STIRLING CURLING GROUP
MINUTES OF 5th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD IN THE CASTLE SUITE, FORTHBANK STADIUM, STIRLING
6.45 PM, MONDAY 24 AUGUST 2015
Clubs Attending: Falkirk Ice Rink, Airthrey Castle, Kilsyth Ladies, Dollar Ladies, Stirling Wheelchair, Kippen, Old Fellows, Grangemouth, Falkirk Ladies, Keir, Bridge of Allan, Borestone & Stirling, Dunblane, Bonnybridge, Abercorn, Falkirk Ladies 1960, Linlithgow, Stirling Young Curlers, Larbert, Scottish Central Province, Area 6, Doune, Denny, Kilsyth, Forth Valley Ladies, Forth & Endrick Province, Stirlingshire Province, Blair Drummond, West Stirling Ladies, Stirling Virtual, Balfron. Also in attendance Chris Gunn of Active Stirling
Apologies: Callander & Trossachs, Ron McQuaid (Stirlingshire Province), Ritchie Stewart (West Lothian Province)
Chair: Phyllis Beattie who instigated one minute’s silence in memory of Graeme Giles, an SCG committee member and coach
Minutes of Previous AGM: Agreed a true record. Proposed Bridge of Allan, second Falkirk Ice Rink
Presentation of Accounts: Phyllis Beattie presented the Annual Income & Expenditure Statement attached to these minutes. Accounts were proposed by Kilsyth Ladies, seconded by Bridge of Allan.
Presentation of Projected Financial Situation and Objectives: The Chair noted that the Group's accounts were in a healthy state. However trophy engraving, prizegiving and Doune Rosebowl costs would reduce the balance.
Chairman’s Report: The Chair reported; “Yet another year has gone and we have had, on the whole, a successful season at The Peak. We started off the year with the Doune Rose Bowl, where we had to have a winner of each session, as the afternoon session played eight ends and the evening session played seven. The afternoon session was won by Lenzie Ladies and the evening session by the Buccaneers. This will be rectified this year as both sessions will play 7 ends. These games were followed by buffets and then the prize giving for the year. The Divisions and the Mixed league continue to be well supported and offer more competitive games to curlers. For 2015/16 season we have new teams in Division 3 taking the numbers there to twelve. In order to accommodate teams wanting to come in to Division 3, I would like to make the suggestion that the committee reserves the right to promote or relegate the number of teams which would make the numbers in each Division more level, for example perhaps promoting 3 teams from Div.3 to allow new teams to enter. The last thing we want is to have to turn teams away. Your views on this at the AGM would be appreciated. The Afternoon League continues to be a popular addition to the calendar. Unfortunately we then had the closure of the ice rink due to structural defects with safety factors involved. This meant that there had to be considerable re-allocation of ice which brought difficulties to some clubs. However, the bookings team worked hard to try to accommodate everyone and we can only apologise to those who had difficulties organising their games. Hopefully the walls are now fit for purpose!!
Disappointingly we had to cancel the Family Bonspiel due to lack of entries - only 2. This came at considerable cost as we had to pay the £500 ice fees. Active Stirling would not move on this. As a trial, we have decided to hold a Fun Christmas Bonspiel, with various prizes and hopefully we can raise 12 teams to fill the ice.
The Beattie Open Points again proved to be a popular night with a good number of young curlers taking part. Thanks need to go to the Markers and Scorers and to Phyllis and Billy for their sponsorship. The Stirling Pairs were won by Katie Murray and James Dunn who went on to represent Stirling at the final at Stranraer.
We continue to work well with Active Stirling and our Ice Manager, Chris Gunn. Our thanks must go to the ice staff for, mostly, good curling ice. We found ourselves in the happy position of having a fairly healthy bank balance and the committee decided to help with some sponsorship to the Ladies Open- £300, £300 towards the Coaches Dinner and we paid the £120 entry fee for the Pairs Final at Stranraer. As I am sure you will all know Logan Gray has left to go south and we will miss his hard work and enthusiasm for the progression of curling at the Peak.
When I took on the job of President I said I couldn’t do it without support from the committee. I cannot thank them enough for the time and effort they have put in to help run SCG. Your input is important, so if you have any suggestions please speak to any of the committee, or put it in writing and post in the SCG box beside the trophy cabinet.
