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Southwell Running Club

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting

18th October 2014, 7.30 at Southwell Rugby Club

Present:

Nigel Watkin, Jackie Duers, Jo Harcombe, Penny Durance, Paul Orton, Chris Cregg, Paul Cregg,   Chrissie Reynolds, Roy Crashley, Helen Jones, Pete Lambarth, Phil Sturgeon, Vance Owen, George Pass, Tracy Polak, Bruce Danby, Loraine Fozzard, Barbara Garrett, Ian Haigh, Mark Edmondson-Jones, Angela Edmonson-Jones, Chris Wales, Patrick Lynn, Wayne Wilmot, Katy Simpson, Heidi Harris, Caroline Loom, Liz Butcher, Paul Butcher, Paul Grogan, Peter Gault,, Pete Moody, Ant Rosevear, Richard Durance and Lisa Preece

1.         Apologies for absence

 Brendan Parkinson, Bev Owen, Richard Peacock and Stephen Rice.

 2.         Minutes of last meeting and matters arising

 Minutes approved as a true representation of the last AGM.

 All matters arising from the last year’s meeting have been dealt with during the past committee meetings.  These included:-

         New summer event: The Southwell Swine

         New training structure for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (see Chair’s report below)

3.         Chairperson’s Report

In my previous two chairman’s reports I have mentioned how the club has become more diverse in the type, and distance of events that club members now train for, and take part in. Over the past year our club members have taken part in events that range in length from 1 mile to 300 mile multi-day, stage races. Types of terrain vary and include running track, road, cross country, trail, fell, and mountains. Some of these members take part to race and be highly competitive, some just want to improve and compete against the clock or themselves, some like the challenge of being part of a team, others take part purely for the enjoyment and the social ambience that such events bring. We also have members who run purely to get fit, or to provide a level of fitness for other pursuits such as duathlon, triathlon and pentathlon and then there are those who choose to run with the club purely for social means. All of these members run for equally valid reasons and seek to get something out of the club.

To provide a comprehensive training structure that suits all these aims is impossible. We can however provide activities that will fit somewhere into the training programme of most runners who join the club. I believe the format that best suits all our needs is to provide a speed-work session on Tuesday evenings, a medium paced, tempo run on Thursdays and longer, steady sociable run on a Saturday morning. I feel that while not offering a comprehensive training schedule for anyone, it does provide something for all runners. I also believe that these sessions work best when the club is kept together as a whole group rather than numerous splinter groups setting off at different times and on different routes. Finding leaders for a single group session on a Tuesday is a difficult task but trying to find leaders for three different paced groups at a different venue each week is practically impossible, and the Saturday morning sessions have suffered from this.

The committee does receive feedback regarding training sessions but it is sporadic and generally negative. We have had some constructive suggestions this year which the committee has tried to act upon with mixed amounts of success, but these are few and far between. The club is evolving continually and I know that there is a feeling amongst many people and myself included that this evolution is towards competition and focussed training for specific events. This evolution is not happening because the committee have decided that this is the way the club should be, it is happening because club members are making it happen, by making constructive suggestions and taking time and effort themselves to get these ideas off the ground. The committee approve and facilitate these ideas, and when we get so few constructive suggestions it is difficult not to act on the ones we receive. What I would welcome is those members who feel that Saturday mornings aren’t working or going the way they like to take on the challenge.

In my time at the club the most successful and radical change to training sessions was the Thursday night format that Peter Cowley developed a number of years ago. Pete successfully identified what was wrong and with a bit of inspiration and effort he produced a basic circuit with 4 variations, went out, measured and mapped them himself, put the suggestion before the committee and the rest is history. This is the kind of constructive suggestion we welcome. The most successful inventions, innovative ideas, scientific breakthroughs are very rarely ever realised through “design by committee” more often than not they are the product of one person’s “eureka” moment and single minded inspiration. We have a great club packed full of great people with years of experience in the running world and I am sure there are many more Pete Cowleys within our ranks with great ideas for training sessions.

One area where the club has been weak, is in dealing with beginners to running who do not have the ability or confidence to run with the main body of the club. This has been a problem this year with at least two prospective members being put off by the sheer pace of the club as a whole. In answer to this Jo Semmelroth has set up a beginners running club which will meet on Thursday evenings before the main club session. They will finish as the main group starts so that they can integrate with the club, with the aim of joining the main body of runners when they are capable. They will all pay the normal club membership subscription and hence will be club members. Jo will lead the sessions herself as many of them are her own personal clients. The sole aim is to develop the capability and confidence for each of them to run with the main group. This is entirely Jo’s idea and again is another example of a club member providing an inspirational solution to a long standing problem.

Road

The Summer league kicked off this year with a brand new race hosted by ourselves and held at Hexgreave Park. We owe a big vote of thanks to Tony Strawson the owner of the estate who put in a great deal of hard work to make the event the success that it was. A huge amount of credit should go to our own club members; a very large proportion of which were involved either competing on the night, marshalling or helping to set up the race. It really is another event that SRC can be proud of.

