Sharon Stevens, Bex Selway, Jet Konrath, Polly Salmon, Peter Skidmore, Ben Whittaker, Zac Grayling, Peter Watson, Gary Goodchild, Tom Rash, Gerald Watts, Silvia Jones, Barry Anderson, Sean Milbank, Dave Male, Stewart Findell, Robert Dyball, Andrew Kelly, Alan Dures, Rosemary Turney, Steve Tassell, Mel Bushell, Justin Adams, Andy Tooke, Marcus Roe, Pau lBedford, Kiaran Williams, Mike Batty, Joe Tasker.
2.Minutes of last AGM
When I sat down to write this report a few days ago I had difficulty deciding where to start! The past year purely from a personal point of view has been the busiest of my tenure as chairman and the next (if successful in being re-elected) promises to be at least its equal.
The main reason for this is of course the ongoing development of the Club and its proposed move to Culford. You will be hearing more of this project shortly but suffice to say it has involved a significant amount of work to date and will continue to provide challenges and headaches for those involved in its delivery. The vast majority of this work has been done by members of the Clubs development committee under the chairmanship of David Johnson and particularly the guidance of Tony Bass (our development officer) and without his time, commitment and knowledge of this type of project the Clubs ambitions would not be as advanced as they are. The Club is very fortunate to have Tony on board and I would like to thank him and the other members of the development committee publicly on behalf of the members for the hard work and time they have put in over the past year. Tony and I don’t always see eye to eye on certain aspects of the project but there is no doubting his commitment to the Club and to the delivery of the project – we just have to hope he doesn’t get too much other work to distract him!!
Fundraising for the new pitch has continued within the Club throughout the year. Through the various schemes and donations the fund has benefitted to the tune of more than £4700 during the year. I would like to put on record the Clubs thanks to all those who have contributed and those that have organised and offered their skills and services to help towards this figure. We need to continue our fundraising efforts going forward and ask all members to support the Club in any way they can. Over the past 3 months we have launched our Loan Note Scheme of which you will hear more shortly but again I wish to put on record the Clubs thanks to those members that have expressed an interest in this.
Of course the ongoing running of the Club is equally if not more important than its future and I take this opportunity to thank all those who give their time to help – committee members, captains, coaches, managers, umpires, parents, spouses , volunteers and others – without you the Club would not function so thank you!!
1 or 2 specific mentions. Tim and Julie have continued and grown in their roles as Club captains and we are grateful for their commitment and ability to deliver enough players to fill all the teams every Saturday .
Julie D continues to support the Club in many ways both on and off the pitch – player, umpire, social secretary & fundraiser – always happy to help if she can and always with a smile – thank you Julie.
Two members of the management committee are stepping down this year.
Clive W, our treasurer, has been a reliable and wise member of the committee for 4 years. His smooth running of the accounts and budgeting as well as his generally unruffled approach have been greatly appreciated by me and should be recognised by the Club.
Lucie, our secretary, joined the committee 2 years ago and has been diligent and speedy in her minute taking and other responsibilities – it has been known that minutes of committee meetings are already distributed to members within seconds of the meeting ending – provided she has got the right night for the meeting!!!
Thank you to both of you.
Onto the playing side of the Club. There have as usual been highs and lows. First the bad news. With the M1s being relegated it sees the Club having its lowest M1 position for many many years. There are lots of differing views and reasons as to why and how this has come to pass. Part of my job is to try and reverse the downward trend at the top end of the mens section and there are plans developing to do this. Our immediate aim must be to gain promotion back next season – not necessarily easy with the league structure but certainly one we should aspire to. The other mens teams have enjoyed a good season with the usual variety of results and league positions but congratulations must be given to M4 who deservedly gained promotion this year after so narrowly missing out last. Individual achievements noted are the selection of Chris Blake, George Hazell and Paul Calver to England squads at various age groups for the upcoming World Cup in Holland next month.
The ladies side of the Club have had an excellent season with both L2 and L3 winning their respective leagues and gaining promotion. The challenge next season will I believe to consolidate those promotions. L1 have had a steady if unspectacular year. As a section the ladies can be proud of their co-ordinated approach to team selection and communication amongst the captains and coaches. Well done and continue the good work – its a model that seems to work well and could/should be applied to the mens section with benefit I believe. Congratulations to Sharon Holton, Katie Bedford and Jet Konrath for their selection for England representation.
