ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: 1st March 2016
The meeting was attended by 11 club members.
“I wouldn’t pretend to know everything that’s been going on in the club and I doubt if anyone one does these days. It’s because as the initial research for the publication of club’s history reveals, the club has expanded its activities so much over its first 40 years – even over the last 15 years that I’ve been involved.
It’s good to see the women’s side of the club is flourishing with good turn outs and individual and team performances in plenty of races throughout the year. Kerry and Debbie seem to be instrumental in that as well as the coaching of masses of youngsters on a Tuesday night. Jill and Sarah are pleased with the attitude and persistence of the 20 or so ladies who have been attending the Monday night ladies only sessions during winter.
Although the club is not directly responsible, it’s very good to see club member, Steve Cordon, pulling off the weekly Brough Park Runs. Plenty of our senior and junior members take on this challenge regularly and it helps to provide another local, sociable way to tempt people in and around the Moorlands to start running. So things are looking good on all of these fronts.
When it comes to senior men’s side of things, the one that the club has traditionally measures itself well-being by, we seem to be going through a bit of a trough. We didn’t get promoted from Division 2 of the North Staffs League, we struggled to field full teams for our descent into relegation from the Birmingham Cross Country League Division 1. What’s more there doesn’t seem to be enough runners with the appetite to enter the Sutton Park Relays these days. Sadly some of our local runners have opted to run and fly the flag for neighbouring clubs. These things happen to the best of clubs. At least this year we honoured our responsibilities in the Birmingham League, when other comparable clubs have not either bothered or been able to turn up for races in the past. Hopefully we’re just experiencing one of those cyclical things caused by some of the old guard dropping out of running competitively; people moving away; injuries and more demanding family and work lives. Hopefully we’ve set things up for a rejuvenated men’s team to establish itself from the coming season onwards.
The Summer Series was back up to full strength again with 10 races and a 6% increase on the average number of runners in each race. Special mention should be made of Dave Bethell’s contribution. He managed to pull off what some runners are calling the classic cross country challenge with his Ipstones race. Well that might be the case for those who didn’t get lost or injured in the process. It was definitely memorable but I doubt if we can insist that the Battle of the Somme-like conditions are recreated by the loggers in the wood again this year.
For those who were not directly involved with putting on the Leek Half Marathon it’s understandable they were a bit puzzled and disappointed when it was pulled last year. The decision was based on finding that the cost of putting it on would be rising significantly and the take up of advanced entries was worryingly low. The last two runnings of the event only attracted some 230 runners – which is on par with some of the Summer Series races and the Half requires a hell of lot more input than a Summer Series race. Hopefully we’ve secured the future of the race by ‘passing it on’ to others. After all Staffs Moorlands took it over from the Fire Brigade and we don’t want to get in the way of those who might be able to secure its future”.
So on reflexion, if I as Secretary, don’t know everything that’s going on in the club these days. How do we expect existing club members and potential members to know what’s on offer and make them feel they are valued? The revamping of the club’s website this year means people can get the essential information and race results. Kerry’s also orchestrating the production of flyers and posters to inform people of our weekly coaching, training and social runs. I suspect there’s a need to also establish a network which enables people to introduce themselves to each other and share being part of the club. I’m afraid I’m not the one to turn to for any social media solutions. I’m strictly ‘old school’ relying on nattering in the street, at races and down the pub”.
“Thank you to all the committee, coaches, team managers, club members and helpers who have supported the club through another successful year.
The Club presentation night last March was a huge success. Thank you to Lucinda and others who made this possible.
We achieved a full 10 race summer series last year which went very well. Thanks to all race directors and helpers, without you we cannot stage these events. We always have an odd hiccup, it’s important not to get disheartened with immediate comments. These are common at all races and usually are soon forgotten. Overall we had very positive feedback.
This year we are looking for new race directors, and will help to support anyone new and not throw them in at the deep end. We have a lot of good experience, however 10 races are difficult to cover, so new helpers are key to continue our future success.
It was with some regret that we had to pull the Leek Half. It was a decision that most of us supported as we had to ensure a safe race above all else. The good news is that the race will continue, albeit under another organisation. However, the race has not always been staged by SMAC, it was originally hosted by the Leek Fire Brigade. It is good for the club and runners both local and from afar who continue to look forward to the event that it carries on.
The Christmas Cracker was another successful event, and we enjoyed good weather so that the full course could take place once again.
It is sad that we have lost some of our male runners. Hopefully those remaining will pull together to help the club to do well this year. These situations come and go in most clubs, and whilst the men’s team has suffered, the ladies and junior squads are enjoying huge growth and success.
