The UKPA AGM took place on the 22nd of November and has meant a number of major changes for the UKPA Executive – a new executive structure, a new Vice Chairman, a new Chief Umpire, two new Trustees, a new Director of Coaching and a new Secretary.
Nearly 100% of the members present (about 10% of the full membership) approved the new executive structure proposed by the existing Executive. It will see the number of executive voting posts reduced and a number of posts will no longer be voted for by the membership but appointed by the Executive committee themselves. At present there are 18 executive posts who can vote on the Executive, this will be reduced to about 9 from the AGM in 2009, when the new structure comes into effect. The new structure means that there are four voting executive posts for the Chairman, the CEO, the Secretary and the Treasurer and the one each for each Regional Representative (of who there are presently five; they will also be renamed regional directors). The Sports Development Officer, the Chief Umpire, the Director of Coaching, the two executive Trustees, the Player Representatives, the Membership Secretary and the Vice Chairman all either see their posts disappear completely or see their voting rights removed. The posts that do remain (the Sport Development Officer, the Chief Umpire, the Membership Secretary and the Director of Coaching) will no longer be voted for at the AGM but will be appointed by the elected members of the Executive. They will no longer attend Executive committee meetings. By slimming down the Executive, the hope is that decisions will be made quicker and less time will be lost in debate. By having the remaining posts chosen by the elected committee the plan is that the executive will identfy the best people for the job, rather than simply someone who can get themselves elected.
There were a number of Executive posts up for re-election and all but one of them saw new people take over the posts, and also saw four new faces on the Executive committee.
Most of the posts only had one person standing for them and therefore the elections were reasonably straight forward and not a repeat of the 2007 AGM were there was a battle for the Chairman position. The only opposed role of the day was for UKPA Secretary, where the existing Secretary, Sue Brookes, was standing against Karen Smith. Karen Smith won the voting and became the new Secretary. Sue Brookes had been the UKPA Secretary for four years and had by all accounts done a fantastic job. It has always been said that she was very efficient, organised and incredibly dedicated to the role. Other members of the Executive have stated on many occasions that it was not unusual to receive emails from Sue in the early hours of the morning. She has also been involved in organising the Nationals for a number of years and each time it has been hailed a huge success. It did not seem that Sue lost the vote due to any dissatisfaction with her work as a secretary but rather that the membership simply wanted to see a new face on the committee. Karen Smith seemed full of new ideas on areas such as funding, growing the sport and supporting smaller clubs and these seem to swing the vote her way. The membership and the Executive thanked Sue for her years of hard work on behalf of polocrosse as she graciously passed on the role to Karen.
Elsewhere in the election, Kim Lampard was voted in as Vice Chairman; he was unopposed as the existing vice chairman, Eric Jenkinson, chose not to stand again. Instead Eric has moved into one of the vacant Trustee spots, left empty after both UKPA Trustees resigned earlier in the year. Julie Parr has become the other UKPA Trustee.
Christine Stansfield has also joined the executive as the new Director of Coaching, a post that has stood vacant since the AGM in 2007, and Wayne Henning has taken over as Chief Umpire. No one initially stood for the role but after nominations were invited from the floor Wayne was nominated for the role and agreed to take it on. Wayne was previously the Southern area representative. The only person to be re-elected to the same post was Iain Heaton as he held on to his Sport Development Officer role after no one opposed him for election.
To see the full details of the new executive structure and read all the executive reports for the year in full read the UKPA Annual Report.