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The Chair 'Lifts the Lid'

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

I thought I’d use this article to ‘lift the lid’ a little on the various activities and discussions your committee has been having since it was elected at the September 2017 AGM. The first job of any new committee is to appoint its chairman.

The first meeting of the new committee is always interesting, as the new committee needs to begin to establish itself whilst being mindful that certain aspects of the club’s activities need to be continually reviewed, such as the regular rowing and training matters, plus any actions that have carried forward from the previous committee meeting.

The new committee also needs to spend time reviewing and finalising the financial budget, which will guide its activities throughout the year. Regrettably, you will all recall that due to high winds we had to cancel the Silver Sculls race back in October 2017, so one of our first activities was to remove planned income from this event from the funds available to us this year. Clive has been working hard to move our accounting system onto a new software platform, and we have benefited greatly from the enhanced reporting that this new software gives us. We have now allocated responsibility for each line of expenditure to committee members, based on the roles they had volunteered, or were elected, to do. This creates a good sense of ownership of the budget, and allows each person to make decisions, within the guidelines set by the committee, related to expenditure within their area of responsibility.

Another very important matter for the committee to consider is the possible relocation of the clubhouse, and at each meeting Geoff updates the committee on the latest thinking on the various options available to us. You have already seen a letter from the committee that confirms our focus has now changed from trying to move to Dorney Gardens to occupying riverside space on the Weybridge Vandals site on Desborough Island. This is an exciting change and should mark a step change in the pace at which this project can now progress. To an extent, the committee is guided by the Club’s Strategic Plan, but what I’ve tried to do in this article is reference the wide range of topics we cover in our attempt to ensure the club runs as smoothly as possible, and we continue to balance our efforts between the day-to-day rowing activities we all enjoy whilst resolving the ever-pressing matter of where our club is located longer term, and that we have a programme to raise the funding necessary to facilitate this.

As you know, the committee is made up entirely of club members who have put themselves forward to commit their time to help run certain aspects of the club, whether it’s the social events calendar or the maintenance of the current fleet and clubhouse facility, all these things need to be budgeted for, managed and in some cases we need to ensure we adhere to British Rowing guidelines or health and safety requirements.

The committee meets on the first Monday evening of each month, and we make the minutes from each meeting available in the Members Area of the club website, so I would encourage you all to read these to see what we’ve been doing. I hope this article has provided some insight into the range of matters the committee is regularly involved in, but please talk to any of the committee members if you have any questions around our activities or suggestions that would improve the way the club runs.

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