Whilst our committee is a small group, we want to encourage all members to contribute to new ideas to help the club move forward.
We have a group headed by our Club President, John Broadbent who are researching the history of the club’s first 40 years. They are pulling together lots of information which previously was scattered amongst current or former members, or in danger of being lost. We will have lots of info that can be archived for the club to keep, which in itself will be a great achievement, as currently we have no central records. We are reviewing what we do with this, whether to do a publication on the Club’s history. All ideas are welcome”.
TREASURER’S REPORT for the 2015 Accounts
“The Summer Series this year provided £9,855 in entry fees and a balance of £4,951. This compares to the 2014 Summer Series which had entry fees of £8,760 and a final balance of £4,247. This provides the main source of income for the club.
The Leek Half Marathon was cancelled this year with a small loss of £25.
The Christmas Cracker 2015 had entries totalling £1,889 and a balance of £986. (Some costs were met in January including donations to Buxton Mountain Rescue (£250); 2nd Leek Scouts (£100) and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust for the Roaches Footpath Restoration Fund (£200). All the remaining socks were given out (the stocks have lasted 3 years), so costs will be higher in 2016 to cover the purchase of new stock.
£582 was paid out to individuals representing the club, helping them with travel costs to competitions, usually where car journeys were shared (compared to £650 in 2014). Generally members receive £20 on each occasion for travel expenses, with slightly higher payments made where long distances were involved. No special payments were made to individual athletes in 2015.
Other significant payments during the year include:
£2,263 to Go-Go Designs for Summer series T-shirts (compared to £1,854 to Go-Go Designs in 2014)
£361 for web site costs (£349 in 2014)
£135 for one coaching course (compared to £285 for coaching courses for 2 members in 2014)
No additional equipment was purchased during the year (just small race items such as race numbers and safety pins.
Affiliation Fees were:
£1,988 to England Athletics (£1,615 in 2014)
£232 to Association of Running Clubs – for race insurance purposes (£209 in 2014)
£115 to Birmingham & District Invitation Cross Country League (£95 in 2014)
£90 to North Staffs Cross Country League (same in 2014)
£35 to Staffs AAA (£30 in 2014)
For 2015 the club had a surplus of income over expenditure of £1,158 (compared to £2,896 in 2014)”
7. ELECTION OF OFFICERS
|Membership Secretary||Tony Rogers|
|Kit Manager||Kerry Marchant|
|Men’s Team Manager||Phil Greer (Road and Cross Country)|
|Ladies Team Manager||Kerry Marchant|
|Juniors Manager||Kerry Marchant|
|Child Protection Officers||Jason Burgess and Kerry Marchant|
|Management Committee Members||Steve Massey, Adrian Northcott, Sarah Beighton and Lucinda Stone|
|Honorary President||John Broadbent (to be confirmed)|
It was agreed (if the numbers of runners permit) to pay affiliation to and compete in: North Staffs Cross Country, Birmingham & District Invitation Cross Country League; County X-Country Championships, Midlands and National X-Country Road Relay Championships, National and Regional Veterans Championships and National Fell Relays and the English Club Fell Championships. An allocate of up to £500 will be made to each team to enter members (juniors, seniors and vets) in to races at their discretion, without them needing to agree it through committee.
The club will continue to be affiliated to UK Athletics plus the Association of Running Clubs (for race insurance purposes)
During the year 17 members left the club, while 38 new members joined. In March 2015 we have 206 members.
It was agreed to freeze seniors, juniors and pensioners club membership fees. We have no control over the price charged for UKA affiliation which will be going up to £13 this year.
Seniors £16 not UKA affiliated or £29 including UKA affiliation
Juniors and Over 60s £8 not UKA affiliated or £21 including UKA affiliation
Family membership is charged at the standard rate for adults + 1 x the current junior rate for an unlimited number of juniors. Each individual member must pay the UKA affiliation fee on top of the Family Membership fee, if they need to be affiliated to UKA.
10. AMENDMENTS TO CLUB RULES
No amendments to the new constitution were suggested.
11. BROUGH PARK RUN
12. Off-Road Championships
Sarah Beighton volunteered to take over running the club’s Off Road Championships competition.
13. Perimeter track around Birchall Playing Fields
Roy McCauley volunteered to liaise with the Council to see if it’s permissible / practical and how much it would cost to lay a path around the perimeter of Birchall playing fields (probably about 1 km long) to allow a bigger circuit suitable for runners, joggers, walkers and toddlers on bikes. It might be possible to invest some of the club’s money alongside other sources of funding to create a complementary alternative route to the running tack for healthy exercise, for all.
NEXT MEETING: 7th March 2017