly confusing family discount be replaced with a discount of 50% on the subscription of second and subsequent members of a family, regardless of age.
Clubmark is a national scheme that offers sports clubs accreditation that they have met a range of criteria relating in particular to provision for children and equality of access. The committee has taken the view that whether or not it will finally apply for full accreditation it will be helpful for the club to consider at least some of the recommended policies and procedures. Mark Leech has generously agreed to coordinate our efforts and has already begun to gather relevant information. The Clubmark process is complex and time-consuming, and Mark will ask for the agreement of the AGM before he begins to formulate policies and procedures in detail.
6 future directions
This agendum gives members the opportunity to express their views on how the club is running and how it might change, in addition to matters already covered. Members are asked to be succinct and not to indulge in unfocussed discussion that will leave no time for fencing! Members who will be unable to attend the AGM are invited to send comments by email to the secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org.