Letter from the President # 5 and a half

Letter From The President #5 and a half – 13th June 2008

Dear Fellow Curler,

I everything is ok with you.

Right then, here is some more info following the ECA AGM on Sunday in Sheffield.

Details for ECA competitions were announced:

InterClub will be at Kelso, 11th & 12th October 2008.
2 rinks required from SECC and London.
Hopefully the SECC will be playing Glendale, London and Preston for a trophy this year.
The winner will enter a rink into the RCCC Province Champs in Nov. 08.
Closing date for the InterClub is 31st August.

Mixed Doubles will also be at Kelso at the same time as the InterClub.
This will find our team for the World Champs in Mar 09
Closing date 31st Aug

Seniors will be at Murrayfield, 7th-9th Nov 08
Closing date 31st Aug

ECA Mens & Womens will be at Greenacres, 6th-8th Feb 2009
Closing date 30th Nov 08.

ECA Mixed will be at Fenton’s 28th Feb-2nd Mar 2009
Closing date 30th November.

If you’d like to take part in the InterClub then let us know, and feel free to start getting your teams together for the other events.
Remember the forum has a section for teams/players required.

The other proposal put forward at the AGM which I want to cover was to have an associate membership of the ECA, costing £10.
This would not give you voting rights or allow you to play in ECA Championships, for that you would have to pay the ordinary member rate of £23.
The constitution will be changed, and the wording that says a social member of a club pays zero ECA sub will be removed.
This means that every SECC member, whether ordinary, social playing or social non playing, will be required to pay this £10 sub.

I abstained the club’s votes on this. I had no advance knowledge of the proposal, and did not feel in the timeframe that I could make a considered enough opinion.
I was well aware that this would affect the members of the club, and since I could not consult the members or even the committee, I wanted the record to show an abstention.

I would much rather this had been a voluntary option which would leave the onus on the ECA to persuade people of the virtues of joining, and said so.
It was put back to me that every member of the club was enjoying benefits of the ECA already, mainly through DAP funding, and that they should therefore be paying.

Any views of mine at this point would be personal, since the committee haven’t met since this AGM.
We are discussing between us various options as a result, which may include the ECA waiving this sub for new members we recruit.
Indeed there is still some clarification about ECA constitutional technicalities, so I will leave a more ‘official’ viewpoint until the committee has properly discussed the changes we will have to make.

Feel free to email us your view – it will be read by the whole committee, and views are most welcome.
Bear in mind as I mentioned earlier in the week, I feel it’s fair comment that the ECA council has made some definite steps to take on board previous comments from members, and that the council is comprised of fellow curlers who fill the positions voluntarily at great effort.
Remember for example that there are people needed to take on several roles for the ECA and anyone is welcome to volunteer.
Anyone who feels strongly that the ECA should be doing ‘this’ or ‘that’, is free to put a proposal via the new 1 member 1 vote policy, or they can put their hand up to offer their services.

I guess I covered my overall view in the previous letter, which is posted on the website with other latest news items.

Ok, that’s it for now I reckon!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness & a good tee weight!
Gordon

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Letter From The President #5

Letter From The President #5 – 10th June 2008

Dear Fellow Curler,

I hope this letter finds you well.

The ECA held its’ AGM on Sunday in Sheffied.

I wasn’t able to speak to the Presidents of Glendale or Preston, as
they weren’t there, and in fact time went pretty quickly for those
that were!
The council held a meeting before the AGM, and had a lot of ground to
cover in the 2 hour time slot.
In fact it went on until just before 5, and any talking afterwards was
curtailed by a cleaner telling us to leave, albeit politely!

I felt it was a hugely productive meeting.
The feedback from the review questionnaire had clearly been taken on
board, and I got a distinct impression of a council which wanted to
adapt in line with these views, and make themselves more connected to
the membership.

