|THE SPENCER CLUB AGM
Minutes of the meeting held on 10 September 2014
Minutes read and agreed:
Ross Newby, Chair
Minutes read and agreed:
Lauren Sizeland, Secretary
Committee Members Present:
Ross Newby (RN) - Chair
Alison Rose (AR) - Treasurer
Lauren Sizeland (LS) - Secretary
Paul Askew (PA) - Cricket
Matt Buxton (MB) - Tennis
Dan Radley (DR) - Hockey
Andrew Stanton (AS) - Squash
Committee Members Apologies:
Chris Rowland (CR) - Club Manager
Pete Compton (PC) - Lacrosse
Doug Wilson (DW) - Squash
RN highlighted the following report on the year 2013-14 at Spencer Club (SC)
There is little change in terms of the overall success of the club. Most of the sections are now
at full capacity in terms of membership. The confined space means there are at times
conflicting needs and we continue to be grateful to the staff members for all they do for us and
to the huge number of volunteers who give their time to make a community club of this type
work as well as it does. The club is open to everyone and includes those at an almost elite
level, through different age groups and down to junior players.
There have been a number of staff leavers this year: Elaine Wishart, Sophie O'Hearn, Rosie
Byrne and Louis Maguire. Losing four staff in one year has led to great change. We have
recruited replacements for all the posts successfully and hope that everybody is getting what they need.
Thanks to all the many volunteers across the club. There some that are not widely visible and
others that are. The SC couldn?t function without the time and effort these individuals give.
PA reported on behalf of Cricket. This is his tenth and final year as Chairman of the Cricket
club. He outlined that the club continues to aim to recruit cricketing experts and maximise
inclusion - sport for all is the participation objective. It also aims to be best in performance and excellence and to enjoy one another's company. That ethos is embedded in the club's
The teams have generally done well this year. The First team was relegated, but there are
some real positives. Over ten years there has been huge growth from 250 juniors in 2004 to
1000 in 2014, making it the largest in England. Now there is a women's section which is
already doing well.
There are 150 members in the girls section. It is one of the two best clubs in the country for
the 'Chance to Shine' and it supports a group of Afghan refugees. Some of the colts are now
included in men?s first team and there are 6-7 players selected for the Surrey squad.
The good reputation that the club has achieved in the community (and England's success in
the Ashes) is helping to upon up opportunities to gain sponsorship.
Strong committee to carry on as PA steps down from the Chair. Now have an income of
around £220k with expenditures of about £200k - a strong and stable financial position.
The report from MB:
In 2013 there were 150 adult members and juniors. Now there 300 members. Aside from the
Surrey league team competitions, there is regular social tennis for all members, as well as
ladies, mens and children's tennis training sessions. There is also a ladies Veterans team for
There have been a number of initiatives around the grass courts: a Spanish club used the
facilities for a potential reciprocal visit by Spencer tennis to Barcelona; a wine society played;
and Junior Wimbledon players used them for training in June.
The club's finances are robust.
The report from DR:
Our aim for the year was to win in the right way
The Men's 1st XI under Phil Balbirnie led Southern Premier 1 at Christmas and eventually
missed out on promotion to the National League by just 5 points. Women's 1st XI led by Laura
Gittins consolidated their position. The Ladies' 3rds promotion means a big derby match
between the 2nds and 3rds in a few weeks' time. Again, we were one of the best represented
clubs at the London League awards.
We boosted our reputation for being a friendly, fun club, by behaving in the right way, showing
respect to teammates, umpires and the opposition, paying subscriptions on time, wearing the
right kit. With captains working more closely together there was better movement of players
between teams. Fewer umpiring incidents this year by virtue of targeting the potentially
difficult games with our best player/umpires.
We took up extra pitches at Battersea on Sundays for the Juniors, with increasing numbers of
parents are getting involved. We ran successful courses, pushed on towards appointing a
junior director of hockey, lots of ambition in the section, but there is also pressure on pitches.
