South Ribble Orienteering Club 47th AGM

14 September 2011


Present: Gavin Smith, Sue and Martyn Roome, Jeff Ball, Quentin Harding, Tony Marlow, Julian Lailey, Jane Anthony, John Brewer, Dick and Jane Collins, Mark Edwards, Karen Nash, Rowena Browne, Bill and Dawn Lock, Chris Roberts.


Apologies: Mike and Mary Ormerod, Peter and Cherith Knott, Glenys Ferguson, Ian Selby, Alex Finch, Jon and Sarah Carberry, Miriam and David Rosen, Zoe Harding


Minutes of 46th AGM

KN suggested two omissions- change to constitution also included the committee rather than the AGM setting the subscription fee for the club. Also Tony Marlow had been omitted from the list of members voted for en bloc. Other than this they were accepted as an accurate record.


Matters Arising. None


Chairman’s Report

I must start this report by thanking you all for coming, especially those not on the committee and therefore not obliged to be here. Like all AGM’s, this one provides a formal occasion when members can call to account the club’s officers. So if you have a burning issue, there will be an opportunity tonight for it to be aired. But it has a social purpose, too: the chance to share thoughts, company and food with like-minded friends. Thanks to those who’ve arranged everything for tonight. I’m well aware that things don’t just happen. So let’s get through the formal as quickly as we can to leave as much time as possible for the informal.

And I start with a collective thanks to the committee. I can’t think there’s a club Chairman anywhere better blessed. To a person, they are incredibly hard-working, dedicated, supportive and professional. They are also a very able, experienced and forward-looking team. But if as Chairman I am blessed by each and every one of them, so too is the club. Whilst it’s not my style to single out individual members, on this occasion I do need to pay a special tribute to Mike Ormerod. Now Mary’s retired and a Camper-van acquired, the world beckons. I believe they’re actually in France at the moment. Mike’s reluctantly decided it’s time to step down from the committee. There can’t be many jobs on the committee Mike’s not done, including that of Chairman, and we shall miss the experience, wisdom and calmness he’s brought to our discussions. I’m pleased to say that both he and Mary will remain active members and I’ve no doubt he’ll still be adding to our growing map collection.


Exceptional though the committee is, its members would be the first to agree that nothing would be achieved without the incredible support of club members. Here, too, we are very blessed. Enormous thanks are also due to those who have planned, organized, car-parked, manned starts and finishes, control-collected etc. That support has meant that  we’ve been able to put on over 30 events since last September. A magnificent achievement. Again, I’m reluctant to name names, but I will single out as just one example of those to whom we owe a great debt. So I give you Ian Evans. For some years now Ian hasn’t been fit enough to enjoy a run, but he still supports us so we can have ours. No, I’ll give you two names. The second is Vic Platt. I’ve never actually seen Vic compete in an event, nor have I seen him for a while, but there he was in our hour of need helping at the start of our event on Hutton Roof. Altruism at its best.


Given the size of the club, we really do punch above our weight. To put on over 30 events takes an enormous amount of planning and organizing, and not many clubs could even think of doing that. Yes, we do sometimes stretch ourselves to the limit, but we have a deserved reputation for doing things very well. Though not on the scale of the British Elite Sprints, this year we’ve put on the Northern Night Championships, a level B event on Hutton Roof and the Junior Inter-regional Relays, all to general acclaim. We’ve also managed to put on two very successful and innovative series: the Summer Sprints and the Summer Street series, with enormous thanks to co-ordinators Chris Roberts and Bob Nash respectively, and of course their assistants. Each has required a great deal of planning, the production of a clutch of new maps, up-dating existing maps, the printing of said maps, and given the short breathing space between events, making sure the right equipment is in the right place at the right time. And here, I again pay tribute to Bob, as SI co-ordinator, to Peter Knott, our Equipment Office and President, and to Quentin Harding, our printing supremo. All do a remarkable logistical and largely unheralded job. As does Chris Roberts for publicizing our events on our brilliant website, Rowena Browne for persuading so many to plan and organize, Dave Hargreaves for sorting out permissions, Dick Collins for making sure it’s all affordable, Martyn for oiling the wheels, Gavin keeping our policies up-to-date  ……. Oh dear, it really isn’t my style to name individuals!


