The Northumbria Squash Rackets Association AGM Minutes
Wednesday 9 September, 7pm via Zoom video conferencing
Trustees and committee members
Dave Barnett (Chair), Jim Douglas (Treasurer), Colin McNestrie, JohnThompson (League Secretary)
Other committee members
Dave North (Secretary), Dave Jackson, Sam Ward, Adam Coates
Dave Barnett (Northumbria University), Dave North (Northern), Colin McNestrie (Tynemouth), Dave Jackson (Newbiggin), Adam Coates (Eldon Leisure), Liam Gutcher (Newcastle University)
Other attendees: Dawn Ward (Tynemouth), Guy Eniona (Eldon Leisure), Martin Jolley (Newcastle University)
Dave Barnett welcomed everyone to the meeting and confirmed that a quorum was present.
2. Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising
The minutes from the previous meeting held on 10 July 2019 were agreed to be representative of the meeting.
7a) The decision not to print new marking pads and encourage use of scoring app appears to have been accepted, with those present confirming tablets and smartphones were now in common use.
7b) Although club contact details are openly visible, access to team captain/manager details on League Master now requires users to be logged.
7c) Proposal to change format of Ladies League was not implemented.
3. Trustees’ report
Dave Barnett (Chairman) summarised the report distributed to attendees ahead of the AGM. The County Competitions again proved to be a
success and (although the Senior Inter-county competitions were cancelled) the Junior County teams had some success. No questions arose.
4. Treasurer’s report
Jim Douglas (Treasurer) presented the Association’s accounts for the year ended 30 April 2020 – again distributed to attendees prior to the AGM. Jim noted the balance in the Virgin Money account remains healthy at nearly £17,000 – and that average balance over the last 9-10 years has been between £15,000 and £16,000. Virgin Money are moving to online banking (meaning cheques won’t be available). Jim reiterated his intention to step down as Treasurer at the end of 2020.
Dave Jackson raised a query about the need to maintain a bank balance of £15,000 plus which prompted a discussion about how some of this could be used to help clubs, or fund County initiatives but coupled with the need to maintain an emergency fund, given annual costs run at around £13,000 a year. No firm decisions were made.
5. League Secretary’s report
John Thompson (League Secretary) reported on the Winter Leagues – cut short early by the lock down caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, which also led to cancellation of the Summer League and Cup competitions. Tynemouth 1 had already secured the Men’s Premier Division title before the lock down and (after final Divisions placing were calculated using average points per matches played) Northern Ladies 1B were confirmed as Ladies Premier Division winners.
A general discussion ensued about the format of the Men’s League for the forthcoming season. The consensus was to move to Divisions of 10 teams (see 7b below) and various options for the 2020/21 season were put forward – extend season through the Summer (which could present difficulties for University teams in particular – although they could play all their matches before Easter if time/court availability allowed) or play a half season eg from January up to Easter) and reinstate Summer League. Once we know when full matches between clubs can resume the Committee can consider best way forward.
Regarding Ladies League (see 7c below) there wasn’t a great appetite to move to teams of 3 or 4 (with no post-match meals) for the current Divisions, but the idea of a beginners or feeder Division to encourage greater participation received a more positive response. Again further discussion at Committee level needed – perhaps after consulting a wider representation of female players.
6. Election of Trustees
Dave Barnett was re-elected as Trustee and Chairman following the resignation of one Trustee as required under rules of the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
A request by Guy Eniona to join the Committee will be considered by the Trustees.
7. Discussion of proposals
7a) Jim Douglas is retiring at the end of 2020 from his role as Treasurer and Trustee. The Trustees would like to know if there is anyone interested in taking on this role?
Those present were asked to consider anyone in their clubs who might be interested – perhaps someone with accounting or bookkeeping experience.
7b) Increase the standard number of teams per division in the Men’s League from 9 to 10. See 5 above.
7c) Ladies teams – reduce number of players to 3 or 4 and no post-match food but just drinks. Maybe a beginner league to encourage more teams. See 5 above.
8. Any Other Business
Dave Barnett formally thanked Jim Douglas for his 9 years of service as Treasurer.
Meeting concluded at 20.30
Dave North (Secretary)