By Tim Coe
10th June
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Summary of Friday's meeting

Please see below a brief summary of the AGM on Friday - when finalised, the minutes will be available for club members on the website, but hopefully the item below gives a flavour of proceedings:-

Roughly sixty members attended the 2019 AGM on Friday evening. The meeting was opened by our Chairman, Tim Thompson, who gave a very positive and detailed account of the season. This positivity largely focussed around the winning attitude that the club had engendered – long may this continue. A brief outline of last season’s areas of focus was given and how each of these had been progressed was explained.

Then followed a run through of the successes of the various teams - a number of reasons for these successes were explored and illustrated - the evolution of the club through its youngsters was a large factor in this and further strides should be made in this respect through the 2019/2020 season.

Thanks were then expressed to everyone involved, particularly to our hard-working committee, but with emphasis on everyone that helped, however small a part that was played. This hard work has given the club a real ‘feel-good’ factor and this will allow further progress to be made.

Fixtures and umpiring were then discussed – again thanks were expressed to all involved, but particularly Andrew Kelly. His work affords the club a single point of contact for an ever more complex fixture list.

The position of Youth Development Manager was then outlined with a view to an enhanced focus on the club’s young players. Alex Bibby (ABC Coaching) will be contracted to deliver services over the next 12 months, alongside his works with Culford School.

The improving relationship between the club and Culford School was discussed, indeed the new Head of Sport, James Yates, was in attendance to further underline this allegiance. The future of Culford Hockey and Bury St Edmunds Hockey Club are intertwined so this is of the utmost importance. Hopefully the hockey fortunes of both institutions will continue to flourish.

Our membership figures have dipped very slightly this year and measures are being taken to address any gaps in the membership. Subscription fees were discussed and a small increase was suggested – some debate ensued as to the best way of implementing this and full proposals will be drawn up and circulated.

The club website was discussed and its merits were highlighted – further changes and updates are to be made and further developments are on the horizon with the App – this could give significant benefits to the club, as well as providing an improved facility for the membership and supporters to use.

A mention was made of our masters and international masters, with special mention for Norman Ballard and George Hazell. Others who have represented their country this year include: Sharon Holton, Jet Konrath, Katie Bedford, John Grinham (England), Tony Bass, Mark Dykes (Wales), Martin McCourt (Scotland), Patrick Sullivan, Tim Thompson (Ireland).

A debt of gratitude was expressed to our sponsors – their support is essential to us and is very much appreciated by all involved at the club. Further help is needed for the sponsorship committee so if you have commercial skills or are well connected locally, please consider giving a little of your time – this is a key part of the running of the club.

Playing kit was discussed and the colours have been recorded with the league as:
Home: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Orange Socks
Away: White Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks – this is for all matches, not just where these is a colour clash
Shirt supplies have sometimes been problematic, but the completion of a contractual arrangement with STC should alleviate this going forward.

Also confirmed was that the club has chosen to mark the passing of Tom Chappell by converting the Men’s Young Player of the Year Award to become the Tom Chappell Award. It is a fitting memorial for Tom’s love of the club and the game – it was also nice to see Tom’s father, Neil, in attendance to present the award on behalf of his family.

Following the chairman’s address, a summary was given by Tony Bass, the club development officer. Tony outlined that the emphasis of the role was now to move into developing the playing side of the club as opposed the infrastructure. Some of this workload was to be passed on to Alex Bibby in his role as youth development manager.

An update on the finances was given by treasurer Peter Watson – he outlined the strength of the club’s finances and the improvement to these that was made across the season. Further streamlining, and a slight increase in fees as mentioned earlier, has allowed a strong budget to be formulated that will cover the projected additional costs for the coming season.

Following this the team captains provided their summaries of the season – these will be consolidated and circulated separately. Then the awards were presented, the results of these having already been posted on the website:-

A presentation was also made to our retiring president, David Johnson, and thanks were expressed for the huge amount of work he had done for the club over many years. Following this, the new president, John Hendy, was ‘introduced’. John is well known in the club and will be great asset to have to follow in David’s footsteps.

The meeting was closed when the Chairman thanked all for attending – the new President recorded his thanks, and those of the club, to the Chairman for his ceaseless work throughout the year.

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