The Junior sides have continued to flourish with some very notable achievements that you will hear about shortly. Attendance at Sunday morning & Monday evening training continues generally at excellent levels and the entry of more than 1 team per age group into some county competitions can only reflect positively on the Club. Once again thanks to the coaches, managers and army of volunteers who give their time and skills to nurture these youngsters. Regional and national representation was achieved by several different teams at various age groups. Of particular note were the U16 girls who attended the regional finals as did the U12 boys and girls and U10s.The highlight was our U16 boys indoor team reaching the national finals and coming a very creditable 7th (in the whole country!). Individual success was enjoyed by Max Macauly, Maria Andrews and Lucy Holder who all attended the EH Futures Cup late last year representing the East region. Integration into the adult teams and their continuing development of all juniors is crucial to their retention and something the Club doesn’t always achieve and is an area which needs to be improved.
For the Club to continue to prosper we need to continue to recruit not only new players but also new blood to help with the running of it. I am always open to approaches from members, parents and anyone else who would like to become involved. You will have already realised that we need 2 new management committee members (secretary and treasurer) and you will hear shortly of new posts we wish to fill but any offer of help will be seriously welcomed. On the playing side expansion of our coaching and umpire pool is an ongoing commitment and the Club will support any member who wishes to further their skills in these areas.
Thank you for listening and your ongoing support of the Club.
5.Treasurers report and presentation of accounts (see appendix 1)
Anticipating a surplus of £3000 kept on par with last year thanks to the membership fees introduced last year.
We have entered more teams in competitions this year.
Pitch hire increased by almost £2000 due to extended training sessions and slight increase in costs.
At the end of the year we should have approx £35,000 in reserve.
Almost £5,000 has been raised for the development fund through fundraising and donations.
There has been consideration of moving the end of the financial year to the end of April to bring in line with the end of season and so final accounts can be presented at the AGM. With all that is happening in the club at present this has been put on hold for now.
6.Development Officers report and Ground development report
At last year’s AGM the club committed to progressing the new pitch project “Pitching for Success”, which is based on relocating the club’s activities to Culford School. Since then the club’s Management Committee and Development Committee have been working up the project and also considering the implications for both the club itself and its members.
Part of this process involves re-committing to England Hockey’s’ ClubsFirst Quality Standard, first gained by the club in 2007. Achieving accreditation is a requirement when seeking project funding from them and currently the club is bidding for £170k.
The club therefore needs to demonstrate to England Hockey that it has plans in place to achieve both ClubsFirst and the project, which inevitably means that the club policies and procedures need to be up to date and visible and that club members and volunteers are aware of them and work to them.
The following is an update on progress to date which includes a request to club members to consider the impact on the club’s costs and membership fees.
The club now has a Five Year Development Plan which outlines what we want to achieve over the period 2013-18. (View it on the website, under Policy). The main focus of the plan is to prepare for and achieve the new pitch project by Year Three - September 2015.
The plan is to build a floodlit sand-dressed pitch in the walled garden at Culford School and use their Sports and Tennis Centre for our changing and social activities. The school will lease us the land for the pitch and we will have a Management Agreement with them which will allow us both to use the two pitches now available. However the club will have control over the use of the new pitch as it is funding it.
Subject to construction prices and VAT the pitch is expected to cost between £500k and £600k. The club is currently seeking to raise these funds from England Hockey, The Hockey Foundation, the club’s own Loan Note Scheme and other fundraising initiatives.
It is planned for the bids to both England Hockey and The Hockey Foundation to be made over the summer, assuming the Loan Note Scheme has attracted sufficient interest from club members to be instigated. Its target is £300k.
News from funders about any potential awards is due by the end of 2014, with the construction of the pitch planned for May - August 2015.
To achieve accreditation the Management Committee is working up a Club Operating Manual that describes what we do, outlines our policies and has procedures for captains, coaches and volunteers to follow on match days and during coaching sessions and club events. It may sound onerous but in reality it is generally a description of what we already do, but with some guidance notes for all to follow and simple checklists to complete.
Clubsfirst is there to reassure club members, players, parents and volunteers that we take subjects such as player development, team selection, health and safety and safeguarding of our young members seriously. It doesn’t mean that we have to tie ourselves down to rigorous rules and regulations, but work to flexible guiding principles that ensure fair and equal treatment of our members.
