Headlines from 2020 AGM

Posted by Alan Mawdsley on 28 September 2020

A Report from the 2020 Stragglers Annual General Meeting

By Simon Webb, Stragglers Communications Officer

The Annual General Meeting of the Stragglers Running Club was held via Zoom on Wednesday evening (September 23rd). The committee would like to thank everyone who took the time to attend and hope that despite the unusual circumstances it provided a valuable opportunity to ask questions and hear about the activity and successes of the past twelve months. Below are a few points which were covered – this is not a full account of the meeting, nor are these meant to act as minutes.

Committee Election

The committee for 2020/2021 was elected to serve the membership for the coming year. Stepping down after one year is Brigid Hibbard and we would like to thank her for her time and commitment and are sure she will continue to be a valued member of the club in many other ways. There were no new appointees and so the committee is as follows:

Chair – Kevin Price

Secretary – Dave Griffiths

Treasurer – Phil Hall

Club Captain and Welfare Officer – Phil Davies

Head of Performance (new role) – Kev Best

Men’s Team Manager – Simon Brazil

Men’s Team Assistant – Donovan Duffy

Lady’s Team Manager and Covid19 Officer (new role) – Helene Hill

Web Manager – Alan Mawdsley

Membership Secretary – Julie Holmes

Communications Officer and Relay Team Manager (new role) – Simon Webb

Little Feet Representative – Anne Woods

Summer Grand Prix Co-ordinator – Andy Howarth

Helene is assisted in the running of our lady’s team by Captain Sarah Kinsella. We are also pleased to have appointed Jim Sell as our honorary auditor for another year.

There is one vacant space. The committee is able to appoint new members at any time in the year so if you feel you have something to offer and wish to be considered please email Kevin Price on chair@stragglers.org. We’re also keen to hear from people with communications and or social media experience who would be interested in assisting with the comms of the club – this does not need to be a committee role. We have appointed Simon Webb as Relay Team Manager and, once these races are back post Covid, we anticipate needing help to ensure general club communications continue to run smoothly. If interested please email

New Roles

England Athletics require all clubs to appoint a Covid19 Officer and Helene’s role ensures we are aware of all current advice and guidelines from both EA and the UK government. Kev Best has done excellent work training our ladies team in the last couple of years, as well as coaching speed and interval sessions. As lockdown restrictions started to ease earlier this summer he offered a number of pod sessions across the week for all members and devised the club’s Lockdown Ladder. He now moves to a Head of Performance role which oversees the training of both our Men’s and Lady’s teams and, once races return we’re confident this will see continued improvements in cross-country and road races. As Head of Performance he will work with Simon Brazil and Helene Hill to ensure the Stragglers upward curve in recent years continues. Simon Webb’s role as Relay Team Manager makes sure that this hugely popular area of Stragglers activity enjoys the same level of support as road and cross-country.

This is the first time the club has appointed a Head of Performance and created a structure like this across all competitive areas. We’re excited by its potential but want to stress that whilst we’re keen to see our teams across cross-country, road and relays compete and achieve, this will not be to sacrifice the important principal of the Stragglers which is to be a welcoming, social running club. One of the big disappointments of summer 2020 was the absence of our parkrun mob matches and social gatherings and we greatly look forward to being able to do these again. Our relay weekends will remain one of the great social occasions of the Straggler year and our teams remain open to anyone who wishes to take part (subject to spaces and any entry conditions such as we see with Welsh Castles). We’ll continue to invest in race places which will be open to all members (such as Hogs Back and the Towpath 10) and our Winter and Summer Grand Prix events are competitions designed to reward regular attendance as well as high field placings.

Membership and Finance

Despite there being little club activity in the current year our membership numbers are slightly up on the equivalent time in 2019. We are yet to take a view on membership fees for 2021 and beyond but will review this in the coming months. Even with the 50% reduction in membership fees for 2020/2021 and the loss of all race income the club remains in a strong financial position.

Motion put to the Meeting

A motion was submitted for discussion and a vote, concerning if the Stragglers Lotto was in breach of the club constitution. Whilst the meeting voted in favour that it is not, when the committee come to review this initiative the views expressed by those on both sides of the debate will be considered.

Other questions and issues

Other points which the committee will consider in the coming year which were raised at the meeting concern the future location of our Thursday evening club run. This is a matter which needs to be monitored as and when Covid restrictions begin to be lifted, however we hope to have made progress by the next AGM in summer 2021. The question of how the club plans to use the revenue generated by the Cabbage Patch 10 was raised and we welcome suggestions and ideas from members.

40th Anniversary

2021 is a significant year as it marks 40 years since the Stragglers were formed. We have begun the task of documenting our history and are keen for members past and present to share stories, photos and other memories with us via archive@stragglers.org. We hope for our 40th celebrations to feature social events which will welcome Stragglers from throughout the last 40 years, as well as being focused around our four organised events Green Belt Relay, Wedding Day, River Relay and Cabbage Patch 10. Planning for this is difficult with the uncertainty of when current restrictions will be lifted but we hope to share more ideas soon. If you have ideas for how we can mark our 40th year please send them to us using the Archive email address.

Acknowledgements and Thanks

The committee would like to thank all those who volunteer for the club, including coaches, run leaders and event organisers. We would also like to thank all members for their commitment, competitiveness and passion for this great club.

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