VALLEY STRIDERS - MEETING OF PARENTS OF JUNIORS - 22 MARCH 2016

Background (email sent 17 March)

Hello to parents of junior members

Last Thursday, you should have received an email from John Wallace (and myself) about the Club AGM on Tuesday 22 March at 8:30pm. You are all very welcome to attend the AGM.

But also it is a long time since we've had a meeting of parents.  As there are a number of key issues for juniors (in particular training facilities) we thought it would be timely to hold a Parents Group Meeting on the same date at 7:05pm.  Food is being served that night so if you come, hopefully your children will be distracted for half an hour!.  See website home page for food order details.

We have thought of a number of topics for discussion but welcome additional suggestions.  Note that it is a long list but we suggest a time limit of 3 minutes on each topic.  We can reconvene in a few weeks' time for any longer discussions on specific topics.

Attendees

Attendees: Bob Jackson, Richard Irvine, Jo Chambers, Sarah Clark, Jo Danby, Pascale Fotherby, Esther Hollis, Lorraine Idle, Paul Jones, Andrew Linley, Ian & Marieke Lockwood, Eamon O'Brien, Sarah Ord, Graham Pawley, Ben & Sam Rosenberg, Rob Seal, Emma Steel

And more (apologies, I forgot to take a register)

Agenda items / Matters discussed / Comments / Actions

Club organisation - I'll give a very brief summary of the planned changes and how it will affect juniors (not a lot!).

         A committee of 6 members with representation from running, cycling and triathlon has now been set up to oversee the whole club, including finance, health & safety etc

         The running/athletics section (of which juniors are members) will continue with its own committee.

Leo's - a brief summary of their organisation and the lease arrangement with Leeds City council.

         Leos Committee consists mainly of rugby club members

         VSAC have a representative on the Committee.

         Leos club are converting to charitable status

         Leos committee are negotiating renewal of the lease and grounds with Leeds City Council

         Valley Striders will become a tenant

         NB V S actually have a majority of numbers so hopefully have some influence on plans

Leo's playing fields - current state of pitches (waterlogging, unevenness due to rugby matches/ training). What areas can we train on and how can we make best use?

         We are reviewing what areas are available - part of the 2nd team pitch, the area to the side of the second team pitch, possibly the in goal area of the 1st team pitch, the top field. We'll make a decision soon whether there is sufficient space to resume sessions on the rugby pitches

         There was a request from some members for the junior road sessions to continue. This is dependent on getting sufficient adults to support the group (whilst leaving sufficient adults to run the sessions on the playing fields). We may be able to encourage some senior runners to assist with the road session but this will only be achievable if we start promptly at 6pm as the senior runners have their own session at 7pm

Leo's playing fields - Leo's intend to charge us a weekly fee for use of the rugby pitches.  How might we fund these payments?

         Bob said he believed we would not need to increase junior subs by more than a factor of 2

         Suggestion of 15 membership + 1 or 2 per session was put forward. Bob said that V S policy is a flat fee and members can attend as many or as few sessions as they want. Bob also said that he did not want to be the one to collect money each week!

         The view was that if membership fee went up to 30p.a. it would still be good value for money

Summer training - Grammar School at Leeds - twice a month?

         Richard has contacted GSAL and requested an option on 2 sessions per month

         2nd and 4th Tuesdays

         (1st and 3rd will continue be at Leos with food at Leos!)

Waiting list for new members - first in first out or qualifications e.g. park runs.

         Qualification of parkruns was agreed

Renewal of membership September 2016 - automatic renewal or subject to qualifications e.g. races, parkrun etc.

         Several parents said their children wanted to continue running with us, but for various reasons, did not run parkrun

         The proposal to make it a condition of membership to run parkruns etc was discarded for September 2016 renewals

West Yorks Track and Field Q&A. What dates? What age groups? What events? Helpers needed.

         Richard gave an overview of the league and events. Everyone welcome to try these

         Full details on the website - click on "Team Competition" in the top bar

         Note closing date 4th April

Meanwood Trail race and Junior Race - why it was cancelled.

         Bob said that it was clear from last year's events that not enough club members were prepared to make firm commitments to support our races therefore we'd give this one a miss ... it was sad because it had raised 1500 for charity last year.

Proposal to put on Meanwood Trail but only Junior Races on a Tuesday evening 17 or 24 May. Separate races 1 mile (yrs 3-6) and 2 miles (yrs 7-12). 1 for VS members 2 for others. Need marshals and first aid cover.

         This proposal received unanimous approval.

         A race committee has been set up to agree a date (17 May?) and plan the race

         Members - Bob Jackson, Paul Jones, Sarah Ord, Rob Seal, Katie Giles to meet on 29 May

         Other volunteers to be added when plans are in place

Assistant coaches for junior sessions. Athletics Leader course (half day) or Coaching Assistant (2 days).

         These courses will be paid for in full if the member supports sufficient sessions

         Offer open, please contact Bob or Richard

Volunteers for junior sessions. DBS for all volunteers.

         Two parents who don't run volunteered to assist with sessions and were eagerly accepted - Jo Danby, Marieke Lockwood

         More parents required- this will allow numbers to increase

Health and safety.  First aid.  Safeguarding.

         Paul Jones and Lorraine Idle offered to be safeguarding officers for the junior section

         Bob to contact them!

Presentation of 2015 junior awards.

         To take place at the Meanwood Junior event?

Prompt 6pm start.  Would allow our senior members to assist and then run their own session at 7pm.

         As discussed earlier, this is a pre-requisite for the road sessions to continue

Early food frequency / menus

         Not discussed - carried forward to next meeting

Training next winter

         Not discussed - carried forward to next meeting

Additional items / Matters discussed / Comments / Actions

Kit (raised by Paul Jones)

         Bob said that this seemed likely to be a long topic so could Paul email further details

         Paul emailed "From my experience at Hyde park harriers they have a huge variety of kit. See this link http://www.pbteamwear.co.uk/athletics-clubs/hyde-park-harriers.html . There are vests, hoodies, bags, hats, fleeces, shell jackets, t-shirts etc. Order online and they are delivered within a week. They can all be personalised also with your name etc. If we could have something like this that would be immense. The kids (and adults I'm sure) want to stand out, and good kit has a way of doing that.

"Bridge" between seniors and juniors -

       The comment was that the senior athletes seem rarely to support the junior runners, also they tend to arrive late with the club flag (and tent)

       Pascale Fotherby said the club flag was at her house and could be picked up by one of the parents

       Bob said that the club tent had been left at an event a couple of years ago. There was money to purchase a new one but a lack of volunteers to take it down after races

       To be continued...

Facebook

         It was agreed to revive the V S Juniors facebook group (actually a group for parents)

         Emma Steel and Graham Pawley volunteered to be administrators

         Subsequent to the meeting, Richard Irvine posted on Facebook "Welcome to all new members of the group. This is a closed group for parents. Emma Steel and Graham Pawley have been set up as administrators. I hope that this will become a popular and safe place to share information, photos, details about training, etc."

         https://www.facebook.com/groups/369749209844475/

Please reply to juniors@valleystriders.org.uk if you have any comments on the above or items to add.

Bob & Richard