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Stoolball England 34th Annual General Meeting 2013

Sunday 3 November 2013, 8.53pm

The 34th Annual General Meeting of Stoolball England will be held in the Renshaw Room at Wivelsfield Village Hall, Eastern Road, Wivesfield, West Sussex, RH17 7QQ on Sunday 24 November 2013 at 11am. Please notify all your league or association members of this date. Any league, association or club which is a member may attend this meeting, but only Stoolball England officers, Vice-Presidents and one representative from each affiliated body are entitled to vote.

Please note: The name of any member being nominated to become a Stoolball England Officer or a Vice-President should be submitted to me in writing 10 days before the meeting. Nominations will not be taken from the floor.

Refreshments will be available from 10.15am for everyone and I look forward to welcoming you to what I hope will be an informative as well as social occasion.

Please make every effort to come to the AGM. However, if for any reason you are not able to attend and cannot send a deputy, please contact me by telephone or in writing before the meeting. It is important for the wellbeing of the game that those of you who are involved in the organisation and structure of stoolball attend this meeting to express your views. I look forward to seeing you there.

Kind regards

Kay Price
Hon. Secretary
Stoolball England


  1. Chairman’s welcome
  2. Apologies for absence
  3. Minutes of the 33rd Annual General Meeting
  4. Matters arising from those Minutes
  5. Chairman’s Report
  6. Treasurer’s Report
  7. Amendments to Constitution
    • Item 2 – Aims and Objectives
    • Item 9: Accounts – to add a fourth bank signatory
    • wording added to Item 15 – Dissolution statement)
  8. Presentation of President’s Award
  9. Election of Officers. Existing Post Holders:
    • President: Shirley Reed
    • Chairman: John Price
    • Vice-Chairman: Becky Hull (not seeking re-election in this position). Nomination: Richard Emsley, proposed by Kay Price and John Price
    • Hon. Secretary: Kay Price
    • Hon. Treasurer: Trevor Parsons
    • A minimum of five Officers to undertake specific roles: Melissa Mantle, Michael Ledwich, Rick Mason, Toni Wheatley, Ruth Arthur, Kelvin Speirs, Richard Emsley, Anita Broad, Sally Booker and Becky Hull
  10. Election of New Vice-Presidents.
    • Existing Vice-Presidents: Ann Peck, Marian Stanbrook, John Pritchett, Delia Saunders, Brian Johnson, Mick Cawley, Gwyn Griffith, Richard Emsley, Peter Cheesman, Edward Keates and Keith Younger
    • Nomination: Mrs. Jenny Keates (Kent), proposed  by Kay Price and John Price
  11. Independent Examiner: Stoner, Cottingham of Horsham

Any nominations for Stoolball England Officers or Vice-Presidents should be submitted to Kay Price in writing by 10 November. Nominations will not be taken from the floor.

Chairman’s report to the 34th Annual General Meeting, Sunday 24 November 2013

What a difference a year makes. Last year was all rain and cancelled matches BUT this year we couldn’t have asked for anything better – sunshine galore and everybody feeling good as the runs flowed on fast outfields and bodies tanned at weekend tournaments.

We set ourselves high targets for 2013 as we tried to overcome the frustrations of the previous year when so many events were washed out. Our first official engagement was at Ewhurst Stoolball Club in Surrey who had invited us to attend their 40th anniversary. This was a very happy occasion with loads of local support and encouragement and nearly everyone joined in the mixed tournament which ran for most of the day. We were plied with cake and refreshments and were very honoured to be there.

Later in the month, as part of Anita Broad’s Heritage funded project, we were quickly in action at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum for “Sussex Day” celebrations where our brand new inflatable batting cage was on show for the very first time as were the new Stoolball England banners. Supported with samples of willow and bats in various stages of construction supplied by manufacturer Gray-Nicolls, we made a considerable impact on the crowds attending. Particularly encouraging was the support we received in running this show by members from the Newick and Nutley clubs.

