June 11, 2018
City of Hereford Swimming Club - Annual General Meeting - 29th June 2018
As per recent correspondence, the City of Hereford Swimming Club are holding the Annual General Meeting on Friday 29th June. At this meeting, there are a number of posts which require nominations or re-election to the executive committee, including my own.
I would encourage anyone and everyone who can put something back into the club to do so in whatever way is possible. Nomination forms are available to download below, or alternatively please come and speak to one of the current executive committee members about the roles available.
There is also a good section on the club website explaining a little more about volunteering.
With regards to my own position at the club, my three year tenure is up this summer and it has prompted me to reflect a little bit on these last three year as the club's chairperson.
First of all, it doesn’t seem like 5 minutes ago that I took on the chairman’s role, but a lot has happened in that time. I never dreamt that my first task would be to oversee the appointment of a new head coach, with Alex Dallimore moving to West Wales. To be honest, those first twelve months were possibly the toughest time for myself and the club. Three years ago we were in a healthy position, with the club keeping its head above the water (sorry, I couldn’t resist that pun!). However, over those first 18 months, the number of swimmers dropped and finances were getting more and more of a concern – to the point that we were over 15% lower than when I took over the role. This did lead to some very difficult and challenging decisions for us as a club, and whilst not necessarily a popular decision for all at the time, we did make the decision to part company with the head coach after only nine months.
The first 12 months were not all bad news, with a number of positive steps being taken. The first round of restructuring of the committee occurred, with some people taking on specific roles to share the workload a little more.
The decision to appoint a new head coach, the second change of head coach that I’ve overseen, has proven to be the right choice. Since the low point we have grown the membership in Hereford by 50%. The positive vibe has returned and the City of Hereford Swimming Club is being talking about again for the right reasons.
All in all, we’ve come a long way in the last three years and I’m very proud of what we have achieved in that time. Some highlights to note are:
- Membership has increased by over 25% in the last three years
- Increased professional coaching staff to two full time roles
- Restructured the club’s committee to make committee roles more transparent and more effective distribution of workload
- Increased level of volunteers base (team managers, officials, committee, etc)
- Implemented new membership database, which will undoubtedly will save a huge amount of time and effort for volunteers in the future
- Structured and progressive budgeting method for training fees, with long term objectives and fees being agreed for next three years
- New website, with more relevant for current and prospective members (i.e. competition calendar, training information, how to join, etc)
- Increased use of social media, putting CoHSC in the spotlight
- New and professional looking club kit in partnership with TYR
However, as a club, we cannot rest on our laurels and we must strive for even better and greater things in the future. I believe that we now have the right coaching team and executive committee structure to take the club to the next phase in the life of the club – which is a great position to be in.
For those of you who do not know, my job is now taking me away from the UK more and more with most weeks now spent working in Germany. This has led to me being in Hereford and at the club less and less. Whilst nobody knows what the future will hold, my work commitments are unlikely to decrease in the future.
With the club being in a much stronger position that when I joined, the time might be appropriate for someone else to take the reins and carry it forwards to the next chapter in the life of the club.
If no one is willing to step forwards, then I am happy to stay on as chair. However, for the reasons outlined above, I cannot commit to another three year term - as I simply do not know how much time and commitment I can give.
Whatever happens, we all need to support the club in some way. This is a volunteer run club and without volunteers we simply cannot operate. Even the most busy person can give something back to the club.
Whilst we have some fantastic volunteers today, if everyone helped a little, it would dramatically ease the burden on the usual suspects.
So, please, please, please, when we do come and ask for support and volunteers - consider it seriously - as the future success of the club does rely upon all of us, not just a few.
City of Hereford Swimming Club