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SFBC AGM 8th May

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Hi all,

 

It is that time of year for the SFBC AGM.

DATE: 8th May 2012

LOCATION: OLD QUEENSHEAD PUB (Behind Ponds Forge)

TIME: 8.45 (after a session of badminton)

 

After an eventful 2011/2012 season we are look forward for your thoughts and ideas for the next year.

A great way to do this is be a member of the committee - your club needs you!!

A number of us have been on the committee for a long time we need new people and this is your club so have a say in what we do.

If you are looking at stepping forward or have any questions, speak to one of the committee.

Hope to see you at the AGM where your new committee for the 2012/13 will be nominated.

 

Many thanks,

 

Paul, Nisha, Celine, Vicki and Allan

 

SFBC Committee

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I wish to make a couple of proposals for consideration by the AGM.

 

I am somewhat uncomfortable with certain of the club’s expenditures. To restore my comfort levels, I would like these expenditures to either be discontinued or else to be explicitly approved by the AGM. Roughly put I am happy for club funds to be spent where all members of the club obtain equal (opportunity to) benefit and unhappy about expenditures which benefit only some members of the club unless they are explicitly authorised by the membership of the club.

 

Ok, so what expenditures am I concerned about? The first group of expenditures are subsidies to the club’s league teams. As a player in the men’s team, I am a beneficiary of these subsidies and this does not sit well with me. Why should my league badminton be subsidised out of Tuesday evening fees when most of the people playing on a Tuesday night derive no benefit from the fact we field teams in the local league? I think this subsidy should be discontinued, the league players ought to shoulder the full cost of playing in the league. Either that or the AGM should pass a motion setting a specific subsidy.

 

The second group of expenditures relate to Thursday night competitive badminton. If we are to have a club night which does not welcome all players equally then it should not be subsidised from Tuesday night collections. That means no subsidy for feather (or indeed plastic) shuttles, no subsidy for coaching and no subsidy for court fees. Either that or the AGM should pass a motion establishing a specific subsidy.

 

Lastly, I recently found out that our committee members enjoy a 50% discount on their Tuesday night badminton. This has apparently been in operation for some years but seems only to have been known about by a few people. I do not know if this was approved by an AGM – I am interested in the knowing the answer to this and have made a few enquiries. I think it should be discontinued absent approval of a motion at the AGM.

 

Ok, so that is the background. Here are my proposals:

 

Proposal 1. The club’s funds may only be used to subsidise purchases which are either (1) equitable or (2) authorised. A purchase is equitable if all members of the club gain equal advantage (or at least have equal opportunity to benefit) from it. A provision is authorised if it is specifically authorised by a resolution passed at a general meeting of the club.

This would allow general funds to be used to subsidise socials (provided everybody is invited) and shirts (why do we subsidise shirts?). It would require further resolutions to authorise subsidies for league teams, sessions with a restricted invite list, coaching unless it was universally and equally beneficial to all, support for marathon charitable events (only a few have the stamina) and committee discounts.

 

Proposal 2. Recognising that collecting the members’ fees on a Tuesday is onerous, the fee of the person who collects the money on a given Tuesday will be waived. At most one fee will be waived on any Tuesday.

 

[it may also be necessary to pass a resolution to allow the club to subsidise some Badminton England memberships.]

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Can I check that you have emailed your post above to the committee, as that will be the best way to voice your concerns, at least in terms of making sure this is on the agenda on Tuesday.

 

 

1. What subsidy do I get for playing in the league? I pay £4 as per a normal session of badminton and I pay for my Badminton England membership. If it's court costs you're refering to then see my points below - I think it's a bit of a misnomer that Tuesdays are a cash-cow and subsidise everything else.

 

 

2. Thursdays;

 

Why can everyone not come to Thursdays?

 

Feathers were only ever purchased in the past using the grant the club obtained from Sport England - coincidentally, the first year of Thursday night badminton was also heavily subsidised using money from that grant. In both cases they were specific proposals put forward in the application for grant money and the money had to be used in the way as per set out in the proposal. Since then Thursdays have been paid for using the £4 fee system, just like Tuesdays.

 

Also, there are people who come to SFBC on Thursdays only, and not Tuesdays. Are you not concerned about their fees being used to subsidise the courts on Tuesday? Because I'm reasonably confident that most of the time, the money taken in on Tuesdays at the moment, with or without £4 from each of the committee members is greatly outweighed by the actual costs of the courts.

 

 

3. Committee fees - I'm not on the committee but I was aware they only paid £2, but it probably isn't common knowledge - agreed. I'm not sure if it was agreed at AGM. As for your argument however that it isn't deserved and how the only onerous job is collecting money; I dare say the hours that I know most of the committee have to put in and the issues that they have to contend with constantly both during and outside of club nights suggests otherwise.

