Colin Walls (chair), Liz Chinn (notes), Chris Anwyl, Patrick Jennings, Nicholas Murphy, Emily Ruaux, Yvonne Walls.
Mavis Thornton, Mike Thornton.
Minutes of the last AGM
These were accepted as a true and accurate record of the 2012 AGM.
There was no correspondence.
Chairman (Colin Walls)
Secretary (Colin Walls)
I took over the chairmanship reluctantly when Mike Ruaux resigned. The reluctance came because this would be the second time around for me, having served as chairman for six years previously. I have also served as secretary and treasurer, giving me over ten years on the regional committee. I now intend to step back from my responsibilities for the region, though I won't disappear from the scene completely. When I rejoined the committee a couple of years ago it was a time of quiet. In the past couple of years there have been two major developments:
The North West Junior Series
The schools level tournaments in the region had become moribund. With the help of Linda Kent and Stuart Marshall and sponsorship from Oliver Allmand-Smith we have created a new, integrated set of tournaments replacing the patchwork quilt of Cheshire Schools, Lancashire Schools and NWJS events. These have proved enormously popular with the 60 or so children competing last year becoming 70+ and even 80+ this year.
This is a jewel we must not slip away. Linda Kent is resigning as NWJS coordinator at the end of the year and I will also be departing as the person who does all the back-stage organising as well as running the DT for five out of the six tournaments and refereeing at them all. We need new people in to do all of these tasks and keep the series running, this is vitally important for base level fencing in the region.
After the Olympics development activity has become regionalised. England Fencing has money to spend on the regions and we have received some of this. However this is conditional on us running developmental activities such as fencer and coach development, referee training, providing access to safeguarding and first aid courses etc. Stuart Marshall was appointed as Hub Development Officer and has put some of this in place, for example the Level 1 and 2 coaching courses that will take place during the summer. However we do need to do more, and I hope (as do England Fencing) to see more detailed plans and a calendar as time progresses.
This can't be done by Stuart unless he receives input from both the clubs and fencers of the region. I urge you to let him know your requirements and details of any courses that you intend to run so that they can be integrated into a regional plan.
Besides being regional chairman, gopher for the NWJS and coaching three or four times per week I also run the North West web site. This is another thing I intend to start passing on. The region also needs one or more people to commit the few hours per month to keeping the site up, running and current. As I have said many times, this is the region's web site, not my web site and contributions from anyone and everyone in the region to the site would be extremely welcome I am sure to those who take over from me. One thing we are very bad at as a sport is self-publicity. The regional web site is the place to make an initial presence for you and your clubs.
Besides Linda Kent there is one other person who I would like to thank for her contribution over the years is Mavis Thornton. Without her our fencers would not be there to give the rest of the country a run for their money at the British Youth Championships. I really don't know how many years she has run the BYC qualifiers and it would, perhaps, be ungentlemanly of me to inquire. Sadly she will not be available to run the qualifiers next year due to the merger of her school with another in the Blackpool area. Another task for the new committee will be to organise the qualifiers in her absence.
One of the few disappointments in my time on the committee is the small number of clubs that take part in regional and school level tournaments and the limited number of people we can draw upon to do things like arrange tournaments and training. I hope that the new committee can succeed in getting more people and clubs involved and expand this sport that we all enjoy.
Treasurer (Nicholas Murphy)
BFNWR Account Overview May 2012 to May 2013
NW Events Entry Fees £6,477.80
LPJS Entry Fees £220.00
Cadet Winton Participant Fees £1,710.00
Development Grant £2,500.00
NWJS Organisers £3,029.23
NWJS Sundries £91.60
Veteran Winton Costs £350.00
Cadet Winton Costs £2,294.14
Senior Winton Costs (2012, 2013) £505.00
NW Training Day Officials £558.75
NW Training Day Hall Hire £390.60
NW Development Costs £130.00
BYC Entry Fees and Referee Levy £1,386.00
Starting Balance as of 24/5/12 £4,842.58
Balance as of 31/5/13 £6,905.62
Community Savings Account £4,096.50
Due to additional events the region has doubled its turnover during 2013. However, if the Development Grant was not included then the region would have made a loss. The main costs have been the Wintons and the Training Days. The region is financially healthy.
With the Cadet Winton the region pays for the accommodation for the fencers, the officials and for fuel. NM thanked Rivington Park for the use of the minibus. The Senior Winton costs were for two years.
Concern was raised regarding the cost of the hall hire for the Training Day.
NWJS Coordinator (Linda Kent, Stuart Marshall)
There was no report from the North West Junior Series Coordinators.
In 2012 there were 6 tournaments — Bury in March, Lancashire Schools in April, Chester in May, Manchester in June, Liverpool in November and Bury in December. In 2013 there have been 3 tournaments so far — New Charter in February, Liverpool in March and Manchester in April, with other events scheduled at Chester, Preston and Bury . In 2012 there were approximately 60 entrants and in 2013 there have been approximately 80 entrants, which is a measure of the success of the series.
Team Captain (Nicholas Murphy)
At the Cadet Winton the region came last, however it was close between 3 regions and the NW lost a hit in a vital match due to a controversial referee's decision. There are new cadets in the NW squad.
At the Senior Winton the region came 7th and was 4 hits from 4th position. Mens sabre came 2nd. The squad had an enjoyable time, all staying in the same hotel and enjoying a good social evening.
At the Veterans Winton the region came 8th, despite having an incomplete squad with no women sabreurs.
Election of Officers
Chair — Yvonne Walls, proposed by Rick Kent, seconded by Giselle Cuilliane.
Secretary — Liz Chinn, proposed by Colin Walls, seconded by Stuart Marshall.
Treasurer — Nicholas Murphy, proposed by Colin Walls, seconded by Stuart Marshall.
The committee can co-opt for other roles:-
Welfare Officer, Hub Development, NWJS Coordinator, Team Captain, Webmaster.
It was suggested that the committee create draft job descriptions/role outlines.
Hub Development gets its direction from Sport England, so the Hub Development Officer job description may need reviewing.
Any Other Business
It was suggested that development is split by weapon. When free fencing takes place it could be more directed or with exercises.
A referee training course was suggested.
A junior development day was suggested.
This should be coordinated between clubs. There are 6 competitions in the series. If more than 6 clubs apply then application criteria could be used, such as provision of referees.
In order to successfully run a competition then 2 people are needed for the organisational and DT side and lots of people to referee. It was suggested that if a club is sending more than a certain number of people then they should provide referees.
It was requested that the Veterans Winton squad get badges and sweatshirts, as the Cadets and Seniors do. NM has 4 hoodies and 10 badges in stock.
To be discussed in detail at the next committee meeting.
NW Region logo
Not everyone likes the new NW Region logo. PJ to design a new badge.
NW Region website
It was suggested that the NW Region gets a Facebook presence and a Twitter feed. Only administrators would be able to post as the region. It could be used for publicity, votes etc.
NW branded goods
It was suggested that NW branded goods, such as Tshirts and hoodies could be sold by the region to generate income.
There was a good entry at the 2013 Regional Championships with a good standard of fencing. It would be nice to see more clubs competing at the Regional Championships. It was good to see some University fencing clubs taking part.
It was suggested that if a club runs the Regional Championships then it could take a share of the profit which is generated. This happens when clubs run NWJS events. It was suggested that a share of the profit could be commensurate with the effort that is put in to make a successful event. NM to investigate as the Regional Championships have made a loss over the last few years.