There had been a clear leaning in the responses to change the ECA
voting system to 1 member 1 vote, and a such a proposal for this
change was put forward and passed.
There were 2 caveats attached, those being that no proxies would be
allowed, that anyone wanting to vote would have to attend, and also
that the AGM would continue to be held centrally.
The idea behind these caveats was that it would foster attendance and
participation in the process, in effect getting something back for the
council for the 1 member 1 vote change.
This seems fair enough to me.

Personally I could have gone with proxies and a changing venue, but
the counter argument was put that actually taking part is important,
and that it could be made more of a social affair.
It was also suggested that a coach could go up with the southern
members on, and a coach could come down with the northern members on,
and we’d all have a chinwag when we got there!
That could work as an idea.

I cast the club votes in favour of this proposal, as a change to 1
member 1 vote allows real opportunity for those that want to act on
their views to change things – they can make a proposal, state a case,
and if enough members approve then wallop! it gets changed.

There was another proposal put forward, but I’m going to get
clarification on some questions before I tell you about that one.

The council took on board that some newcomers to the game had the
impression that the ECA was charging money for subs, but not giving a
lot back.
Steps will be taken to counter this impression, including better
communication, Q&A sessions with council members, possibly ECA events
for non elite players.

It’s my view that all these steps taken should be applauded, and the
council can now be viewed as inclusive to new members and their views.
I don’t actually think the council could have done more, and it was
refreshing and encouraging.

A lot of people on the council, like President Sarah McVey and
Secretary John Brown have been working for the interests of English
curling for year after year after, er, year.
There is a definite desire for new people to get on board, and a
frustration that a lot of people seem happy to voice opinions, but are
not prepared to actually get involved with the genuine effort.

As such, new volunteers are sought.
In particular someone is needed to take on the publicity and marketing
effort, both to promote the ECA to the membership and to promote the
game externally.
If you feel you could help with things like this, maybe sorting out
distribution of an ECA newsletter, then get in touch either with me or
John Brown.
Any offer is appreciated.

Also it was decided to have 2 Area Reps instead of the previous 1.
This will help to improve the flow of communication, which is never a bad thing.
Any club member can do this role, and James Hustler is 1 southern area
rep, so there is a space for another as well if that interests you.

I spoke to committee members from Glendale and Preston, about the
Interclub tournament.
Whereas the other clubs have a trophy they can play each other for,
the SECC had not been involved in that at the Interclub, and Adam
Bermange had suggested it would make our club more in the loop if we
played the other clubs for a trophy.
Both clubs seemed keen on the idea, so we’ll hope to progress that.
I also spoke to London Curling Club (formerly POL) President Susan
Young who agreed, although strictly speaking didnt need to go to
Sheffield to do that!
Maybe you’d like to donate your own trophy to play for!

The dates for ECA Competitions were announced, but I will probably be
writing again later this week or next, so will cover those then.
(I might call that Letter 5 and a half, I haven’t decided yet…)

Enough for now I reckon!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness
Gordon

European Mixed Champs – SECC Members Playing

We have 4 club members playing in the European Mixed Championships, which take place in Kitzbuehel, Austria.
Skip Alan MacDougall will be joined by 3rd Lana Watson, and lead Suzie Law, all SECC members, with Andrew Reed playing 2nd in the England team.
The first game for England is Sep 22 against Denmark.
English Curling Mixed Champs 2008

Club member Karen Strang will be playing for Scotland, whose first match is against the Welsh, reigning champions from last year.

Remember if you join the club you can play regularly with and against these players – not many sports allow such opportunity!

Good luck to all 4 players!

Club Members Playing in France

Lots of club members played in a bonspiel in Viry, France at the weekend.
You don’t need to be a club member to play in these events, but being in the club does allow you to find out about these events from other people that have played, and arrange teams, travel, accomodation etc together.

You can go as a total beginner too!
These bonspiels are a great exampe of the ‘brotherhood of curling’ one of the aspects which is so appealing about the game, and in fact some key members of the club had their first *ever* exprience of curling at overseas bonspiels!