Annual Update : Chairman

Since the last AGM your Management Committee has been looking into all aspects of the Club and identifying committed Members willing to take on important tasks. This is a one to two year plan and some matters will be will be ready for our next AGM to be held at The Clubhouse on Friday 8 November 2019.
We have chosen this date as the original date was during the School Autumn Half-term and therefore many parents, and members would be unable to attend. The new draft Constitution will be available at our AGM you all will receive an email copy before that date.
John Sanders has kindly taken on this task, Club Management Officers and John have made suggested updates to present document and I will ask for the AGM to adopt it at the meeting.
The past year has been difficult for me personally as I have a condition and suffered too many infections making it difficult for me to attend training sessions and events regularly. Club Officers have been supporting me and I have been able to take a back seat and I thank all of those Members for their support and kindness. I was being admitted to hospital on Monday 9 September 2019 but for ‘unforeseen reasons’ my admission date has been delayed by 5 weeks to Monday 14 October
About a year ago some members suggested setting up an online shop. For many years kind and committed ladies took on this task but recently finding someone to take this on has been difficult. As a result I contacted numerous Club Kit Suppliers. Most were unable to help and I contacted the UKA suggested Partner and I met a representative by appointment at a local hotel. He was very helpful and we agreed to meet again. He failed to do so and I made a second call to their Office and I’m still waiting for a call some months later.
With luck another supplier contacted me and I met their representative who lives locally and we spent considerable amount of time, many meetings and with his help and support of the company (Samurai Sportswear based near Norwich) we decided to go ahead and came to an agreement. Andrew their representative visited our Club with sample items and were seen by some members, their products are superior to our present kit, cost will be slightly higher and cost to members will be discussed before the shop goes live in the very near future, planned to be in September. With agreement with Management Officers I have signed a two year contract and paid up front a sum of
monies covering cost of core kit. The Company will be responsible in keeping the shop stocked with core kit. All items will display our name and logo. Colours have not changed but green is slightly different from present kit. Hoodies and other items will be more readily available. As a Club we will not sell direct to members but will have samples available and by arrangement, my wife has agreed to take responsibility for this. Full details will be published and linked to our Website and Membership portal. Members will be responsible for obtaining kit as required and pay direct to company together with small charge for post and package.
Our present stock will be disposed of within the Club either by way of reward, free or asking for a small donation. This has been agreed and will be managed by a named member in due course.
Recently we have lost our Secretary and one of two Webmasters, a great lost to our Club and me personally. Their reasons are private which I respect and I’m not prepared or intend to discuss. All I will say is that I am disappointed as it is very difficult to get members to take on important roles, we all have our family and private responsibilities and I urge members to respect those who take on
tasks for the benefit of the many. They all deserve your respect. The Club are looking for volunteers not just for marshalling races, but tasks which need some research and time spent away from Club nights.

John Sanders and Paul Hicks have volunteered to update our Development Plan and Club Policies, as they already have experience in performing this task at Colchester & Tendring AC. When completed this will be published on our website and a hard copy kept with Club Secretary. At present time in absence of elected Secretary I have taken on this task temporarily, Essex AA and UKA/EA have been informed. John Sanders and John Hyland, elderly members, both previously of CAT’s are continuing to work tirelessly and fully committed arranging the annual County Cross Country Relays Races we are hosting during January 2020 at Hillyfields. John Hyland as always attends many events taking photographs which most weeks are published in our local Newspapers. Our thanks to John and very recently other pictures have been published of many historical occasions in Colchester. What would we do without committed members mentioned above.
AT the last AGM I set myself a target of two years to complete a root and branch update of our Club, this year hasn’t been easy and I know some members have been discussing this privately. I just wish that if members have a problem they openly come to Club Officers and voice their concerns. We have a great Club, many talented Athletes and we can climb to great heights if we work together with a common purpose.
Club finance is also a serious issue, some have voiced concerns over the amount of cash held in our accounts. Several years ago we were promised our own equipment store, recent discussions with Garrison suggest a suitable building will be supplied next year. We have monies available to purchase and provide most if not all the equipment members and coaches require. With the track being upgraded I suspect our rental fees will increase. We have heard that Clubs within the County have been asked to finance some of the upgrades at their local facility. Our moderate savings could quickly disappear.
There are also concerns across the Club that there has been an increase of individual and team race fees paid by Club and not evenly shared, increase cost of Training Courses and general increase in
other areas. Our income relies on Membership Fees and Track attendance income. There has been a dramatic fall in income from hosting events and donations. As a Club we have always supported members in need of help financially, with travel, attending meetings, etc. We must find additional cash, as without, all membership fees will have to be increased substantially. Many members have suggested an Annual all inclusive fee paid quarterly in advance by DD or Standing Order. This will be investigated and I would like a small group of member volunteers and parents to take on this task. I suspect we will be asking for a moderate increase in membership fees for year 2020/21 to be announced at next AGM or before the end of this calendar year. Athletics is a very cheap sport, many other activities are substantially more expensive and to survive we have to be realistic and adjust accordingly.
It’s down to us all, together we can achieve great things.
Lance Williams. Chairman