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Chairman’s report to the 31st Annual General Meeting

Saturday 4 December 2010, 12.55pm

The 31st Annual General Meeting of Stoolball England was held in the Renshaw Room at Wivelsfield Village Hall, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex on Sunday 28 November 2010 at 11am.

This year stoolball experienced some of the best weather for playing our game that we have seen for several years. Almost without exception leagues were able to complete their playing programmes on time with very few cancellations. However, August and September presented a different picture, but by then shortened games were being played mid-week and the longer matches were confined to the weekends when the weather usually improved.

This year my report will be much shorter because, following requests, I have already compiled and sent out a Brief summary of the major activities and achievements carried out in the last 12 months by Stoolball England. Without doubt, this last year has been the busiest and most demanding that Stoolball England have experienced in the last 15 years and I thank, most sincerely, all my colleagues on the Management Committee for their help, support and understanding.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the year has been the “recognition” of Stoolball England as the official governing body of the game in this country, the result of much tireless work by our secretary Kay Price over the last 2 years. This recognition means that we can now hold our heads high when we sit alongside all the other major and minor sports.

Our aim must now be to achieve a small slice of the government money which is currently shared between the 47 major sports such as football, cricket, rugby, athletics, rowing and cycling etc. This will not be easy and with the recent announcements under the Government’s spending review, life for many is going to be incredibly tough. However, stoolball is used to surviving on limited funds and it will continue to do so, but the government cuts will have a dramatic impact on all school sport in this country.

Over the last 2-3 years, we have built up excellent relationships with Partnership Development Managers (PDMs), School Sports Co-ordinators (SSCo’s) and Competition Managers who have all worked with Stoolball England us to promote the game in schools. Sadly, all these jobs have been axed together with the “Sport Unlimited” funding stream which helped to finance the coaching operations. The pressure will also be on county, district and parish councils as they seek to make 30% cuts which could mean higher charges for the grounds you all use. Despite this depressing news, we must remain positive and resourceful using our determination and enthusiasm to seek out new opportunities and new partners.

My thanks to everybody in the world of stoolball who have done so much to promote our wonderful game and keep it in the spotlight. Keep up the good work and remember we are here to help everyone in whatever way we can.

Our very best wishes for Christmas and for success in 2011.

John Price
11 November 2010

Tags: agm, meetings