We had Gold medallists at the London Youth Games, boys and girls made up the backbone of
the Wandsworth team.
We've launched the Sapphires, our first women's Vets team which further builds on our aim
to be the country's best community hockey club. We are also running a Masters over 60s
men's side for the first time.
There were several themed social events and 300 attended the annual dinner at Jasmin's. A
Clubhouse draw boosted bar revenues. We're looking forward to the 25th anniversary of the
women's section which will mean a bumper Club Day.
Expenditure increased but we still achieved a surplus. We were able to fulfil our intention to
keep full adult subs at the same rate. Juniors raised their subs to fund ambitious plans.
We committed at our AGM to have a better attempt to win sponsorship. The President reconnected
with many of our former members and achieved some excellent fundraising.
In terms of the overall SC everyone is delighted with the appointment of Chris Rowland. Ross
Newby has continued to be brilliant, specifically devoting a lot of time together with Alison
Rose to make the Club Manager's appointment and leading discussions for hockey on our
behalf with ATA.
Our priority is to focus on the resurfacing of the All Weather Pitch following the Astro report,
plus associated issues like drainage or shock absorbers that could be cost-effectively
addressed at the same time.
Special thanks to Ruth Matthew who went beyond the call of duty in her dual capacity as
occasional bar worker and amazing hockey secretary.
Our Frank Grover Trophy for overall contribution towards the Club was won by Myra Sae-
Heng for fixtures, summer league, teas.
Andrew Stanton reported on DW's behalf:
There are two teams with the surrey league. Through the winter and summer seasons.
The First team are yet to complete their final match of the season.
Second team has finished mid-tabel of the 7th division. It has a good and broad set of (9-10)
players in the squad. The First team unfortunately lost the main strong players, so they are
struggling to maintain their position. There is a very large gap of ability between the two
We hold a training night on Tuesday evenings, for juniors then seniors. We are grateful to the
coach Suhail Salim for his continued commitment to coaching.
Owing to security issues relating to cash in the light meters, there were instances of mis-use
of the courts by non-paid-up members. To resolve it we commissioned the building of a new
membership system and lights that are operated through the club's website. The system went
live in September 2013. It has built-in logic to enable guests to play for the allocated 45
minutes of playing time.
We have relatively low membership numbers and, until the new membership system has
captured all players there are some players who appear to have not renewed their subs.
However, now the players are linked to the courts' access there is better information about
who is actually using the facilities.
Now that Chris Rowland is on board, we are hopeful that with his sound interest and
knowledge of what maintenance is needed for the courts that we can set a programme for
funding and prioritising the maintenance needed. We will consider seeking sponsorship as an
option to make it viable. We have just received an offer for our first funding award for
In terms of the club's finances, we are a little behind, owing to the low membership. Our aim
is to begin to promote the squash club to boost membership, including local advertising near
Earlsfield station. Suhail suggested that, following many requests to him directly, that we
should consider an option to offer a daily membership fee for off-peak play.
Retrospective report from Peter Compton, who was unable to attend the meeting.
The season for the first team started at the beginning of September 2013 with a hang over
from the 'clean sweep' of the 2012/13 season representing the South of England in the
European Club Championships in Ghent. Enjoying a great tournament, the team were
crowned European Champions returning with the Ken Gallucccio Trophy which was positioned
behind the SC bar throughout the year.
Through the season the Club regularly fielded three men's teams playing in the Premiership,
Div 1 East and Div 2 East. The first team were not quite able to match the success of the
2012/13 Season being placed third in the Premiership but retaining the Senior Flags for the
third successive year, the trophy will again hang in the clubhouse for the coming season.
The 2's season had the feeling of being 'bridesmaids' finishing as runners up in the Div 1 East
and losing in the final of the Intermediate Flags Final. There was general disappointment with
the result but this is more a reflection of our high expectations. They are in fact good results.
The 3's were, superficially, the least successful of the three senior teams being relegated to
Div 3 East. However, the team principally comprised juniors moving up to play senior lacrosse
and their standard of play progressed solidly through the season providing hope for an early
return to Div 2 East.
