AGM Minutes 2015

Bromley & Beckenham Hockey Club AGM
The Tennis Pavilion, Beckenham CC, Foxgrove Road
22 Oct 2015 at 7:30pm


Chris Harris, Jo Read, Katie Fielder, Charlotte Ridout, Mike Bluet, Geoff Stacey, Suzanna Scott, Dan Blackman, Charles Darby, Andy Willis, Willie Sumner, Daisy Ridout, Tara Woodward, Natasha Wiszniewska, Laura Skinner, Jo McLeave, Rob Truslow, Toby Grainger, Neil Smith.

1. Apologies for absence
Barry Mills, John Sammons, Lucy Bowler, Todd Fielder, Will Harris, Bob Beaumont

2. Approval of Minutes from 2014 AGM – Proposed – Charles Darby, 2nd – Charlotte Ridout

3. Report from the Chairman & Administration Report

I should like to take this opportunity to appraise you of developments in the Club, which I hope to expand upon at the AGM on 22nd October.  You may remember that last year’s AGM was held in May 2014, which is nearly 18 months ago.  This year however, The Committee felt that it should be moved to a later date that was during the hockey season and would hopefully encourage increased attendance.  I look forward to this being the case!

For an update of the 2014/15 season please refer to my end of season report which is on the web site.   It is however worthwhile providing a very brief update on the start of the 2015/16 season even though we are only a few weeks into it.  The Men’s 1st XI are experiencing a challenging start to their season.  Unable to secure a coach for the start of the season, captain Dan Walsh has stepped up to coach on an interim basis.  The appointment of a new coach is however imminent and we look forward to improving fortunes having garnered just 3 points from the first 5 games – at the AGM it was confirmed that Justin King has been confirmed as the new coach.  Conversely, the Ladies 1st XI are benefiting from a continuation of the set up from last season, and under coach David Evans and captain Lucy Shepherd they have won their first 4 games and are yet to concede a goal.

The league season is now underway for all other teams and again this season we are fielding 9 Men’s sides and 5 Ladies, and are keen to continue to encourage junior participation throughout the sides. I prefer however to focus more on off the field activities.  On a highly positive note, I am pleased to report that grants totalling nearly £200,000 have been awarded for the refurbishment of the all-weather pitch at Langley Park School for Girls.  This is made up of £150,000 from Sport England and £50,000 form England Hockey.  The applications made by the School and the Club respectively involved significant input from both parties and I feel strongly that we are building a working relationship with the School  that bodes well for the refurbishment project as it progresses.  A huge amount of thanks go to Charles Darby for his liaison with the sporting bodies – especially England Hockey - and to Tommy Hamilton for ensuring that the content of the applications positioned us in such a strong position.  

The grants do not cover the whole cost and we estimate that a further £75,000 to £125,000 is required, depending on the extent of the refurbishment.   This is clearly a large amount of extra funding that we need to find, yet I am confident that we can raise the amount needed so long as we can reach agreement with the school over our use of the pitch at an acceptable cost.   We are actively exploring the avenues by which the money can be raised and are keen to report on this in more detail in the near future.  

Our overall aim with the LPSG pitch is to secure our long term playing future through a) excellent yet affordable facilities and b) growing the Club organically through developing our junior hockey capability.  I would like this to be the catalyst for bring the junior and adult sections closer together for the long term benefit of all our members. 

This project will be the focal point of your Committee’s efforts over the coming months, with a view to having the new pitch in place for next season. Such positive developments however must be tempered with a note of caution.  A new pitch is not a panacea for all the issues we face as a hockey club.  Our lifeblood is members, and attracting and retaining players is arguably our biggest challenge.  The root cause of this I believe is the current demographic that sees people in their 20s gravitate towards South West London.  Consider some other clubs with which we are familiar……

Old Loughtonians once at the pinnacle of hockey in England are no longer competing in the National Leagues and are running fewer sides than they used to, this despite having 2 pitches outside their clubhouse.  The difficulties they face I believe stem from their location.  Hockey players coming back from “Uni” do not move to NE London.  