It has been an interesting and pleasing year and I look forward to the next one. Good curling everyone”
The Chair added her congratulations to the Stirling Wheelchair Curling Club Volunteers who had recently received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
Development Report: Due to the departure of Logan Gray and as yet no replacement in place, there was no development report.
Nomination and Election of Management Committee: The following were unanimously elected:
Chair Phyllis Beattie
Vice Chair Marcus Wood
Secretary Bill Strang
Treasurer Ann Mackenzie
Committee Jeannette Kerr
Ice Rink Manager Chris Gunn
Ann Mackenzie will arrange the Group Auditor following this meeting
Subscription: The annual subscription to the Group of £5 was proposed by Jeannette Kerr, seconded by Bridge of Allan and unanimously agreed by those present.
Any Other Business: One item had been submitted prior to the meeting for discussion by Falkirk Ladies 1960 entitled “What is the future for Small Clubs curling at the Peak” and this is attached to the end of these minutes as Appendix 1. Their secretary expanded on this item suggesting the problem had arisen since introduction of Active Stirling’s “Order of Entry on Ice Rink – Curling”. A number of smaller clubs had experienced difficulties obtaining the days and times required, although most had been eventually been resolved after discussions with Active Stirling’s Bookings team. Grangemouth reminded the meeting that the Ice Usage Policy had been agreed at the Group’s AGM three years ago, but perhaps it was time for the Group to reconsider the Policy. The Chair agreed to discuss further within the SCG committee and Active Stirling. Chris Gunn of Active Stirling stated a Usage Policy was required due to the number of sheets being allocated. Helen Soutar of Larbert, speaking personally, agreed with the item, saying she did not appreciate playing on Fridays nor at 8.30pm. Most clubs present were happy with 8.30pm ice on weekdays. Linlithgow noted they were not a small club, but had been offered Friday evenings, but subsequently decided on late night ice at Murrayfield.
Abercorn raised the restricted opening hours of Zak’s bar and suggested it would be more sociable if the bar opened til 11pm. Maybe a trial period of 6 months could be tried or Zak’s contract with Active Stirling amended. Falkirk Ice Rink pointed out demand would dictate opening hours and also longer opening hours might require additional Active Stirling staff. Chris Gunn and the Chair agreed to investigate further. If clubs required specific opening of Zak’s outwith their normal hours, then the individual club should arrange direct.
The Chair, Phyllis Beattie, reiterated the committee’s concern that the Group had been unable to include a new team in Division 3 as that Division was full, although Divisions 1 and 2 were not. She indicated the Group would consider promoting additional teams, by agreement, to the two upper divisions. She reminded that unless entry forms and fees were received by the due dates, then teams would not be entered in the Group competitions. Next year it was proposed that the final entry date for competitions would be April 15 to allow accurate ice application by the Group to Active Stirling.
Blair Drummond stated that discounts were available to skaters following the plant breakdown last autumn, but no discounts were offered to curlers. Chris Gunn agreed to investigate. He introduced himself as Ice Rink Manager, based in the ice rink office, the door of which would always be open. The automated ice rink entry machines should be working at the start of the new season. Alan Wilson wondered if the Bookings database could be included on the Active Stirling website together with spare ice
. WHAT IS THE FUTURE FOR SMALL CLUBS CURLING AT THE PEAK?
The application of the Ice Usage Policy along with the Reschedule Only rule is heavily biased against the small clubs. It will lead to the demise of small clubs who may have to pay for ice not used. This presumably is not the intention of the powers that be, but it will be the effect.
There were a number of problems with the Ice Allocation for Falkirk Ladies 1960 CC which meant that we did not receive an acceptable offer until mid July.
By the first week in August it is not possible to book ad hoc ice as the Bookings Team have not “infilled the book” with all the allocated ice.
There is a Usage Policy for all sports at The Peak, but curling in DISTINCTIVE even UNIQUE
Curling Clubs have a very long history of curling on fixed day/time
If we do not have ice on our preferred days/times, it is a case of take it or leave it - there is not an alternative local venue - unlike badminton, keep fit etc.
There is a scarcity of ice on certain days and at certain times. New Ice Hall may not materialise till 2019. So problems of ice allocation will continue for many clubs for some time to come.
Is there a body out there supporting small clubs?
IS THERE A FUTURE FOR SMALL CLUBS CURLING AT THE PEAK?
Secretary Falkirk Ladies 1960 CC