This spirit of help and co-operation from club members continued as we delivered the Sussex School Games competition finals at Plumpton (Years 7 and 8) and K2, Crawley (Years 9 and 10); the community events at Brighton (TakePart), Gloucester, Horsham (Sparks in the Park), Chichester, the Primary Schools Festival at Horsham, the tournament at Singleton supported by 4 primary schools in the Uckfield area; the weekly events organised by Wealden District Council at Polegate, Crowborough, Heathfield, Uckfield and Hailsham; the Ditchling Charity Community Event (via Susie Harrison) which included stoolball and finally the Horsham Stoolball Academy at Broadbridge Heath, just outside Horsham. The support we received at these events, particularly from members of East Preston, Oakwood Hill, Isfield, Stone Cross, Burwash, Newick, Nutley, Adastra and Maresfield, was very much appreciated and one which we shall encourage. The sense of everyone wanting to pull together to promote stoolball was very evident at all the events we attended this year and my sincere thanks to all who gave of their time.

Our education courses on coaching, scoring, umpiring, safeguarding etc., have continued with continuing valuable help from Helen Murdock, Kelvin Speirs and Kevin Hilliard. In the recent safeguarding course the attendance was disappointing but all the other courses were well attended.

Throughout the year we have continued to meet the equipment needs of most member clubs with the supply of bats, balls, wickets etc., via our agents where I extend my sincere thanks to Trina Perry (Eastbourne area and mixed stoolball), Toni Wheatley (East Division and East Sussex Friendly teams), Julie Oliver (Surrey), Shirley Reed (Wessex Friendly Group and Coastal League and Barbara Fitzpatrick (North, Mid and Central Divisions).

In deciding to introduce England matches at Under 21 and over 50 levels this summer in addition to the full England Ladies match was a very big ask of everyone on the Management Committee. However their response was magnificent and my sincere thanks to everybody who was involved, including Emma Stanton and Fox Print for producing the match programme, those who acted as selectors, umpires, scorers, caterers, photographers, car parking stewards, sellers of raffle tickets and programmes and those who provided professional fitness, fielding, catching and throwing coaching sessions. The list is endless and apart from a slightly abbreviated training-camp day, we were blessed with very good weather and excellent support from county associations, leagues and Horsham Cricket Club. Once again our President, Shirley Reed, was working everywhere and excelled in presenting our very delicate winners’ trophy in one piece!

So another year has come and gone and for 2014 we are already planning to produce an England match for mixed stoolball. Additionally we are looking at possible opportunities to extend our coaching programmes by working with “Women’s Sport Network” and “Springing Kids into Life”. It’s early days yet but plenty to keep us all very busy.

As I write these notes and we close in on Christmas, I realise just what a diverse world we live in. In Australia horrifying bush fires are threatening the lives of many people whilst here the rains have arrived with a vengeance. The challenge to succeed and to continue our development of the game of stoolball remains high on our agenda and I hope you, your club and all your members will want to be part of that attack.

Thank you all for your support.

John Price – October 2013

Constitution – proposed changes

The following changes are proposed to the current Consitution of Stoolball England.

  • Rename Item 2: Aims to “Aims and objectives” and add “All monies raised on behalf of Stoolball England will be applied towards its aims and objectives and for no other purpose.
  • Update Item 9: Accounts. Change “All cheques, drafts etc drawn on the account(s) shall be signed by any two from three: Honorary Treasurer, Chairman and Honorary Secretary” to “All cheques, drafts etc drawn on the account(s) shall be signed by any two from four members of the Management Committee.
  • Update Item 15: Dissolution. Change “Any assets of Stoolball England, after payment of all debts and liabilities, shall be allocated to a purpose that benefits stoolball or sport as a whole in England and shall be decided upon at this meeting on the agreement of a simple majority.” to “Any assets of Stoolball England, after payment of all debts and liabilities, will not be paid or distributed amongst the members but shall be given or transferred to a not-for-profit institution or institutions with similar objectives to Stoolball England for the benefit of stoolball or sport as a whole in England as shall be decided upon at this meeting on the agreement of a simple majority.”

Major activities and achievements in 2013

January, February and March

Following the 2012 Annual General Meeting at the end of November, there were the usual monthly Management Meetings and in no time at all the clocks had gone forward, the evenings got lighter and clubs made plans to start practising for the new season.


