A busy Annual General Meeting

There was lots to talk about at the Bridport Runners’ Annual General Meeting (AGM) last Thursday. It is fair to say that the Club has been thriving over the last year with more members joining, three successful Beginners Classes taken place, the second Bridport Jurassic Coast Run having attracted more than 130 participants and finances looking solid. The election of officers and committee members resulted in a good mixture of old and new faces, with Brian being elected as Chair again. One of the main tasks for the Club in the future will be getting more members interested in Coaching at different levels. This is even more important as the next and closest “Leadership in Running Fitness” course will take place on Saturday, 18th of April, in Taunton, Somerset.

Almost 20 people attended the AGM at the Beach and Barnicott which was conducted by Brian. He welcomed everyone and emphasized what a spectacular year 2014 was for Bridport Runners. Especially the three Beginners Classes ─ one in October 2013, one in March 2014 and the third one in January of this year ─ had raised a lot of interest and resulted in many new members joing the Club. At the moment Bridport Runners have 45 adult members ─ more than for many years, Brian pointed out: “Our role now is to ensure the Club is able to meet all their needs using the vast breadth of experience of running of all sorts that Club members have. We must also continue our efforts to introduce the joys and benefits of running to more of Bridport residents.”

Brian then introduced a draft of the Club’s new constitution which explains in detail what the Club’s aims and objectives are, how it is supporting sport and running for everyone from the age of 16, how to become a member, what the Club’s officers and the committee consist of, how the finances are handled, when and how the AGM has to be held and how discipline and appeals are ensured.

Looking for new coaches and leaders

Brian thanked everyone for their support in the last year, especially the old committee and Joe, our former Coach, for his constant efforts and technical superb sessions on a Wednesday night; unfortunately due to other committments and his training for the Paralympics in Rio 2016, Joe can’t continue the Coaching for Bridport Runners any more. In order to give the training sessions a broader base the Club is now looking for runners, in addition to Brian and Clive, who would be willing to commit to leading a Wednesday evening session. In return Bridport Runners will be able to contribute to the cost of undertaking a leadership/coaching qualification.

The first step to that will be attending a “Leadership in Running Fitness” course. This is a one day training course which qualifies and insures leaders to deliver safe and fun running sessions, suitable for running club leaders and other group leaders with the minimum age of 18. Clive who had done the course before suggested taking a closer look at the England Athletics page: “Those that might be interested should probably book soon. Let Brian or me know if you are definitely interested and available and we can discuss in the committee how much the Club can support the cost.”

Consultation paper: What do runners really want from their Club?

Speaking about finances: The Club’s current account is in a good shape, thanks to Brian’s work as treasurer, the members’ constant contributions and a donation of Palmers which is used for Coaching purposes. As there is no major increase expected in expenses (e.g. fees for England Athletics), it was agreed to leave the annual members fee at £30 for the time being.

Then it was election time: The current committee had to step down from their posts according to the the Club constitution but could be re-elected for another term. The open vote brought the following results: Chair: Brian; Secretary: Vicky; Treasurer: Erin; Welfare Officer: Claire; Membership secretary: Sarah Jackson; Fixtures Coordinator: Ben; Publicity and Communication: Hagen. Also on the committee will be Clive, Gemma, Nancy and Tom.

Finally, Claire handed out a consultation paper to all Club members. Its idea is to give the committee a better understanding of what Bridport Runners really want from their Club in terms of training times, support, races and so on. Claire and Clive will revise the answers in the next couple of weeks and bring the results forward at the first meeting of the new committee.