Minutes of the 41st Annual General Meeting

Monday 7 December 2020

The 41st Annual General Meeting of Stoolball England was held via Zoom on Sunday 29th November 2020.

Present

Stoolball England Officers

  • Kay Price (President)
  • Kelvin Speirs (Chairman, Rules and Umpires)
  • Anita Broad (Vice-Chair, Research and Education)
  • Wendy Heal (Secretary)
  • Georgina Harrison (Treasurer)
  • Genevieve Gordon Thomson (Governance and Legal)
  • Richard Emsley (Membership and DBS)
  • Sophie Dunn (Youth Ambassador Sussex)
  • Meg James (Youth Ambassador West Kent)
  • Lynda Mullins (Welfare)
  • Gwyn Griffith

Life Members

  • John Price
  • Kay Price

Leagues, Associations and Clubs Represented

  • Surrey Ladies Stoolball Association: Gwyn Griffith
  • Mid Division (SCSA): Karen Speirs, Pauline Hurley, Lynda Mullins, Sophie Dunn
  • Sussex County Umpires Association: Kelvin Speirs
  • North Division (SCSA): Wendy Heal, Anita Broad, Denise Goldsmith
  • Chanctonbury: Sally Booker, Geoff Laker
  • Coastal: Nicole Purkis, Kate Lutman
  • West Division (SCSA): Kay Price, Melissa Mantle
  • West Kent: Meg James, Georgie Harrison, Anne Hardwick
  • Central Division (SCSA): Sonia Halls
  • Sussex County Stoolball Association: Kay Price, Pauline Hurley
  • Mid Sussex Mixed League: Richard Emsley, Rick Mason
  • Vice Presidents: John Pritchett

Chairman’s welcome

Kelvin welcomed everyone to the meeting. 

Georgie asked everyone to mute their microphone.

Everyone was asked to put their hand up to speak or send questions through to be answered.

Georgie announced that the meeting was going to be recorded and stored on the Zoom cloud. Everyone had received a disclaimer; we had not received any objections. Attendees were asked to send a message if they wished the recording to be stopped at any point to Georgie.

The recording started.

Apologies for absence

  • Trevor Parsons

Minutes of the 40th Annual General Meeting

The Minutes of the 2019 meeting were agreed unanimously. Wendy to sign on behalf of Kelvin.

Matters arising from those minutes

No Matters Arising

Chairman’s Report

Obviously 2020 was a season we will never forget, but for all the wrong reasons.

It was clear from early April that any competitive stoolball was unlikely for the first half of the Summer. July onwards provided some respite, so well done to all those teams who managed to play some stoolball. A huge thanks to Gen and Georgie for putting together the regulations, with graphics, that everyone should try to follow to comply with Government regulations.

Conducting all our meetings via Zoom was a new challenge, particularly for a dinosaur like me. My thanks to the whole management team for bearing with me.

Despite little stoolball being played there was still work to be done.

There is/was a continuing dialogue with DCMS (Department of Culture Media and Sport) on how to get back to playing stoolball, within the regulations, particularly at school level.

Insurance was a challenge because of the lack of play for some clubs. However, we managed to secure a grant from Sport England to help set off some of the cost.

The website has undergone an overhaul thanks to the considerable efforts of Rick Mason.

Probably the biggest success was the completion of the first phase of the training programme for 9 people which took place much later than originally planned because of Covid 19.

Finally, thanks to all of the officers for all of their hard work. Like many people some will have had their own challenges during Covid, but still managed to contribute to the work of SE. Particular thanks to Wendy who managed to decipher our meetings. She has decided to stand down from her role as secretary but is happy to remain on the management team Treasurer’s Report.

Georgie presented the balance sheet on the screen.

Items to note:

  • Sales down due to Covid-19
  • We do have pink softy balls in stock and a supply of Hunts Amazon and Gray Nicolls hard stoolballs
  • Insurance was eventually reduced to £25 per club. Anita obtained a Covid-19 relief grant of £2749 for the insurance and we passed this onto clubs. We refunded £1015 to clubs who did not require the insurance policy for 2020. The overall loss on the insurance was £270.
  • Indoor Stoolball run by Richard had broken even.
  • Grants – we received from Sport England £7590 in 2019 and we have spent £2000 in 2020. This is for the coaching course. We also received £2000 in 2019 from Wealden for Walking Stoolball and Stoolball Leaders course. There is a small balance left from this.

Election of Officers

Existing Post Holders

  • President: Kay Price
  • Chairman: Kelvin Speirs
  • Vice-Chair: Anita Broad
  • Hon. Treasurer: Georgie Harrison
  • Officers: Richard Emsley, Genevieve Gordon, Sophie Dunn, Megan James, Lynda Mullins, Gwyn Griffith

These 5 positions were voted en bloc. Proposed: John Pritchett. Seconded: Rick Mason. Unanimously approved.

  • Hon. Secretary: Wendy Heal (not standing). No other volunteers have come forward. This position needs to be filled soon. Wendy has agreed to continue for a short time. Everyone was asked to advertise to their clubs. Wendy has agreed to stay on as an officer.

Proposed: Anita Broad. Seconded: Kay Price. Unanimously approved.

  • Press and Publicity Officer: Vacant. The job would involve writing press releases after events, and publicising events.