 

I agree that perhaps greater transparency is probably needed.

 

 

4. Badminton Marathon - I'd have to ask Allan but I'm not aware of any SFBC money that was spent on that?

Edited by AndrewC

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In response to Andrew's points.

 

Team subsidy: We only payed a match fee of 4 pounds for half the matches, the home matches. There was no fee for away matches. The upshot of this is that the club was collecting 24 pounds per home match while paying for 3 courts each for 2 sessions which I believe costs over 50 pounds. I think the teams each cost the club at least 150 pounds last season.

 

Committee subsidy: I do recognise that we get considerable work out of our committee and I am grateful to them for it. I did not say otherwise. I do not think they should be given perks without the the knowledge and approval of the members of the club EVEN where such perks might be appropriate.

 

Tuesday has historically been a net source of funds even if we have now (temporarily) fallen behind the latest price increase from Ponds Forge.

 

I have been told by a number of players that they do not feel welcome on a Thursday. It has been tagged as 'competitive badminton'.

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2. Thursdays;

 

Why can everyone not come to Thursdays?

 

I think I speak for a lot of the not so good and "new" players in saying that we feel it has been made clear to us that we would not be welcome on Thursday nights. Hell it is often made clear that we are not welcome to play certain individuals on Tuesdays, never mind Thursdays.

 

Feathers were only ever purchased in the past using the grant the club obtained from Sport England - coincidentally, the first year of Thursday night badminton was also heavily subsidised using money from that grant. In both cases they were specific proposals put forward in the application for grant money and the money had to be used in the way as per set out in the proposal. Since then Thursdays have been paid for using the £4 fee system, just like Tuesdays.

 

 

I was under the impression that the grant money was primarily given to help improve grass roots level badminton? As I understand it 2 members of the club had their coaches courses paid for from the clubs grant money under an agreement that they would then provide some coaching to other members - I have now been coming to the club for about 1 year and the only coaching offered to me has been by Rob and to a lesser extent the occasional pointer from other players. I feel using that funding pool to make Thursdays free for a considerable time and provide coaching and feathers for that night alone seems to fly in the face of the idea of the grass roots improvement? It is clearly an elitist night and does not encourage or invite any non-competitive level players. Baring in mind this is a social club to the point where it doesn't even feature in the sports section of the forum.

 

 

Also, there are people who come to SFBC on Thursdays only, and not Tuesdays. Are you not concerned about their fees being used to subsidise the courts on Tuesday? Because I'm reasonably confident that most of the time, the money taken in on Tuesdays at the moment, with or without £4 from each of the committee members is greatly outweighed by the actual costs of the courts.

 

I imagine they loved having completely free badminton :)

 

 

3. Committee fees - I'm not on the committee but I was aware they only paid £2, but it probably isn't common knowledge - agreed. I'm not sure if it was agreed at AGM. As for your argument however that it isn't deserved and how the only onerous job is collecting money; I dare say the hours that I know most of the committee have to put in and the issues that they have to contend with constantly both during and outside of club nights suggests otherwise.

 

 

Firstly I don't even know exactly who is on the committee which is sad given that I have been coming fairly regularly for a year now. All I know is I see the same few people week in and week out doing the money taking and I appreciate the sacrifice in playing time that these members make. So would agree that who ever has taken the money and names should play for free on that night.

 

However with regards the subsidy of all committee members, I am dubious but am open to being proven wrong. I do feel much greater transparency needs to be put in place for both club finances and the decision making processes.

 

I would like to see a sticky on the forum explaining who is actually on the committee and what the roles are of the committee.

 

An additional item I would like the club to look at is the current situation where new members are often left feeling confused and unwelcome.

 

Anyway, I will be at the AGM on Tuesday night and look forward to further exploring the various proposals that have now been made and the reaction of the club to what is being said here on the forum.

 

Best wishes,

 

Anthony

 

PS. Whilst I havent seen the agenda for the night I would like to suggest any new elections or nominations for existing committee posts to be continued should be done after all other issues are discussed as I know that I for one will be reticent to vote until I better understand things.

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Just a couple of things that I'd like covered on the night:

 

Court costs - just how much are we actually paying per Court? PF have hiked their costs astronomically (as have all SIV centres) - however, after "Life Card" discount - how much are we paying per Court? A quick glimpse at the annual figures is too difficult to swallow - can this be broken down?

 

Coaching - I asked for this in January and I havent had any. Well, not from SFBC. I've had to go to another club to be coached which is out of my way in comparison to PF. Others have already said enough on this point already. But needless to say, there is interest for this.

