Sunday, 27 April 2008

Chairman's AGM Report



Firstly can I take this opportunity to thank you all for attending this afternoon.

Another season has passed by and without the work of the volunteers sat alongside me the associations activities could not have taken place and I wish to thank you all, along with those in each of the areas who assist the area reps, for your efforts during the past 12 months.

The core activity of the association is to provide competitive opportunities for its members and a major part of this is our evening league structure. During the 2007/8 season 90 teams from 56 clubs have competed in the four area leagues. The St Ives and Helston clubs should be congratulated on sustaining 5 teams in the evening league, with further 5 clubs entering 3 teams and 16 clubs entering 2 teams. A further 24 teams from 12 clubs competed in the Western Division afternoon league.

A program of County Competitions has been run throughout the season covering all the major disciplines.

The job of Competition Secretary it is one of the most difficult and time consuming roles within the association and can all too easily be the target of criticism. To those who criticise I put the challenge to you to put forward your thoughts and ideas, don’t sit on the sideline and wait for something to happen.

I am conscious that the early rounds of the Home and Away competitions cause difficulties in arranging fixtures. Many will be involved in 3 competitions in the early rounds and with league matches and hall availability to consider this can prove problematical. This is something for the committee elected today to look at for future years.

All competitions have been contested in a competitive way with some new faces reaching the finals stages. The Dragon Centre venue has been beset with problems during the season with the ongoing work on the roof but I remain confident that we will feel the benefit of these works in the future.

It is disappointing that once again the Champion of Champions competition has not been contested. This should be a flagship competition and thought must be given to how this competition can be restored to that status. The decline in numbers participating in competitions prompts the need to look at why this should be the case. What is the problem? Is it the location of the venue, the formats that the competitions are played to or some other factor? Again the association is open to your feedback.

Equally disappointing was the lack of representation at the National Championships in 4 of the 6 disciplines. This is in part down to the ESMBA rule that requires a qualification competition to be held involving at least four teams. Surely we have 16 bowlers in our membership who would relish the opportunity to play in the championships?

The increased numbers of entries from Western Division members this season is welcome. I have been fortunate to compete in some of the Western Division competitions this year. I have found these to be very competitive with a number of bowlers in the area who could, if they so wished do well at county level.

Equally as tough a job is that of the County Team Manager who has seen his two teams enjoy mixed fortunes. Clear progress is evident with the A team having progressed from Winning the Consolation Competition in 2007 to reaching the Semi Finals of the main competition this year.

We have an opportunity to arrange a match for a representative team to play the ESMBA under 18’s squad next season. This should be embraced as an excellent opportunity to promote our sport to the younger age group. I have recently met with the local co-ordinator of the English Youth Bowls Development Scheme in a bid to look at ways of taking this forward.

The Inter Area League and Inter Area Matches continue to be successful fixtures on the calendar, providing opportunities for bowlers to compete at the county venue. There is no doubt that these have proved valuable in encouraging new bowlers to compete in other events.

I have continued to manage the association’s website, adding information that has been provided to me from various sources. The website has been in existence for 10 years now and will shortly undergo its third major redesign to give a more modern look to the site and to ease the management of the content.

Looking to the future there are many areas that the association need to be looking at to help build a platform to move forward.

• Work to reduce the amount of paper sent to clubs. The majority of mailings could be delivered via e-mail or the website. Changes to the website format will make this easier to achieve in the future.
• Working with the Local Authority Sports Development Units to ensure that the information held by both the association and the local authority is up to date.
• Achieving Club Accreditation for the association and provision of support to clubs seeking Local Authority and National Governing Body Club Accreditation.
• Working with the number of clubs who do not form part of our association at the moment to encourage them to participate and more importantly give them the opportunity to access up to date information.
• Appointment of Child Protection Officer and provision of appropriate training. Associated with this will be the development Child Protection Policy and work to ensure that all related records systems are put in place and kept up to date.
• Look at the Disciplinary and Appeals procedures to ensure that they relevant to the equivalent ESMBA procedures.
• Work to ensure that the association is meeting the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.
• Targeted schemes to support clubs in attracting new members from different age groups. The proposed fixture against the England under 18’s team will provide an excellent opportunity to ‘sell’ our product to schools and youth groups.
• Monitor developments with the newly formed English Short Mat Players Association to ensure that it does not impact on our activities.
• Work to establish links with Bowls Cornwall which will become effective from February 2009.
• Ensuring Risk Assessments are carried out and kept up to date.
• Continue to look into options for venues to hold our competitions.

Many of these will be essential in the future if the association is to seek funding from external bodies such as local authorities, National Lottery and Foundation for Sports and Arts.

During the past twelve months there have been times that I have felt that the association is not ready for a younger forward thinking Chairman, despite this I am prepared to seek re-election and help drive the association forward into the future.

Nicholas Truscott
Former CCSMBA Chairman

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