Minutes for AGM – 24th May 2022

The meeting was held via Zoom.

In Attendance

The committee members as named below, plus the following:

Bing Kuan, Fiona Scotland, John Green, Marie Coquet, MY Loh, Neil Smallburn, Nick Short, Patrick Tiernan, Rebekah Clenaghan, Steve Murray & Sue Frost

Normal Business

  1. Committee Introductions

Peter Jennings – Co-chair
Julie Parker – Co-chair
Donald Vaughan – Treasurer
Phil Joy – Secretary
Jess Nichols – Welfare Officer
Becky Toal – Comms
Honzik Slovak – Tuesday Rep
Abi Stone – Wednesday Rep

Edwin Lace, Coach, sent his apologies for his absence.

  1. Chair's Report

The Chair’s Report was prepared by Julie Parker and delivered by Peter Jennings, who chaired the meeting.

  1. Treasurer's Report

The Treasurer's report was delivered by way of presentation. Copies are available to members upon request.

Marie Coquet queried what the Zettle fees are, more specifically what they are paid for. Donald confirmed that Zettle is the provider of the debit/credit card readers that we use to take money on the door. A small fee of approximately 1.7% is payable per transaction. Donald confirmed that the fees are nominal in relation to the amount of money that we take via credit/debit card, and further, these fees prevent the need for cash banking to be done on a weekly basis.

There were no further questions.

There were no objections to the finances, which were approved by the Chair.

  1. Election of Officers

The position of Wednesday Rep, currently held by Abi Stone, was appointed recently by way of the committee co-opting Abi into the role. The committee can do this up to three times per given year, however a formal vote is required at the next AGM.

Abi Stone confirmed willingness to continue to stand as Wednesday Rep. No further proposals had been received prior to the AGM and no one present at the AGM wished to be considered for the role. Abi Stone was formally proposed by Donald Vaughan, and seconded by Stephen Murray. No objections were received. The vote was approved.

The position of Saturday Rep is vacant. No proposals had been received prior to the AGM and no one present at the AGM wished to be considered for the role. Peter confirmed that some interest had been expressed but evidently had not been put forward on a formal basis. The committee will approach those who expressed an interest and explore if they still wish to be considered. The committee can consider co-opting a member into the role if necessary.

Meeting was paused for a small break at approx. 18:55.

  1. Club attendance / support of Pride events

Meeting resumed at approx. 19:05.

Peter noted that this topic had been raised by a member and asked Phil to introduce that member, if present, to discuss further. Becky Toal had requested that this matter be considered at the AGM and was invited to speak.

Becky noted that we are an LGBT+ club and we are approaching pride season. We have been involved in pride events previously, including this year, however Becky suggested that we could consider looking further afield than Manchester when considering what events we attend. Lou Englefield, Director of Pride Sports, is looking for volunteers to assist with the Pride House at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games which will run between the end of July and the start of August. Becky is considering attending if she is available. In addition, Becky is aware that Liverpool, Lancaster and Blackpool all host pride events that aren’t too far aware from Manchester.

Peter added that the committee has discussed pride events in some depth at recent committee meetings and there has been a shift, albeit not a permanent one, towards supporting local pride events this year. This is not to say that we will not attend Manchester pride again, but at least for 2022 there has been an agreement that efforts will be focused on local events which tend to result in greater membership recruitment. Peter noted that the club attended Whalley Range pride and was recently attempting to support Trafford pride.

Marie noted that she has previously liked attending Manchester pride however she recently attended Whalley Range pride and felt that it had a nicer feel to it. Additionally, she felt that there was a greater expression of interest in the club from prospective members. Marie is in support of the shift to supporting local events.

Donald confirmed that he too attended Whalley Range pride and felt that it had a nice atmosphere. Jess agreed and added that the shift in focus this year does not mean that we are excluding club attendance at Manchester pride forever, but instead we are experiencing the difference between the two different types of events which will enable us as a club to compare the results (in relation to membership recruitment). Jess also added that the newly purchased banner and leaflets prepared by Julie helped with promoting our stall. Hats were given out to prospective members.

