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Chairman’s report to the 32nd Stoolball England AGM

Sunday 27 November 2011, 10.00am

The snow and cold gave us a very long winter which was followed by a very dry spring, meaning that the early matches of the season were played on dry, dusty and not very green pitches. As the indifferent summer of 2011 progressed, it seemed for many that the rain had saved its showers for match night causing not a little frustration for some. Despite the re-arranged fixtures, most leagues and friendly teams managed to complete their playing programmes just about on time.

Having again produced and sent out a “summary of activities and achievements for the last year”, this report will be much briefer. Last year, I said that this was undoubtedly our busiest year ever, but by some margin the demands and pressures created by the Government’s Spending Review and the stripping out of so many important sports development jobs in both schools and local councils, has meant that we have had to use much initiative and many more hours to achieve the same results as previously.

It has been a tiring and demanding time for everybody on your Executive Committee and to those concerned I extend my sincere thanks for their continuing help, support and enthusiastic co-operation. We have a very sound team which brings a wide and varied range of skills and experience to the stoolball table but, having said that, I am very conscious of the need for good succession planning to ensure that the programmes and strategies being developed now are maintained and expanded in the future.

We are now “recognised” both as a sport and as a governing body but apart from a few small funding opportunities, our work is carried out totally by unpaid volunteers. There are many other “minor” sports in a similar position and we must not feel sorry for ourselves, but I do ask everybody reading this report to use every available opportunity to seek out possible sponsorship support.

This is an area where we can double our money under a scheme known as “Sportsmatch”. Sponsors can donate a minimum of £1,000 (the maximum is £100,000 from no more than 5 sponsors) and this money can be doubled via this exchequer funded programme – don’t all rush. However, I would ask everyone to work hard to open up or improve their stoolball contacts within schools and local government. Like us, they need our support, enthusiasm and encouragement, but this won’t happen unless you, your club or league take positive steps to make sure it does.

The number of new clubs who are looking to get started is testimony to the work and effort that many of you have put into the development of our game and to all of you I offer my sincere thanks. Please keep up the good work and remember that help is waiting at the end of a telephone call or an email if you need it. Kay and I send you our thanks and very best wishes for peace and happiness at Christmas and for success in 2012.

John Price – November 2011

Tags: agm, meetings