We aim to have the Operating Manual is in place for next season and expect England Hockey to do an inspection visit in late September.
We are currently working with team captains to agree a player selection policy to ensure our teams are balanced and recognise our commitment to the development of young players. (View the drafts on the Website under Policy).
We aim to put these in place for next season.
We are rightly proud of our junior coaching programme and also have been looking to develop our adult coaching programme. The club values greatly the contribution made by our volunteer coaches, but we recognise that, particularly at the top end of the adult teams, we need to ensure that we have sufficiently qualified and experienced coaches, to help drive our teams up the leagues.
This commitment may require more use of paid coaches and more pitch time next season to drive up our success on the pitch. We also wish to encourage members to take up coaching and we can help with the initial costs.
Club will help with Coaching fees 50% up front and 50% after a period of time working with the club.
We also wish to encourage members to take up umpiring and we can help with the initial costs.
We now have an Umpire’s Development Officer (Barry Anderson) who will help with training and assessing.
Club will help with Umpires fees 50% up front and 50% after a period of time working with the club.
To support our overall development the committee is now looking to co-opt 3 new members:
A Coaching Co-ordinator (to oversee our junior and adult coaching programmes and to provide liaison between our coaches, captains and helpers);
A Volunteer Coordinator (to support our parent helpers and other volunteers including identifying training opportunities);
A Sponsorship Officer (to develop and lead the club’s efforts to raise sponsorships from local businesses to support the new pitch project plus ongoing support of the club’s teams and activities).
The Management Committee is voluntary based, meets monthly and manages the clubs activities on behalf of club members.
We currently have approx. 400 playing members (170 adults and 230 juniors U18).
The club operates a central database and therefore it is important that club member’s information is accurate. You can already logon and keep your contact details up to date.
We currently have a manual membership system, based on a signed membership form. We propose to develop a new website over the summer that will make our membership renewal and new member process much easier from next season. You will also be able to pay your membership subscriptions (200 Club and possibly other fees), electronically through Paypal. The club is committed to reducing its administrative burden on our volunteers by better use of technology. We encourage all members to support this initiative - Details to follow.
We currently aim to cover the annual running costs of the club through income generated from membership subscriptions and match fees. Over recent years we have achieved this and are steadily growing a reserve fund (currently approx. £35k), which is assigned to contribute to the new pitch project. Ideally this figure will double through club efforts, increasing it to £50k by the end of next season. The social committee are now putting event profits into the project (£1k already raised to date) and donations are being encouraged directly and through Local Giving Website (£1k plus to date). The 200 club has raised its membership from 45 to 54 plus over last year. However we need to widen our search for new funding beyond club members alone if we are to meet this ambitious target. Hence the need for the Sponsorship Officer. We have limited sponsorship funding to-date and this in particular is an area that we feel can generate us new funding. Your help is very welcome.
Annual Costs - Pitch hire fees will rise next season (Abbeycroft and Culford), particularly if we increase our training hours as being considered. Hockey related affiliations, tournament entries etc. will also rise as we increase activity. However overall costs are not rising significantly.
Income - Membership subscriptions provide an annual contribution to our income with match fees being the main contributor. However match fees in particular take time to get into the bank (collected manually over the season) and a number of activities are either currently provided without any specific fee payable or are on an individually priced basis.ie. Training, junior matches, home and away cup matches etc.
Next season could be our last before we move to Culford, so we are looking to minimise change but our existing subscriptions and match fees will not cover our increasing costs. We are keen to keep our current adult match fees the same, so we are looking to introduce a number of new fees where there is currently no direct charge.
We are not expecting significant changes in membership numbers but without increasing income, mainly from club members, the budget is tight and the reserve fund could be put under further pressure, so we have a number of proposals for members to consider.
We assume that from the following season, the new facility and club aspirations will result in more members/teams etc. which in turn generate more income. It is also worth noting that if the Rougham land is sold at the higher end of the expected sale value, that the club will receive a significant share that can be influential in maintaining reasonable and fair future costs to members.
MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS AND MATCH FEE PROPOSALS
Below are a number of proposals for you to consider. We need to adopt at least 1 of these:
Proposal 1: Increase the £10 adult annual membership fee to £20 only.
This should cover the proposed budget for next season, assuming we attract at least the same number of members and all monies due are collected.
Proposal 2: Increase the adult membership fee to £30 for adults and introduce a £20 fee for juniors between 14 – 18 year olds, and £10 for all U14s who participate in the junior coaching programme.