There is some interest in attending Stockport and Disbury pride, together with a potential for attending Bolton pride. It was noted that Liverpool could be a good event to attend because we are not aware of there being an LGBT+ swim club in Liverpool, and additionally we already have some swimmers that travel to us from Liverpool to attend sessions.

Jess proposed an annual alternation between larger events and local events – this will help balance energy and resources required to organise club attendance.

Neil noted that he agrees with the club’s attendance at local pride events and understands that these are typically good for boosting membership recruitment, however he believes that there is something more to a bigger pride event that is not about promoting the club and recruiting new members. Neil considers that attending a larger pride event is about feeling a part of a larger community. Neil noted that there are difficulties within the sporting community within the LGBT+ community, particularly for trans sportspeople. Neil strongly believes that it is important that other LGBT+ people see us as an LGBT+ club that is promoting diversity and inclusion within sport. Representation is key. Neil suggested that we should consider supporting both larger and local pride events, as both are equally as important but for perhaps slightly different reasons.

Becky raised the question as to whether the club could help with financial support if we are intending to support pride events that are further afield.

Donald asked if we could find out more information in relation to Birmingham Commonwealth Games. He would like to know in what capacity Northern Wave members may be attending. Contact will be made with Lou Englefield to obtain further information. He would like to attend and offered transport to others if required.

Julie echoed Donald’s comments regarding Birmingham Commonwealth Games and confirmed that it would be good to support this event if possible, as we have strong links with Lou from past events. Additionally, Julie confirmed that all of the points raised by Neil are very valid points, however she noted that getting members to engage with and commit to attending events is difficult. Julie planned the club’s attendance at Whalley Range pride and she struggled to drum up numbers. Julie is concerned that we could enter the Manchester pride parade and potentially get lost as a small group amongst lots of larger groups.

Peter believes that offering to assist Lou Englefield with Pride House could be welcomed greatly by some members, as it offers an opportunity to meet prestigious athletes from around the world.

In relation to Manchester pride, Peter noted that the two main issues are time and attendance. Historically we have had good attendance but if we are to enter the parade this year we need to ensure that we drum up support and get people committed. The club is hosting a pride picnic on the Sunday.

Neil offered to help manage an entry to the Manchester pride parade, together with help from John Green. Neil and John were thanked for their kind offer of support which will help alleviate some pressure from the committee. Becky will assist with promoting on social media if required. Peter confirmed that we could make a 2022 Manchester pride parade entry work providing that it does not take time away from the club’s commitments to local pride events.

Donald noted that there are no financing concerns as a club entry to the parade is free providing the entry form is completed before the end of June.

Pete – Manchester pride is a time and attendance issue. In truth, we have always had a good attendance – not sure that there would be such a low attendance but do need to drum up support. Picnic is on the Sunday. Neil has offered to manage and has help from John. From the committee perspective it wouldn’t be too much additional time – Becky involved from social media aspect. Cost aspect of T-shirts and banners. Pete erring towards going for it if there is an offer of help. Could potentially ask water polo team to combine. We haven’t said we didn’t want to do Manchester pride, but more a decision that we felt we needed to give time to the smaller events. Time to Manchester pride cannot diversify the time we have committed to spending on local events.

It was agreed that a Facebook poll would be created to help gauge interest from members. This poll could be used to establish what type of pride events members prefer, and could also gauge interest in attending the Manchester pride parade. Donald suggested that we only confirm our entry in the parade if we have enough members committed to attending.

Neil and Becky will liaise with each other regarding a Facebook poll.

Neil confirmed that he will submit an application to ensure that we meet the deadline, which can be withdrawn at a later date if necessary. Peter confirmed agreement to the same.

Consideration is to be given to obtaining new banners and promotional materials if we are to attend the pride parade.

Any Other Business

Recognition of club volunteers

Donald wanted to formally acknowledge the help of all of the volunteers that help with the running of the club – not just the committee members but also those members that assist with running the door at each session.

Vote of thanks

Steve Murray noted a vote of thanks to the committee for all of their work and efforts in ensuring the smooth running of the club.

Friday sessions

Peter notified those present of the Friday evening sessions which will be running throughout the month of June. Advertising will take place on social media channels and information will be given out at other sessions.