We had a much larger turn-out at all the summer league races than last year which is encouraging, with 9 members completing the entire series and our veteran men finished 2nd, veteran women 5th and senior men 8th, and this is our best senior men’s result in this league for long time.

Molly Campbell won the U20’s gold medal with Paul Grogan and Nigel Watkin claiming silver and bronze in the men’s v50 category respectively.

We have supported both the Gordon Whelbourn series and the Holme Pierrepont Grand Prix series with more than double the number participants that took part last year. Both were highly successful competitions for us with Jackie Duers winning the women’s series and Nigel Watkin claiming 3rd overall in the Gordon Whelbourn, and in the Holme Pierrepont Grand Prix series Paul Grogan and Nigel Watkin claimed 1st and 2nd prizes respectively in the male V50 category while Penny Durance claimed 1st in the female V60 and Angela Edmondson-Jones was 3rd female V50.

This year we entered a men’s team for the national masters road relays competition and our Southwell men finished 35th overall which was a great result.

Half marathons continue to be the most popular type of event for Southwell runners but interest in 10Ks appears to be growing rapidly. Marathons also continue to grow in popularity and this year SRC have been represented at London, York, Milton Keynes, Giant’s head (in Dorset), The Yorkshireman, and Robin Hood amongst others.

Road running is usually the most popular genre at SRC but this year it seems to have increased further in popularity with greater numbers taking part in most events than last year.

XC

The XC leagues have been well supported this year and interest in cross country continues to grow steadily. In the North Midlands league our veteran men finished 6th which is a good result in what is a very high quality league.

In the East Midlands league our veteran men finished 2nd , veteran ladies 3rd and our senior men were 8th.

Two members took part in the County XC championships at Shipley Park in Heanor and 10 members took part in the national XC championships at Wollaton Park which was a huge success.

This year the club has a men’s and ladies team entered in the national XC relays competition to be held on 1st November at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield.

Fell

Fell running continues to grow in popularity with more club members taking part in fell races than ever before. SRC has been represented in numerous races all across the UK with distances ranging from less than 5K to marathon.

Southwell provided two men’s teams and a ladies team at the 4th Notts County fell running championships, held at the Wolf’s Pit race in Derbyshire. Our men’s teams finished 1st and 4th and our ladies team were 2nd. Paul Butcher won the men’s individual gold medal and Gina Granger won the ladies V40 gold. For the fourth consecutive year SRC men are the County Champions.

Paul Butcher, Alex Hughes and Gina Granger were selected to compete for Nottinghamshire at the inter-counties fell championships held at Witton Park near Blackburn. SRC also entered a team for the High Peak Marathon and this year we have two teams entered for the UKA Fell & Hill relay championships to be held next Sunday at Middleton Fell in Cumbria. 

Ultra

Ultra distance events continue to grow in popularity and this year SRC has been represented at the Dukeries Ultra, Tour De Helvellyn, High Peak marathon, fellsman, London to Brighton 100K, High Peak 40, Grand tour of Skiddaw, 3x3 Ultra to name but a few. The scale of these events continues to grow and I am in awe of the ability, fitness and sheer tenacity of our members who take on events that involve huge distances and multiple days of running. Three that I would like to mention from this year are Dick Durance returning to the MDS to run with Helen, Wayne Wilmot’s attempt at the CCC in the Mont Blanc Massif and Phil Sturgeon’s attempt at the Spine race in January. All didn’t complete the event for various reasons but never the less just having the ability and bravery to enter and have a go is something that I personally hold in very high regard and shows the scale of the ambition of our membership.

Paul Orton staged a second very successful Grand Tour of Southwell which was enjoyed by a number of club members, and I hope that this will become a regular feature on the calendar.

Internal events

It has been a good year for internal events. In the Grand Prix series numbers for all races are slightly up on last year with the exception of the 3 mile race where 28 runners took part and this is the same amount as last time. We have slightly changed the format this year by introducing the Bramley Challenge as a substitute race, effectively replacing re-runs after each individual event.

We have also successfully introduced a new 4 race Cross country Grand Prix series which was very well attended by club members and the winner will be announced at the first race of the new series, later this year.  A big vote of thanks is due to Jim Semmelroth for organising this.

Another new internal event for this year was the club age related track race at Bingham leisure centre. The turn-out for this was small but the event was well organised and I hope that it will grow in popularity in the future as this offers something very different to the other internal events, it really is good fun and much more sociable than any of the other internal races. You can actually watch and learn or even heckle while other club members run.

We have also successfully re-introduced the River Relays this year, after a two year absence and just for once it didn’t rain!

Again we hosted the annual Bramley Challenge also at Caythorpe, and this year Newark Striders joined us along with NOTFAST and Holme Pierrepont. Another new element to this was that we have introduced timing, a results board, and have incorporated the race into the Grand Prix series. We received very positive feedback from Newark Striders who wish to be included again next year.

