Round up from Volleyball England AGM
24th July 2018
Volleyball England continues to move forward as an organisation following a positive Annual General Meeting last weekend.
Held at SportPark in Loughborough on Saturday, the AGM saw two key parts to the meeting. The first was to officially agree changes to governance of the organisation, while the second part saw the attendees discuss with the board how Volleyball England serves the membership.
“I really enjoyed it – it’s really nice when you can enjoy an AGM,” said chairman Adam Walker, in an interview he gave after the AGM. “The main areas of discussion really focused around the articles of association, the Annual Report and what we’ve achieved over the last year, the finances and the challenges we’ve faced previously and the better position we’re in now.”
An updated version of the articles of association – which form the constitution of how any business should operate – were agreed with the membership. This was a milestone as it saw Volleyball England become Sport England compliant.
As Volleyball England’s main funder, the national governing body must adhere to certain guidelines which set each sport targets they must meet. The revised articles mean Volleyball England now meets all the requirements set out by Sport England and is officially classified as compliant.
The meeting, which was broadcast on a live stream, also saw a new addition to the board of directors, as Richard Harrison was elected. He brings with him a wealth of experience as a former player, coach, president of the coaches’ commission, as well as being a current tutor for Volleyball England coaching courses.
The afternoon also saw Freda Bussey and Steve Matthews re-elected, while Lauri Chandler was confirmed as an independent board member. The board of directors now consists of 12 members, with four independent directors and eight elected by the membership. There are three vacancies, with the need for a further independent director, as well as two non-executive directors, and these positions will be advertised shortly.
In his interview reflecting on the AGM and the goal for Volleyball England moving forward, chairman Adam Walker said he believed the board has the right people to drive volleyball forward: “I’ve been really impressed with all of the people on the board. It was a fairly new board. Some of the people were previous board members so they brought a historic knowledge and some of our new board members, including the ones we have voted on today, bring a variety of different skills. I am pleased that the special contribution made by the retiring vice-chair Keith Nicholls was acknowledged.”
There were even more people stepping forward to help the sport forward, as three people moved into Lead Roles in Working Groups. Nick Heckford was elected as the Officials Lead, Nick Shaffrey as the Children and Young People Lead and Phil Smith as the Beach Volleyball Lead. Meanwhile, the well-respected Bryan Youlden was re-elected into his role as Regional Lead.
Serving the membership
The second part of the AGM was more of an open discussion.
“The second part of the meeting, which was less formal, looked at the ways Volleyball England could support clubs and the ways clubs could support Volleyball England, and really how everyone could collaborate together to get a brighter future for the sport,” explained Adam.
In his interview following the AGM, Adam said that while the board will continue to work to make Volleyball England a sustainable organisation, supporting the sport is also a top priority and will be on the board’s agenda:
“It’s a priority for the board to have good discussions about how we can support the sport and that is our clubs, volunteers, coaches, and officials, and making sure we’re creating an environment where they can thrive.”
It is his aim that by the 2019 AGM that Volleyball England will have made measurable progress.
“It would be wrong to think we are going to solve everything in a year, because we won’t,” said Adam. “But what I would like to be sitting in front of the AGM next year and say is: ‘we had this discussion last year. We were at that baseline, we have moved that measurably forward and we have improved the sport.
“I think the challenge to the sport is to help because we are one and the same. Volleyball England is not just about a board, it is about the board and all of its constituent members. I hope collectively we are sitting in a room next year and everyone is saying ‘we have moved the sport forward’.”