We also compete above our weight. True, we’ve only once got to the Compass Sport Cup final for large clubs, but we do face the fiercest competition here in the NW. This year, we came very close to making the final for a second time. Club captain Mark Edwards was able to put together a competitive team that only narrowly lost out to LOC, but came well ahead of chief rivals WCOC and MDOC. This year, too, we’ve been represented at international level by Helen Ockenden, Zoe Harding, Quentin and yours truly. Zoe deserves another special mention for her selection to the JWOC squad, the youngest to make the team. We can boast two individual British Champions in Katrin Harding and Karen Nash. And also a winning BOC relay team in the very strong M18 class. Well done, Matt and Chris Nash and John Ockenden. I hope those others who ran brilliantly to gain silver or bronze podium places at BOC and/or the JK will forgive me only mentioning the superb performance of Zoe, Katrin and Heather Gardner, in finishing an excellent 3rd in the Women’s Open class at the British Champs. Top notch. Matt, Chris, John, Zoe and Katrin were joined by Daniel, Annie and Helen as key members of the NWJS that comfortably won the Junior Inter-Regional Championships. A recent piece of, perhaps questionable, analysis in Compass Sport rated SROC as the 10th most successful club in the country. Yes, questionable, but it adds further support to the claim that we really do compete above our weight.


I’m also pleased to report that we’ve continued to play our part within the wider community. Indeed, one of our members, David Rosen, even holds a key position on the IOC. And where would the NWJS be without our coaches. Jon, Sarah, Sue, Martyn, David, Heather and Quentin all-but make up its entire management team. Locally, this summer Chris responded to an invitation from Halton Village to set up an orienteering experience as part of its grand opening of ‘The Happening’, and Chorley Council presented us with a community award for putting on activities within the borough. We’ve also support the NW Night League, the new NW Orienteering League  and the Cumbria Galoppen with events. Nothing unique here, perhaps, but it shows that we continue to make our fair contribution, particularly within the North West.



So, to summary. As ever, much to be pleased about and many people to admire, congratulate and thank. Plenty of podium places, a record number of events put on, a good attendance at the Club Dinner, a healthy bank balance. And yet, like most other clubs, membership has at best stagnated, and certainly aged. Although we’ve an outstanding group of Juniors (currently 5th best in the country if judged on the recent Peter Palmer relay performance) even that group, too, is ageing. Where are the young families with the young children, the stars of tomorrow, the organizers and planners of the future? I ask the question not in despair, and certainly not in resignation, but to acknowledge that the challenge exists.

But I end as I began. By thanking you all for coming and for your incredible contributions to our sport and to our club.


Secretary’s Report.

KN reported that membership units had fallen yet again, new record low of 68 units. Compared to 75 the previous year and over 100 pre 2006. The breakdown in terms of families, senior, National etc is very similar.  Although 28 units are families in fact 15 of the units are couples. The biggest proportion of members continues the recent trend of living between Garstang and Carnforth, mainly Lancaster. (36%) Worryingly the % of active members continues to be low. KN estimates that 14/68 units or about 20% have no involvement in the club at all now.  If activity was based on taking part in, planning, organizing at least 5 activities a year then the inactive % would be even higher.  The age profile of the club continues to increase, as it does nationally. We now have 39% over age 60. This may be good as these people have both time and experience but some are also finding it more difficult to take part and even to cover the ground as planners or controllers. The age profile within the juniors is similar but this may just be a part of a natural cycle that the club goes through. We have few juniors age 7-14 but a number of very young children in orienteering families. Perhaps we can keep the older juniors as part of SROC even though they move away to University etc.


Treasurer’s Report.

DC provided audited accounts for the year, with the previous year as comparison. Harold White continues to audit but is now 84 so we may need to consider an alternative soon. The income was swollen by payment for our part of the L5D and the biggest expense was competition expenses. Subsidising relay entry fees is becoming more expensive although many think this is money well spent. The loss of ₤447 is much less than last year and in fact over ₤200 cash has also now been paid in so the loss is only really about ₤230. Unfortunately the event last week on Traitors Gill made a loss of about ₤200, shame it clashed with PP relays and LDMT. There was brief discussion about moving events to Sat and making them ranking events. Dawn asked about NWOA money and the situation of grants etc was explained.

At this point DC also set out proposals for subscription fees for the next 2 coming years, with very modest increases. These did not need to be voted on but were accepted as reasonable.


Election of Officers.

President Peter Knott           Proposed K Nash    Seconded J Lailey             

Chairman Julian Lailey           Proposed K Nash    Seconded J Collins

Vice- Chair Martyn Roome     Proposed D Collins   Seconded R Browne

Secretary Karen Nash           Proposed R Browne  Seconded M Edwards

Treasurer Dick Collins           Proposed M Roome  Seconded J Lailey

All were uncontested and unanimous.


Remainder of committee willing to continue:

Rowena Browne, Alex Finch, Chris Roberts, Dave Hargreaves, Quentin Harding, Gavin Smith, Mark Edwards, Zoe Harding, Tony Marlow.

All voted for en bloc and unanimous.


Volunteers and proposals from the floor:

Jane Anthony Proposed  M Roome  Seconded R Browne. Unanimous.


Jane Collins volunteered to take over as non committee Statistician.

There were also discussion of other roles eg Karen Q social.

Nobody on the committee currently has recruitment as their main role.


The formal meeting ended at 8.25pm. This was followed by much discussion, socializing and our Jacobs Join. Maps from our summer adventures were shared.