On the first Sunday in April Stoolball England ran a Level One coaching course which was very well attended, in fact the numbers had to be restricted to 16. It was held at the Holbrook Club in Horsham who have a sports hall in case of bad weather but luckily for us the weather was sunny for most of the day. We were very lucky that Helen Murdock was available to take the course and there was very positive feedback from all the participants.

On 14 April at Plumpton Cricket Club in East Sussex, we ran another combined umpires’ and scorers’ course with tutors Kelvin Speirs and Kevin Hilliard. Both courses were well attended and although bad weather had made it impossible to use the ground for the second part of the course, both tutors did their best to cover all aspects of umpiring and scoring to make up for the time lost outside.


Stoolball England’s Horsham & District Schools’ coaching programme moved into action with mainly after school club coaching sessions at Kingslea, Leechpool, All Saint’s, Warnham and Southwater Primary Schools. For the first time, coaches also went to Powell Corduroy School in Dorking where they put pupils from Year 3 and 4 through their paces.

Coaching sessions were also part of Anita Broad’s Heritage funding programme and these got underway at Harlands School, Uckfield, St. Mark’s at Hadlow Down and the primary schools at Newick and Framfield.


In our search for a possible venue for the England mixed fixture planned for 2014, Stoolball England looked in on the Eastbourne Red Triangle annual tournament at St. Andrew’s School to assess its suitability. The pavilion and grounds were excellent but there were a few worries voiced about the parking facilities.

A week later we were at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum for the “Sussex Day” show and the first-ever use of our inflatable Batting Cage.

Two days later on Tuesday 18the June, we were running the Sussex Girls Schools Championships for Years 7/8 students at Plumpton where there were 11 teams representing Bishop Luffa, 2 teams from both Cardinal Newman and Ringmer CC, Downlands, Thomas Bennett, Uplands, Sackville, Oriel HS and St. Pauls, Burgess Hill. The eventual winners were Bishop Luffa with Sackville the runners-up.

On Saturday 22 June, we were down in Preston Park, Brighton to take part in the very popular TakePart opening ceremony. We were run off our feet at this event and were still giving taster sessions half-an-hour after closing time which is very encouraging. Since this event took place, Brighton & Hove City Council has been presented with a “Big Society Award” by the Prime Minister which is well deserved.

Three days later, it was back to Horsham Cricket Club where it was the fifth year of running the Horsham Primary Schools Festival with 16 teams and some very good weather. The schools represented at this event were Leechpool; Southwater; All Saint’s; Shelley, Broadbridge Heath; Warnham and Kingslea. The eventual winners were All Saint’s with Southwater in second place. Kingslea, a new school to stoolball coaching, were a very creditable third.

The very next day we were at Framfield Primary School in East Sussex for a “recording session” where, along with four other members of the older generation, we responded to questions from the schoolchildren on our stoolball experiences. This was part of Anita Broad’s Heritage funding project and was repeated at the three other schools involved in the project.

This had to be one of our busiest weeks ever because on the following day we were heading for the Ridge Leisure Centre at Hastings where a Community Games Festival was being held supported by Lloyd’s Bank. From a coach’s point of view this was a nightmare day where for 8 consecutive sessions with a coach on each pitch, we had to introduce each group of 30 children (15 on each pitch) to the game of stoolball, then coach and play a competitive game with a result at the end, all in 20 minutes. We were even given a timekeeper to make sure that the sessions did not overrun. Following our visit we were sent a review document which stated that, of 8 sports which took part, stoolball were place 4th in a poll which stated that 67% of those we had coached would like to play stoolball again. I can only presume that something must have sunk in!!

July and August

Monday 1 July saw us return to Singleton’s Open Air Museum for Anita Broad’s School’s Heritage Festival. It was a lovely day with a nice atmosphere and much enthusiasm. The children brought their project “banners” with them and rounded off the day by singing along to music from the guitar of Anita’s husband Mark. Each of the four schools entered as many teams as they could produce and were joined later in the day by the local Singleton Primary School. The whole event was filmed by Val and Errol Witter. As a result of our visits to Singleton, we now have an excellent contact here with Richard Palethorpe, the museum director. Well done Anita, the day was an excellent conclusion to her Heritage project.