We welcomed Spencer Reihl, from Denison U, Ohio, as our Schools Local Development
Officer for the season and his commitment to our Development Programme made a significant
contribution to the recovery of the Pop Lacrosse and Under 12 Field Lacrosse from a poor
2012/13. The U14 group however, remains weak.
The highlight of the Junior season was the u18 group winning the International School,
Brussels Tournament in April, our third success at this important, international event. We also
returned to Brussels with the u12s in June which, though a developmental exercise, was
We were very pleased that Cameron Leslie, Gabriel and William Barrie represented England
at Under 19 level and really pleased that Bill Fisher was selected for the full England team as
a reserve and travelled, as part of the England Team to the World Championship in Denver in
early July. All of these players started playing as 9 year olds in our Pop Lax programme.
Overall, it was a great season.
Owing to sickness Chris Rowland was unable to attend.
2. Open Discussion/questions
RN circulated a 'Big projects' list (revised following the AGM and attached as Appendix i) that
we hope can be properly considered and planned/progressed if appropriate.
RN invited comments on the list. It was suggested that security cameras might be a good
deterrent to potential thieves. RN responded that SC has considered it in the past and it is not
currently considered a priority, particularly as there is now no cash kept in the squash courts
for lights there is less likelihood of burglary.
Alain Jason suggested that to expand the SC's inclusiveness to those with special needs, to
make it more friendly and inviting the entrance to the club should include wheelchair access.
SC should encourage more people who are disabled to come to participate in the various
sports. There may be funding available from Lord's Taverners to adapt the entrance.
It was suggested that Sport England have many different types of grants and funding options
that the Club could apply for. DR commented that, from Hockey's perspective the quality of
the playing surface needs to be at the right level according to the level of the leagues they are
competing, to match the strive for excellence.
MB commented that the tennis members would like have better courtside facilities, akin to the
improvements on the north side of the club house alongside the cricket field.
There was discussion about the possibility of a new clubhouse, the SC operates a building
that was temporary, but still in use 70 years later. In the past planning permission was
granted, but the funds couldn?t be raised at the time. It is estimated that it would be in the
region of £2million to rebuild it. There are sinking funds within the respective sections, but
there is no sinking fund for the club as a whole.
The question was asked of, What are the three main objectives of the club?? It is
acknowledged that it is in a good area, but the facilities are not well advertised in the local
community. There must be opportunities to maximise the sum of the parts. It would be
valuable to have a mission statement and use that to publicise the club, whether or not to
Although the parents of junior cricket members are not automatically members of the club, the
query was raised as to whether it would be possible to extend the membership/voting
membership to increase the interest and to be more inclusive.
Should the SC be a 'club in the community' (rather than a purely elite club, which is exclusive
of normal players)?
There is a new women?s gym on Garratt Lane. Perhaps there could be a cross-deal with it.
RN indicated that all the above comments and suggestions would be considered and
discussed by the SC committee. He reminded the forum that any projects, particularly major
or long-terms projects will need to be managed or led by people. The club depends upon
volunteers to help take those things forward. Potential volunteers are encouraged to make
themselves known to the committee or individual section committee members.
3. Formal business
3.1 The Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes of the AGM held on 26 June 2013 were agreed and signed.
3.2 Matters arising and progress on actions
There were no matters raised.
3.3 Presentation and adoption of annual accounts
AR distributed and explained the summary of the annual accounts for the year ended
September 2013. She explained that in the past the accounts were audited by a former
chairman of the club. A voluntary external auditor could not be recruited in time to meet this
AGM date. Therefore, Rachel Elliot prepared the accounts, which were checked by AR. We
continue to seek an independent auditor, in order that we have an impartial review.
The main things to note:
Slightly disappointing year for bar takings, although it does seem to be the general trend
according to Carlsberg the main supplier. However, gross profit has not really changed, owing
to larger profit margin on products.
