Chairman’s Update From Council. The Way Forward
28 September 2017
2017 has been another great year for our and the sport, with some fantastic racing and well run events; I am always amazed by the commitment and enthusiasm within our clubs and by members whatever the level.
Thank you to all our members.
Over the year the council has spent time discussing its role as the management team within the MYA, looking at the promises we make, services we provide and what we can actually achieve.
The Council is a small group of people, 6 in the executive, 6 district councillors plus the other non-executive officers. This group have over the years created a racing structure, technical team, promotion, communication and web facilities alongside trying to enjoy the sport that brought them to the management. To be frank, whilst full of good intentions, and achieving much, the Council struggle to provide all the things that we have promised. Obtaining volunteers for the roles is becoming harder and fulfilling our promises increasingly difficult. Don’t let the occasional slip in achievement mean that we do not care about the membership or feel sadness that we fail, we are all members after all and want the best for the Association and its members.
Having acknowledged that we are not perfect and taken a good look at the feedback we get from you, the members, the Council is proposing some changes to be implemented in 2018. We hope that spreading the workload through the wider membership will improve the overall management of the sport for all of us.
What are we doing?
Well, we are starting by concentrating on 3 areas which we consider a concern.
We are actively seeking to employ an administrator to work for a set number of hours per week to help the Council respond to enquiries and deal with pressing matters. We know that there is nothing more frustrating than trying to contact someone and getting no response, even if the reply is that the person is on holiday, or unavailable for a period, a response is always better than nothing.
The role will also be one that works with the Council to communicate back to the membership when required. The aim is that there will be no more waiting for the Council to compile a newsletter, just to provide a simple post on the web or icontact as and when required. Initially we are looking for a volunteer for this role from within the membership or their families, but if we cannot find the right person we will look further afield to fill the role. The role will
suit a computer literate organised person, but not necessarily an active skipper, with administration skills being more important than a knowledge of sailing.
We have set aside a fund to pay for this role if a volunteer does not come forward as we feel this vital role for the MYA moving forward. The success of this role will be monitored and the hope that the members will quickly notice a significant difference.
2 Web facilities
Like it or not, we have to accept that digital communication is the way forward, and multi-platform access to our documents and news is now a given in most areas of life. We need to take this seriously and our DCO, Austin Guerrier has this in hand and will expand on this at the AGM. This will include a revised members area and revamp to the website to make access and information more easily available to the members. The cost of this is in the budget proposals for 2018. It is also Austin’s plan that the district websites should be available via the MYA website to aid communication; one place for information to make it easy to find.
3 Class Owner Groups
February Council meeting was concerned that a proposed change in the 36″ class rules, needed a procedure for making this change. This was put back to the Class Captain, who put together a simple set of rules on one sheet of A4 setting out the objectives, which reinforced the MYA’s objectives on promotion etc., defined the membership, the management which set the time of the Class Captain service and the method of renewal or replacement. It acknowledged the MYA’s arrangements for registration and official measures as well as the procedure for changing this national class rule, interpretations, the method of business and amendment to these COG procedures.
This worked well for the change in the 36″ class rules with owners balloted on both the procedure and the class rules. A similar procedure, although not formalised was used for the change in the 6 Metre class rules.
Secretary to Council, Chris Cook considered that this simple document, which gives lots of flexibility to the Class and any supporters, should be rolled out to other classes and prepared generic National, International, Free Sailing and IOM class COG procedures. These reinforce the objectives of the MYA and encourage the classes to take a more active role in all aspect of their own class activities, so reducing the load on the Council. The detail of these is currently being discussed in Council and will be issued prior to the AGM for comment and approval.
Now a few specifics for 2018:
The Race Team has been working hard in 2017 to bring the publication date of the Yearbook forward and I am pleased to say that the 2018 calendar is now complete and the end of October has been set for the compilation of club information. You may be aware that John Newton is the dedicated membership secretary, who has been concentrating on updating information from members. Thanks to John for this effort.
If you need to change your club details please contact John via the website or his MYA email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am confident that members will see the efforts of Council when Yearbooks appear in January 2018.
We hope that you will help us by getting your annual club affiliation return back as early as possible. A very important part of this is to make sure that the ownership of the class boats in your club is accurately recorded, as it provides the basis for contact with class owners by the Class Owner Groups.
National and Ranking Events Seminar Day.
The Racing Officer is planning a seminar day in early 2018 to which all clubs hosting a National Championship or Ranking Event in 2018 will be invited to send 2 representatives to meet with the class captains for a race management seminar. This will concentrate on both the technical side of running such events and a practical hints-and-tips session to be run by an experienced radio sailing Race Officer. Darin’s idea is that this will provide an opportunity for the clubs and class captains to help create events that their members want. The MYA will pay travelling expenses to those attending.
I believe that support for this seminar will benefit clubs, with the knowledge gained hopefully being passed on to their other club members as well.
During 2018 Council intend to create a programme of promotion for the sport. We are committed to continue to take part in the RYA Dinghy Show, together with advertising in RYA and sailing magazines, like Yachts and Yachting, but we will also look at other avenues. The sad demise of Marine Modelling International now restricts our options into the hobby side of our sport to Model Boats magazine.
This is an area where the Council will be increasingly putting efforts and funds and encouraging COGs to carry out some of this work. If you have any ideas, thoughts or would like to contribute, please contact me directly.
Although highlighted in the 2016 AGM, I think that many district clubs were not aware of the availability of funds from the MYA to be spent within each district. This is set at £600 per district for 2018, as for 2017. The fund is for the district to spend on small items, which they feel will benefit the clubs and members and does not require approval from the MYA. Any club or member interested in this fund should contact their district Councillor for more information.
We are proposing the reinstatement of the affiliation fee of £14.00 for 2018, and I hope that you will support this. The attached budget for 2018 has been put together by David and includes estimates for the items I have highlighted in this newsletter, I hope that you will agree with me that although this is an increase, £14 is a very modest amount for being a member of the MYA and is well worth the money.
Finally, I would like to thank all those members of the MYA, who volunteer and support the sport at all levels, without which, none of us would be able to enjoy the sport as we do.
I hope that this newsletter gives a little more information on what the Council are doing and we hope that you will continue to support our efforts in 2018.
See you all soon at our AGM
Budget documents are available in the knowledge base HERE