Compare this with Spencer HC.  This club does not have facilities to match Old Loughts, yet they reputedly had to turn away a very large number of prospective members at the start of the season.  Their “problem”?  Hockey playing 20-somethings do want to live in SW London.

To some extent our situation mirrors that of Old Loughts.  Nevertheless we are only a few miles away from Spencer and can surely benefit from encouraging this demographic to look a little further east to meet their hockey needs.

2015/16 sees Brombeck HC completing 10 seasons as the merged Club, which coincides with the 150th anniversary of Beckenham CC.  We intend to celebrate this with an end of season dinner / dance.  Plans are tentatively underway to hold this event in a marquee at the Club in April next year.  This will be outlined in more detail at the AGM, and at this stage I welcome any input from members as to timings and the format this should take.

As always I should like to thank all the team captains, the members of the committee and the numerous volunteers for their continued hard work and commitment.  I wish you all an enjoyable and successful 2015/16 season.

4. Treasurer’s report

2014.15 Income - this was broadly the same as 2013.14 circa £83,000

Annual Subscriptions were up 5% to £35,522 – Subs collection remains a challenge, club officers and the office staff continually have to monitor and chase late payers. This season we had a much larger number of players, playing ad hoc games. It becomes difficult to determine appropriate fees or just ask them not to play, which at times is a real challenge on availability. The central office have improved their database and accepted online payments, room for improvement still remains.

Match fees were UP 8% to £29,740 (with April still coming in) – Another year of improvement, this was mainly due to more teams paying electronically and providing weekly spreadsheets. 80% of the ladies and 33% of the men’s section now pay in this way. It is quicker and easier to identify and chase missed match fees. I would propose we look to make this 100% participation.

Donations and Sponsorship were down 20% to £17,842. This was due to us losing our main sponsor Torstone. Both sections organised a number of successful fundraising activities in an attempt to make up this shortfall. This money is used to pay for players and coaches and in its current shape is unsustainable. As both men’s and ladies sections sustain high level league positions these costs will continue to escalate and have doubled in 5 years. A longer term strategy needs to be implemented.

2014.15 Costs were also broadly the same as last year circa £70k (with a couple of invoices outstanding).

Pitch Hire was at a par with 2013.14 £35,040 - this is a good result as pitch hire costs went up. All sections were more careful on pitch hire bookings and utilising time wisely

Affiliation and umpire fees, were 5% cheaper £8816 - Less cups, no indoor and less fines!

Teas were up 20% to £7,406 – This was to be expected with the new caterers and increased costs, but represents over 10% of our cost base which feels high.

Kit costs were down 50% to £672 (balls/cones/first aid) - Although a £3,200 provision was made from last year’s sponsorship to buy 4 sets of shirts.

Coaching and player costs were up 2% to £18,164, this was without an overseas player and the Men 1’s were without a paid coach for a couple of months of the season.

So a positive year financially with costs coming in lower than budget, but with more improvements possible…..

5. Matters arising:

LPGS pitch relay
£275k quote for full cost – the school have committed £25k which leaves BromBecks to find £50k; but this doesn’t include extra costs such as a spectator area, improved fencing around the goals, backboards, repairing sinkage in one of the corners of the pitch which would mean BromBecks needs to find £100k. 

We are currently in negotiation with the school as to what we will benefit from as a result of this collaboration.  Jo Read, Charles, Tommy and Chopper are leading on this negotiation; we are currently looking at a 50/50 share of the pitch – for us this means  usage at the weekends (except the first 1hr and a 1/5 on a Saturday), 4 days a week in the evening and school holidays to run summer camps.   The pitch will get new goals, floodlights (international standard), fencing as well as the new pitch base (the concrete base beneath is not being relayed).

In terms of costs we will share the costs 50/50 with the school; cost of running is made up of maintenance (roughly £15k) and a sinking fund (roughly £20k) which allows the pitch to be relayed at the end of its life; this is considerably less than we are currently paying for pitch hire costs annually.