10 July saw us running the stoolball competition for Years 9 and 10 at the Sussex Youth Games; some activities took place at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley and the remaining sports which included stoolball were played in the grounds of the neighbouring Thomas Bennett Community College. There were 9 schools entered from all over Sussex (Oathall, Angmering, Midhurst-Rother, Uplands, Varndean, Lavant House, Ringmer, Oriel and Helenswood) and after three hours’ worth of hard competition, the winning school was Uplands from Wadhurst in East Sussex who beat Oriel High School from Crawley. In the 3rd/4th play-off, Oathall School beat Ringmer Community College.

On 13 July, with the weather getting hotter by the hour, we made a very early start to head off to Barnwood in Gloucestershire for their 2 day Sports Festival. The actual playing field was fine but it did seem that it wasn’t the most accessible place to find and the fact that temperatures reached the mid 30’s over both days meant that none of the sports were awash with people wishing to exert themselves. However we did make some useful contacts with Gloucester University and Stroud College. There was also an impromptu game of stoolball played on the Saturday between two teams to raise money for Cancer Research.

During the next week, along with other representatives from national governing bodies, we attended our regular meeting on 17 July with Active Sussex at Falmer. These are really useful meetings and provide us with many good contacts.

Ten days later on 28 July it was time for “Sparks in the Park” which is a community event held in Horsham Park where numbers attending and support from local clubs Winterfold and Broadbridge Heath was very good. Overall we made some good contacts.

Wednesday 31st of July took us to the first of Wealden District Council’s “Active Days” in Polegate which are held between 10-2 at five different locations on consecutive Wednesdays during the summer holidays. Early morning rain kept the numbers down to begin with but once the grass had dried there was a steady stream of children wanting to try stoolball. The locations of the next four Wealden events were at Crowborough, Heathfield, Uckfield and Hailsham. Mercifully the weather was very good at all these locations and it was good to have support from club members from United Friends, Isfield, Nutley and Newick.

We had to leave early on each of the Wealden events in order to get back to Broadbridge Heath where a Stoolball Academy was being started over a similar five consecutive Wednesdays. Here the numbers increased each week and the final tally was 16 and proved a great success. Well done to Sally Booker.


Sunday 1 September took us to Ditchling where we had loaned out our batting cage to Ditchling Stoolball Club to help promote stoolball at the village fund raising charity event. Attendance there was very good and we had some surprise publicity with pictures from a visiting journalist with the Daily Mail based in New York who writes a daily blog – thank you Susie Harrison.

The following Sunday 8 September we were down in Chichester for the “Get Active” Festival. A mainly fine day brought in good numbers of children with their families but a very heavy downpour mid-afternoon reduced our plot to a water meadow and proved very difficult when it came to packing away all our equipment. We were most grateful for the support from Kathi Lock from the East Preston club throughout the day.

15 September was our England Ladies training day at Horsham. The weather forecast threatened rain as we raced to see as much as we could of the 70 plus “nominated” players. We just about got through.

On 17 September, it was the Active Sussex AGM and Conference in Brighton which we can’t afford to miss.

It was the first ever opportunity on Sunday 22 September for the Under 21s and Over 50s team to show their skills at the Horsham Cricket Ground. There were some excellent performances and a very good crowd watching the matches.

Thursday 26 September took us to Lincoln’s Inn, London for the Games & Sport Division meeting of the Sport & Recreation Alliance where we made contact with Richard Gottfried. Richard is the NGB member’s contact and as a result of this meeting we now have a blog about stoolball on their website.

Sunday 29 September was the last “big match” day at Horsham Cricket Club where the President’s XI beat the England XI. Good stoolball, good pitch, good weather and a good crowd. The last two weeks were very hard work, thanks to everyone.


Sunday 8 October 2013 with the very considerable help of tutor Helen Murdock, we laid on a Safeguarding course. Last minute “drop outs” meant that numbers were low, but the course was a great success for all those who could make it.

On Thursday 10 October, we had a lunch date/meeting at the Running Horses pub at Mickleham, Surrey with ex-rowing GB oarsman Paul Reynolds where we learned a great deal about the Women’s Sport Network and how we might expand the numbers playing stoolball.

It’s been a very busy year, we’ve learned a lot and hopefully the useful contacts we have made will bear fruit for stoolball in the near future.

John and Kay Price
October 2013

Tags: agm, constitution, meetings