This will provide up to £5,000 additional income that can specially be identified for club development (ie. for more paid coaching, supporting new and upgraded qualifications, pitch time etc).
Proposal 3: Introduce a match fee of £1 per player for all junior matches (ie Under 8’s, Under 10’s and U 12’s) played. There may also be fees for tournaments where several matches are played at any one event.
This will provide up to £500 which could support junior equipment and other associated costs.
Proposal 4: Introduce a training fee of £1 for all adult training.
This will provide up to £1,300 (based on 45 training/29 wks) which will help cover the additional pitch hire costs.
Proposal 5: Introduce a late payment fee.
Annual membership fees/junior coaching fees not paid for by 1 October – an additional £5, if after 1 December a further £5.
THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATION TO THE CLUB’S MEMBERSHIP IS TO ADOPT PROPOSALS 2, 3 AND 5 FOR NEXT SEASON. Teresa Smith raised concern in raising Junior fees as club is trying to encourage Juniors from state schools. Tony Bass advised that research has been done with hockey and other sports and this proposal is a lot cheaper.
James Thurlow asked how will fees be policed to ensure monies are received, Tony Bass explained that Juniors and Adults will not be able to play or train if they have not paid. Nicola Baker-Munton confirmed that parents will pay if they are not allowed to pay in matches. John Hendy suggested a tag that players will get if they have paid. Tony agreed that this has already been sourced.
Katie Bedford, with regards to the late fee, as a collecter money she would only be happy for this to go ahead if monies are paid electronically as this may cause bad feelings. Bill Tasker confirmed that the membership fees only will go electronic only and it only applies to subs.
Patrick Sullivan, requested confirmation that these will be for next season and beyond as the £10 fee was pitched last year as a one off fee. Tony Bass advised that they will be ongoing and reviewed every year at the AGM.
David Johnson, pointed out that the fees are needed at present with the cost of such things aas pitch hire and when we have new pitch although we will still have some costs but they will be reduced, therefore fees should be reviewed every year at the AGM.
Teresa Smith felt that if we go to proposal 2 that proposal 4 will not go down well and would be hard to administer. Bill Tasker agreed and confirmed that is why the management team are not endorsing it.
John Shone asked if BSEHC negoiate the fees with Abbeycroft as it is felt that they do not look after the pitch to warrant this. Tony Bass advised that there is a degree of negiation already but we need to be more robust in challenging them in regards to the upkeep of the pitch and facilities. Also brought up that the club does on occasion receive complaints about the club from both Culford and Abbeycroft so we need to ensure that this does not happen in future.
James Thurow commented that the club is in a very difficult situation and thanked everyone for all there hard work and it was nice that the club was interested in the teams and what they want.
Anne-marie Vis, when she talks to her friends in the Netherlands about the fees that Juniors pay and they are surprised that the annual fee is not a monthy fee.
Teresa Smith hopes that if fees increase it may encourage people to come training as they will want to get their monies worth. We especially need to get people to training if we are going to be increasing and improving coaching.
Richard Crystal impressed the importance of the sponsorship officer and the copetition the club will have with the local rugby club. Also the clubs needs to raise it's profile within the local hockey community by having a tournament in the summer. Tony Bass stressed that this is not easy while we do not have our own facilities and that we need club members to step forward and volunteer to arrange such events. Alex Kelly suggested using Culford for tournaments as they have grass pitches, Alex will happly arrange this with the help of others.
Mrs Charles highlighted that once the club have the 2 pitches we will have a great advantage especially with JRPC
Bill Tasker asked members present if they are happy to accept the committee's recommendations, all agreed.
7.Election of President & Vice Presidents
Bil Tasker nominated David Johnson to stay as President and Tony Bass seconded.
John Reed Seconded by John Hendy
Gary GoodchildSeconded by John Hendy
No other nominations received
No deaths this year
8.Election of Club Officers
Comittee/Club positions nominated by Katie Bedford and seconded by John Shone.
Domanic Kavanagh showed an interest in the Sponsorship Officer. Bill Tasker to send copy of the job description.
Bonk Tasker asked if the committee had discussed the possibility of reduced fees for those who volunteer. Bill Tasker advised that it would mean a change in constitution which would need to be agreed at the agm or a special gm. John Hendy pointed out that this could have an implication with HMRC.