This £100k could come from:-
1) loan from the main club
2) Junior section has £20k that it’s built up through summer camps (as an aside it was noted that Chris Rule has resigned from his Secretary role in the Junior section; Andy Willis is going to be taking this role on)
3) loan from the members (term of over 5 years with 4% APR); Andy Willis noted there was also an offer of £100k loan on the table with only a 1-2% APR

It was recommended we should start with asking for donations as well as exploring the option of advertising boards, although it would need confirming with the school wether they would allow this. 

Timeline – a community use agreement needs putting in place by 10 November with the school.  England Hockey for their £50k have imposed a deadline to get the work started before the end of the season.  As a club we want the pitch in place by the summer so it’s ready for the new season.

No changing rooms are planned currently but this could become a phase 2 project.  The school aren’t against this with potential locations including the area where the long jump pit is.

In terms of the pitch base we can’t have a water based pitch – we need to make the decision in the next 6 weeks as to the surface we require as we need to put the order in asap as the lead time is long.  Tara is going to speak to the Men’s 1s regarding their opinions on the best surface.

10th anniversary celebration – David Taylor is leading on this event; the proposed date currently is 9 or 16 April 2016.  Charles is to pick up at general committee the idea of maximising use of the marquee across all club sections. 

Plans are also in place to set up a hockey versus the cricket section at cricket on a Sunday during the Summer.

Discussions on recruitment and speaking with New Becks to discuss a potential merger in the future too place – New Becks have much cheaper subs and match fees but we offer a bigger and better package – dedicated weekly coaching which adds value to the membership. 

Kit – we have an invoice for £2.4k but they owe us £1.5k.  No benefit from being with Genesis moving forward as everyone has the kit so we won’t clear the yearly sales target to get the kick back and we no longer have a Genesis rep, so other suppliers are being looked at by Mike who could provide a kit as similar to the one we have now.

Club website - there will be a new club website which will allow members to pay subs online. 

Subscriptions - Lengthy discussions regarding subscriptions and getting money out of serial offenders who regularly don’t pay their subs ensued.  It was agreed we need to get captains to delegate to someone in their side to chase these people down. 

It was proposed that all teams produce subs on a spreadsheet; the Men’s 2 are the worst for collecting subs.  Charles to look into making this a role of the office staff to track match fees to ensure that players who haven’t paid are chased, especially those who move between teams.

Summer camps – There was an offer from the Juniors section for the Senior section to run a Summer Camp/half term camp – this could make £3.5k.

6. Election of Officers:
Chairman: Chris Harris
Vice Chair:  Vacant
Treasurer: Jo Read
Secretary: Katie Fielder
Director of Hockey: Tommy Hamilton
Communications: Charles Darby
Men’s Club Captain: Dan Blackman
Ladies Club Captain: Charlotte Ridout / Laura

Appointment of Officers for the 2015-2016 season
Chris – Chris is happy to stay on till the end of the season; Chris will be looking to find a replacement.

Vice Chair – position still vacant if anyone wants to put their name down.

Director of Hockey – Tommy Hamilton stepped down at the end of last season.  Nick Bluett happy to take on role. Proposer – Chris Harris, 2nd – Jo Read

Secretary – Katie Fielder is stepping down, Natasha Wiszniewska volunteered to take over the role. Proposer – Charlotte Ridout, 2nd – Jo Read

Pitch Committee – Andy Willis to look at nominating someone to join this committee from the Junior Section. 

If you know anyone who is interested in any vacant roles, or helping the committee please do approach a member of the committee to discuss this.

7. Any other business
Discussions about integrating Juniors within the Senior section and ensuring its going well and working for the Junior section took place; it was highlighted the Ladies 2s have set up a buddy system – one senior is allocated to mentor a Junior and ensure communication is maintained with the parents and the Junior player is OK.

It was also noted the quality of the juniors in the Ladies 5s has dramatically improved over the last few years.

Meeting end: 9:50