Monday, December 10, 2012


- are a strange requirement for clubs of all sorts. I suppose they derive from the annual meetings of big companies where shareholders can hold the board to account. But there they seem to have been taken over by corporate shareholders who merely vote each other large salary rises.

Oh how I wish our AGM could do that.....

Over the years various strategies were tried to make people interested in the business of the club. These largely consisted of tying the awards to the AGM so you could guarantee at least those members and their parents would be there. But they usually melted away once the bit they were interested in was over. Either that or, if votes were needed, parents who might well not have actually been members, wearily raised their hands and escaped as soon as they could.

I believe that separating the awards from the AGM was the right thing to do. At least one of the two nights can be interesting. But that leaves the essential business of making sure the club is on the right track stuck in a small meeting room with the committee members who aren't actually bedridden plus a couple of others. On this occasion Kevin, Ellen and Jeremy made up the whole of the "audience" - and very welcome they were too, making valuable contributions to the various discussions that were held.

The key part of the agenda is the election of officers. There are two ways of doing this. Either you go through the posts one by one, ask if there are any nominations, ask the person who's been doing it for twenty years if they're willing to carry on, ask if there is a seconder, call a vote and everyone present raises a finger. Or you read out the list of who's been doing the jobs, is still alive and who looks as if they won't mind; "All in favour", and the job's done.

But half the people so "elected" weren't there. Neither of the two club captains were there. One of the team managers had just walked into the job in mid-year - and wasn't there. The Club President hasn't been seen since the millennium, though I did run into him Tesco's a year or so ago. And we haven't had a Vice Chairman of the club within living memory.

Perhaps all that this means is that people are happy with how the club is going and as long as there isn't a crisis things will be all right. I can't help comparing this situation with one year in, I suppose, the early 90s when I was chairman last. The proposal to amalgamate with Bristol AC (as it was then called) filled Yate Parish Hall, with people standing at the back, and then we had to have an EGM to do it all again - and it still didn't happen.

But there are some unpalatable facts lurking in the wings. Tony and Pat, Lesley and I are all aging. We don't have young families any more, though grandchildren are an actual (or in our case hopefully potential) distraction and we do what we do because we like the club a lot, and the people who pass through it during their athletic careers, or while their children are competing, and we like the sport a lot and want to see it run properly for the benefit of "our" young athletes. But imagine us gone.....

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