AGM and Council meeting report, 1 October 2016

Summary report from British Rowing’s AGM and Council meeting held on 1 October 2016

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The meeting opened with the Chairman’s Annual Report which can be read in full here: Annual Report October 2016  The Directors’ Report and Financial Statements, the appointment of auditors and the amendments to the composition of the Board were agreed.

Awards and Tributes:  The 2016 Medal of Honour, presented for outstanding service to the sport, was awarded to Katherine Grainger CBE, Martin Humphrys, Ray Mallett and Maggie Netto.  Council stood to pay tribute to members of the rowing community who had died since the last AGM.  Among their numbers were champions of women’s rowing, Beryl Crockford and Ron Needs, Parliamentary lobbyist for rowing, Robin Hulf and many others who had contributed a lifetime of service to the sport.

Appointments and Council Elections:  Council unanimously approved the reappointment of Dame Di Ellis as Honorary President, and Fiona McAnena and Nicola Palios as Independent Board Directors.  British Rowing’s delegates for the 2017 Congress of FISA, rowing’s international body, were also approved.

Regional representative elections will take place this week in the Thames Region for four roles on Council; the Chairman, TU-3, TL-7 and TSE-8.  In line with the Articles, Regional Chairmen Bob Bayliss, Martin Humphrys and Ray Mallett have reached the end of their tenure and are no longer eligible to stand, as has Barbara Millns MBE, Northern representative.  All were thanked for their huge contribution to the governance of the sport.

Council also welcomed to the meeting two observers from British Rowing staff; Emily Carter, new Head of Membership and Paul Lorenzato, new Head of Community Development, replacing Simon Dickie.

Meetings in 2017: Council agreed the schedule of meetings for 2017 which is available here.  There will be more information about the British Rowing Conference 2017 at the next meeting.

Finance:  The Management Accounts to 30 June 2016 were received and a number of questions addressed.

CEO Update and Report:  Andy Parkinson gave a brief update which included his congratulations to all involved in the recent success in Rio, both at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.  The new Competition Framework was progressing well and an active communications process was in place, work would continue apace over the winter.  The modernisation project for staff was now in its final phase and would be informed by the findings of the internal review into the culture of the High Performance programme.  A meeting with the CEO of the Canal & River Trust was planned to discuss implications of the proposed merger with the Environment Agency.

The second part of the meeting covered three main areas of discussion. 

Sport Committee and governance:  A. Crawford, Chairman of the SC, said there was good work being carried out both centrally and regionally by staff and volunteers. The aim of the Sport Committee was to be an effective mechanism for pulling this together and ensuring that the priorities of the Committees reflected the Strategic Plan.  He invited feedback on the committee structure and the scope of the regional councils.  He was interested to explore the representation of important areas such as indoor and fixed-seat rowing.  There is to be more feedback for the Regions following the next Sport Committee meeting on Saturday, 8 October.

Sport England update:  P. Hornsey, Director of Membership & Rowing Community, gave an update on progress regarding British Rowing’s forthcoming funding application to Sport England.  A robust and insight led submission was in development, driven by the aims of the sport’s Strategic Plan, rowing’s understanding of its core markets and ability to influence in these areas.  Alongside this Sport England has advised that there will be an opportunity to bid for funding to support volunteer programmes.

Partnership and Sponsorship Strategy:  K. Baillie, Director of Partnerships and Communication, gave some background to British Rowing’s strategy.  The three core areas of media presence, engagement and patronage, the value derived from partnerships, and membership benefits relevant to rowing’s core markets.

International Matters:  The Chairman informed Council of matters covered at the National Federations’ Conference in Rotterdam.  These included athlete residency, gender equality and a proposal to amend the weight rule for lightweights.  Feedback from Council was welcomed ahead of the February Congress.  Reports were also received from the FISA Congress, the Coupe de la Jeunesse and the National Olympic Committee.

The next meeting of Council is Saturday, 26 November 2016.

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