Social Events

Phil Sturgeon gave a talk on the epic Spine race held on the Pennine way in winter and Jo Semmelroth put on a barefoot running event at Upton cricket club which was very informative. Julie Gleeson hosted the Christmas run which takes the form of a treasure hunt around Southwell which is always good fun and the Christmas party was held at Ferry Farm Park again last year. Apart from meeting after internal race events for refreshments that just about sums up social events for this year, which I think is a shame as the social atmosphere at SRC is what makes it such a great club to be part of.

Southwell Swine

This year the Southwell Swine was held at the slightly later date of the 24th August and we received only slightly fewer entries than the previous year. Both routes were entirely off-road this year and held within the Brackenhurst estate. We are very grateful to Vic Hird at Brackenhurst who put a great deal of effort into assisting the sub-committee with organising the event. Our chosen charity this year was REACH, based in Southwell, and they were actively involved on the day with marshalling etc. We have received lots of positive feedback and the race went well on the day with a very positive atmosphere. A big vote of thanks goes to the sub-committee for putting in a great deal of hard work before and during the race and also to Gascoines for sponsoring the event to the tune of 1,000 without which it could not have gone ahead.

General summary

The main thing that has always stood out to me through my time at Southwell Running Club is the superb, friendly and social atmosphere that some other clubs lack. I believe this is partly due to the club training together as a whole rather than in separate groups, and the sheer number of internal events either races or social, that are open to all club members. The largest and most active, dedicated running clubs in our region put on approximately 3 internal race events per year with club championships based upon a points system for competing in various open to the public races. We currently hold 11 internal race events and two entirely internal Grand Prix series. We are unique in this, and also that our main source of income is from our membership subscriptions. Most clubs put on at least one “open to the public” event of some kind to generate income. All proceeds from our only race event are donated to charity.

Over the last few years the running costs of the club have risen dramatically, not just internal events but all affiliation fees have increased, with the club sustaining huge losses this year. To compound this membership currently stands at 95 which is down on last year and England Athletics have increased individual affiliation fees by 2.00 per member this year.  All of this places a financial burden on the membership and unfortunately we are now at the point where an increase in membership subscriptions is inevitable if we are to keep our unique and friendly status.

In summary I think there are more positives than negatives to take from this year. There are some issues to be resolved surrounding finance and training structures and these will form the main challenge for this coming year. We have successfully introduced a new summer league race, held our 2nd Southwell Swine race, re-introduced the River Relays after a two year absence, improved the Bramley challenge and the proportion of our membership participating in club events and race leagues has grown considerably compared to last year. Every member in this room tonight has played an active part in that and on the whole I think we have a club that we can all be very proud of.

4.         Treasurer’s Update

Lorraine presented the accounts summary for the financial year to 31 August 2014.  A summary is attached.  Thanks again to Brenda Peacock for auditing the accounts. 

 5.         Election of Offices

The following members were elected to serve on the committee for 2014/15:-

Position

Candidate

Proposer

Seconder

Chairman

Ian Haigh

Jim Semmelroth

Phil Sturgeon

Vice Chair

Katy Simpson

Julie Gleeson

Roy Crashley

Secretary

Vacant

 

 

Treasurer

Loraine Fozzard

Lisa Preece

Ian Haigh

Membership Secretary

Steve Hargrave

Roy Crashley

Katy Simpson

Committee

Phil Sturgeon

Jim Semmelroth

Steve Hargrave

Committee

Wayne Wilmot

Penny Durance

Julie Stafford

Committee

Peter Moody

Jackie Duers

Nigel Watkin

Committee

Chris Cregg

Jackie Duers

Paul Cregg

Committee

Chris Wales

Paul Orton

Ian Haigh

 Roy Crashley, Jim Semmelroth, Lisa Preece and Julie Gleeson all stood down. They were thanked for their great service to the club.

 6.         Motions for discussion

(i)      To take on Southwell Rugby Club premises as a base.

There was debate about the advantages and disadvantages. It was felt that there should be an analysis of costs and savings. Those present said  (by a majority of 20 to 12 of those voting) that they would be willing to pay a 40 pa membership subscription if this was necessary to make it viable. IH as Chair will open negotiations with the Rugby Club.

(ii)    To change the Club’s financial year to run from 1st April to 31st March each year

This is to align it with the UKA membership affiliation year. Carried by a good majority.

(iii)   To change the club subscription fees to 10 to 31st March 2015 and then to 30 or 35 from 1st April depending on outcome of motions (i) and (ii)

Motion carried in respect of 10 to 31st March 2015. Decision on level of subscription from 1st April 2015 deferred until a decision has been made on having the Rugby Club as a base.

(iv)   To bring the subscription fees for the over 60s in line with standard subscription fees.

Motion carried. 

7. AOB

Re the Club London Marathon entry, LP confirmed that the portal for registration does not open until the end of October/beginning of November.

A query was raised about the cost of the hire of the Full Moon which had increased to 300 from 80.

A request was made for the venues for Saturday runs to be extended. More members should be prepared to take responsibility for organising the Saturday routes. Dick volunteered to put some routes together, so they could be referred to by those leading if necessary. Requests made for whipper-ins to be on a rota as well.

The meeting closed at 9.10pm

 

 

 
 

 

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