The UKPA has released its annual report for the year to 30th of September 2010 and the overall conclusion one would gain from reading it is that it has been a good year for the Association. From a financial point of view they showed a small profit of £462 while incurring fairly large amounts of expenditure on TV filming and public relations and marketing work. They have also shown a small growth in membership figures, up just over 1% on last year’s figures at 432 members but they also point out that they actually gained 70 new members, even more than they gained in 2009 when they grew 14% so it is purely a loss of existing members that has stopped them recording more impressive growth figures and seeing the UK has been in a recession at the start of 2010 the UKPA seem happy to have recorded any growth at all.

This was the first year under the new, slimmed down executive structure, with just 9 executive posts remaining from the original 17 and the Executive, for their part, seems to feel it has run well under the new system, with Chairman Eric Jenkinson concluding in his report that the new system has “bedded down well”. The idea was to streamline the Exec and allow people to concentrate on their set roles rather than getting tied up in all aspects of executive business.

Also in the Annual report there is the announcement of John Whitehead as Sport Development Officer, taking over from Iain Heaton, who has held the post alongside his CEO post over the last year. In his last report the outgoing SDO calls upon the membership to help and support John in his new role over the coming year. In the other non Executive officer reports Martin Brookes, Chief Umpire, concludes that umpiring and grading of players has improved over 2010 but still has a way to go and Christine Stansfield, Director of Coaching, speaks of her frustration as she has battled the new national UKCC system but says that she hopes that now going forwards coaching qualifications will run more smoothly.

In his Treasurer’s report Quintin Cornforth highlights certain financial points of interest, such as the expenditure on the starter kit offers to allow new groups to get equipment more cheaply and also points out that aside from the increasing marketing and filming costs the UKPA have actually driven down all other costs by over 5%.

The UKPA is known to consider expenditure on marketing and promotional activities as very important at the moment as it aims to grow the sport within the UK and indeed it has benefitted from some funding from Sport England to allow it to do this, along with other activities such as elite player development and qualifying UKCC coaches and getting clubs to undergo the club marking qualification.

Next year the UKPA host the World Cup for the first time and no doubt some of this promotional activity is aimed at making sure that is a success, though the actual World Cup is not being run by the UKPA itself but instead has been signed over by the UKPA to a separate entity World Cup Polocrosse (2011) Ltd, which is being run by former UKPA chairman Dave Brookes and its former treasurer Jonathan Beckerlegge, in order that it does not distract the executive from the job of running the actual Association for the membership.

The UKPA has also for the first time included in their annual report a business plan, which lays out in more detail what they intend to spend money on over the next year. There are some interesting schemes and ideas within it, all based around the idea of getting members, regions and clubs to do more and in return the clubs, regions or individual coaches (provided they are UKCC qualified) will receive money from the UKPA. There are coaching bonuses for UKCC coaches who go out and coach (an idea aimed at getting people to do the UKCC qualification and then to use their skills to bring new people into the sport) and also payments for regions and clubs for holding training days and one day tournaments to encourage more local polocrosse so that people don’t have to travel so far to play.

The UKPA also announced this week that its membership could now see the results of its summer filming on the Country Channel website. The series of four programmes, one on each test match, ran on Sky Sports in November and now has appeared online.