 

Socials for all - really lacking in this department this year. Whilst I appreciate the badmintonathon took an awful lot of time and effort to organise - I feel that some more low key gatherings would help create more of a group feeling. Perhaps we could even use our numbers to help in a community project such as a clean up a park mission? I shudder to use the term "team building" but perhaps thats what would bring us all closer? Either way, a picnic in the park, a walk in the countryside, a few games of bowling doesnt take long to organise and perhaps we could see a bit more of that this coming year.

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The Charity Badmintonathon costs were covered through our sponsor, the majority of the resources (including the venue, $2,000 timer and fig rolls!) were donated thanks to the hard work and determination of all the people involved. I will explain all this on Tuesday.

 

As for Thursday's, for me, it's mentality changed a long time ago, when the night was launched two years ago I was one of the ones who voted against it, but if you check through the past year I have probably attended the most.

I've always felt most welcome despite not being at a level to play competitively in the local league, that didn't bother me when I started going, I just wanted to turn up and play badminton, like I do on Tuesday's.

I've seen plenty of players of all skill levels play on Thursdays in the past year or so that don't/can't come on a Tuesday. I'd say more of the regulars that usually play on a Thursday don't play in the league compared to the ones that do.

The only difference compared to Tuesday is the numbers and majority of weeks the venue.

 

I would recommend anyone who has any doubts who hasn't been to actually try it out and gain their own opinion. Nobody has ever said to me they don't go on Thursday's because they don't feel welcome. I even offered one of the Thursday newcomers (a Tuesday regular) a lift home on his first night just three weeks ago, and has been attending since.

 

Anthony you are very welcome on Thursday's. I'm sure if you came this week your opinion would change. You can play anybody you want, if you feel a player is 'not approachable' then why not go and talk to them, or just join in on court, that's all I do.

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The Charity Badmintonathon costs were covered through our sponsor, the majority of the resources (including the venue, $2,000 timer and fig rolls!) were donated thanks to the hard work and determination of all the people involved. I will explain all this on Tuesday.

 

I would recommend anyone who has any doubts who hasn't been to actually try it out and gain their own opinion. Nobody has ever said to me they don't go on Thursday's because they don't feel welcome. I even offered one of the Thursday newcomers (a Tuesday regular) a lift home on his first night just three weeks ago, and has been attending since.

 

Anthony you are very welcome on Thursday's. I'm sure if you came this week your opinion would change. You can play anybody you want, if you feel a player is 'not approachable' then why not go and talk to them, or just join in on court, that's all I do.

 

The reason a LOT of us have never been on a Thursday is because we felt it had been made clear to us that we would not be welcome. This is not just my opinion but rather the feeling of a significant percentage of the Tuesday night social players. It is hard to discover otherwise when you are discouraged from going in the first place.

 

As for the Badmintonathon finances, again this is a great example of why the club needs greater transparency in terms of finances and decision making - to avoid this kind of confusion that leads to division and distrust within the club. I am sure people will have been asking "what about the extra court time", "what about the record application fee", "what about the shuttles", "what about the timer" etc. but I am sure they will be glad to now hear that it was all paid for by the sponsors.

 

Maybe we need to look at getting the website online and including some of this information on there for all to see?

 

It is MY belief that the most notable problems in this club at the moment are a lack of TRANSPARENCY and communication, and that until this is addressed the divisions in the club will continue to grow and the underlying tension will continue to simmer.

 

Just my 2c

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

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Maybe we need to look at getting the website online and including some of this information on there for all to see?

 

 

We need volunteers to help get the site updated and managed. If you know anyone?

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apologies for the deviation, but if it's at all possible. would folks be able to update thier forum signature with their name in it? this is all quite difficult to follow - dealing with forum names vs. real names.

 

Cheers

Edited by mr_william

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Thanks for the thoughts all, what work we have done has always been for the club and are happy to answer any questions.

We will cover a lot of these points as part of the AGM agenda and what is not covered can be dicussed under any other business.

Anthony, the composition of the committee can be found in the intro thread on our main forum page.

I have sent out emails re the committee job descriptions and the agenda for the AGM to all on our 'members' contact list. If you have not received these email or which to be added to the email list please PM me or email sfbc@live.co.uk

 

Thanks

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We need volunteers to help get the site updated and managed. If you know anyone?

 

i had a quick look earlier - saving the pages to my pc then opening them in notepad to look at the code. i'm no expert, but im sure updating it from it's current state wouldnt be too difficult!

 

a couple of pictures on the committee - to be able to put a face to the name woudlnt hurt!

 

maybe even a members page, with the same idea of putting names/forum names to faces? it could boost the sence of community - which it would appear some folks feel is lacking!

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