Playball continues to provide good income, doubling in the twelve-month period. This is due
to a price increase and additional hours and days. It is now a year-round business and now
contributes a significant amount of the SC revenue.
Two main elements of variation are increased salaries and ground expenses, which is mostly
attributable to the maintenance of the Fieldview area.
Refurbishment phase 2
Costs relate to repairs made to the roof. The SC is expecting the balance of funding from
Sport England. The club as a whole is contributing approximately £10,000.
This is the net income we generate from the Astro turf. There has been a reduction in profit as
the ATA has increased its rental, which SC didn?t pass on. We need to adjust that in order to
increase the level of the sinking fund, which needs to be increased.
Alain Jason suggested that it would be interesting to record the accounts for all the different
sections. An annual report, which could be used to support funding applications and grants.
SC committee to discuss.
3.4 Ex-officio vote
PA proposed a motion to permit ex officio members of the committee who are not members of
any section of SC to vote and be counted for quorum. The motion was passed by the
Chairman - Ross Newby
Honorary Treasurer - Alison Rose
Honorary Secretary - Lauren Sizeland
The nomination for Chairman and officers was proposed by PA and seconded by all in
PA asked, on behalf of the Cricket club, whether there is a policy for smoking e-cigarettes
outside only. CR to research and propose policy to SC committee.
Refurbishment stage 2
RN clarified that the floor, roof, central heating and rewiring are now complete. The remaining
parts include: the kitchen, lighting, ceiling and some external work. The original plan to
introduce a dividing wall is not now considered to be the best option.
Angela Murphy presented herself as a potential volunteer. Her particular relevant skills are
experience of working with Corporate Social Responsibility and potential access to funding
Date of next AGM
TBC - March/April 2015
BIG PROJECTS - revised following AGM discussion
The following 'big projects' have all been suggested as possibilities over the
last year or so. This is a short version of a paper the Management
Committee discussed earlier in the summer, for consideration in all Sections.
They are not in any particular order of priority. Some are in progress, others
not. Some, on this page, are mainly for one or two Sections, others more a
concern for everyone, most likely to be progressed through the main Club.
The list does not include a number of smaller projects on the Club, facilities
and grounds (or individual Sections?) to-do lists.
Which should be our priorities for next year and beyond? Are there others
that should be included? Where can we find the skills and the leadership to
take them forward?
Indoor cricket nets/school - find site and development
Irrigation Openview (securing good quality playing space for all teams)
Irrigation/drainage Fieldview (also Lacrosse
New pitch covers
Explore/pilot possibilities for disabled sport (also Tennis) - implications for
Recruit junior cricket director
Make 'Tennis side' of clubhouse and surrounds more attractive
Resurface and repaint hard courts (in normal life-cycle, some years
Secure access to additional court space (for peak times)
Convert two grass courts (with lights)
Contingency planning for promotion to National League, for elite sport
Second AWP - find site and secure access (other Sections have interest
Renegotiate ATA funding arrangement
Squash court refurbishment
Squash court repainting and other external work
Refurb II - completing internal work, kitchen renewal and external
Access to 'Springfield Park' for possible new facilities
Clubmark accreditation (or equivalent) for whole Club
Partnerships with schools - 'Satellite Clubs' for secondaries; also primaries
Water storage/retrieval system
Finalise lease/virtual freehold with LMPFE
Office to Cloud, upgrade PCs, broadband, wifi
Spencer alumni programme (Hockey has started one)
CCTV for security, clubhouse and outside
Fencing Openview and Fieldview side boundaries
New Clubhouse (perhaps to include gym facilities)
Combined (or at least more coherent) Spencer junior membership
Clarify rights, benefits and responsibilities of membership to junior parents
Spencer ;mission statement, and Annual Report
Club-wide sponsorship and fundraising, to complement sectional efforts, with common publicity (internal and external)
Explore membership benefits, e.g. favourable gym deals, etc
Review pros/cons of Spencer Club incorporation
Spencer Club anniversary