Election of New Vice Presidents

Existing Vice-Presidents

  • Ann Peck
  • Marion Stanbrook
  • John Pritchett
  • Delia Saunders
  • Brian Johnson
  • Gwyn Griffith
  • Richard Emsley
  • Peter Cheeseman
  • Jenny Keates
  • Michael Ledwich
  • Trevor Parsons
  • Rick Mason

Proposed: Sally Booker. Seconded: Karen Speirs. Unanimously approved.

Election of Life Members

Existing Life Members

  • John Price
  • Kay Price

Appointment of Independent Examiner

  • D A Clarke

Proposed: Georgie Harrison. Seconded: Richard Emsley. 

Open Forum

Covid-19

Everyone was reminded that at present no indoor stoolball can be played, and once outdoor stoolball begins, we need to be aware of any tiered restrictions if players travel into different counties to play.

Anita suggested that clubs could look at playing on caged outdoor Netball courts, MUGA pitches or tennis courts (if nets removed).

Anita will be looking at using the remaining Wealden Grant on doing some coaching/matches using Crowborough Netball courts in the new year.

Social Media – we have spent time updating and scheduling posts.

Genevieve Gordon was thanked for putting together the new polices and completing the DCMS application. Megan James and Sophie Dunn were thanked for doing the risk assessments.

Anita was thanked for completing the first part of the coaching programme and moving from a 2 day face to face course to an online course.

Melissa expressed her thanks for the road maps and would like the responsibility to continue being given to counties to deal with their own clubs, should they not be adhering to the restrictions.

Kelvin expressed this was Stoolball England’s preferred option unless teams continue to not adhere to the Stoolball England rules, or the government restrictions. Melissa commented which could then be against the law.

Melissa asked for playing stoolball on netball courts be promoted to schools, as an additional and
perhaps different sport for them to be playing. Schools are not allowing outside organisations to use their facilities at present.

We have been told by some schools that they are not allowed to play stoolball in schools until we are listed on the DCMS back to play list. We are pushing hard to get this approval.

It was agreed that we need to do everything we can to get clubs ready for playing next season.

Coaching Programme

Anita reported that phase 1 has been completed.

Initially this was going to be a face to face programme 28/29 March – postponed due to national lockdown to beginning of November, again another lockdown. Decision taken to move to an online course which took place over 2 weekends 7th and 15th November.

The course was to train coaches to be able to deliver a coaching course in a classroom environment.

We had 9 coaches on the course, which was made up of a mixture of Stoolballers, owners of coaching companies, and Council activity staff.

No-one from Kent came forward to take part in the course, we did have coaches from East Sussex and Surrey, no-one from West Sussex.

Phase 2 – will be a practical coaching session and is planned for the spring with outdoor sessions.

Anita will be applying for another grant for phase 2.

To include coaching cards with QR codes which will link to short videos showing the drills. These would be available to everyone on YouTube.

Sophie Dunn will share the details of a company she uses at school for the videos and links.

Stoolball England v Rounders England Game

The committee has decided to postpone this until 2022. We felt we needed to concentrate on getting stoolball up and running in 2021.

Stoolball England Games

Dates confirmed U21 and Ladies – Sunday 11 July 2021

Over 50s – Sunday 25 July 2021

Venues to be confirmed – potentially Alfold for the over 50s and Ardingly College.

These will be the established dates going forward and we would ask all Counties and Leagues to
not organise events over these dates.

Insurance

Richard Emsley is happy to continue organising the insurance, he is moving away from the area, but will do the correspondence remotely with the cheques being sent directly to Georgie.

New Committee Members

Would like to hear from anyone who would like to come onto the committee or help with community events that are in your area.

AOB and Answers to Questions

Willingdon Community College have a new sports hall that they will be hiring out to public for indoor stoolball.

Recommend using plastic balls in the caged areas, like the cricket windball. Stoolball England have a supply of these costing £3 each.

We need to think outside of the box, for different ways to enable us to play, and get clubs ready for the 2021 season. Suggest doing some market research to find out what teams need to get up and running again. New teams due to start in 2020 Uckfield and Billingshurst. Chanctonbury are going to message all of their teams in the new year.

The secretary job can be split, please get in touch if you are interested in finding out more
information.

Website: Rick Mason has started rebuilding from scratch and the replacement version will be available as soon as possible. The committee thanked Rick for all his work on this.

If anyone is planning an event or would like some help with ideas, please get in touch.

We have lots of ideas and formats for running sessions for juniors, which we need to encourage.

We are happy to share events on our social media sites. We schedule posts and would ask for 1 week’s notice for posting.

Anita reported that some of the coaches who attended the course found us through social media. It’s important that we encourage people to follow us and like our posts, to further the coverage. We have one from Worcester who works with 30 schools in his area, 1 from Dorset and 1 from
Derbyshire.

Nicole Purkis asked to rearrange the fixture between Coastal and Surrey. Gwyn Griffith will be in touch regarding this.

Genevieve Gordon advised that the rules are unlikely to be much different to the ones already in place at present at the beginning of next year. Some sports are not expecting changes until the autumn. We have to adapt, and we cannot know about changes until the government announcements. We also need to allow another couple of days for the finer detail to the
announcements before we can start working on and release the Stoolball England ones.

Kelvin closed the meeting and asked everyone to stay safe, and looked forward to seeing everyone next year, when we can return to playing, even if it a revised version of the traditional game.

Appendices