The UK Polocrosse Association is preparing for its Annual General Meeting (AGM), at the end of a year which saw it write a formal development plan, conduct a formal survey of its members views and take the step of paying for administrative support in order to help its elected and appointed officers run and develop the sport. The paid administrative support caused some controversy when first announced and discussed at the club council meeting (see our article on the club council meeting) but has been widely welcomed and seems to have helped the UKPA continue to move the sport forwards. However, perhaps worryingly the Executive officers’ nomination papers, sent out before the AGM, reveal that two of its current executive officers do not intend to re stand for election. Barry Amor, currently the UKPA’s CEO, and Iain Heaton, the UKPA Member Representative, have both said that they will not seek re election at the 2015 AGM.

Barry Amor also actually acts as the paid administrator support for the UKPA elected and appointed officers and it is not known if Barry is happy to continue in his paid role if the UKPA chooses to continue with this method of supporting its volunteers. Barry did actually step down as CEO before the AGM in 2014 but after no one else was willing to take on the role he said he would continue for another year. Barry has served on the UKPA executive since being co opted on in 2011 and has been one of the driving forces behind improving a number of areas of the sport, re writing the UKPA handbook and the rule book in his first year and then in the last year doing a great deal of the work involved in developing the UKPA umpires manual, the Field Marshall training and the UKPA Coaches manual. He has also for a number of years taken the lead in organising the UKPA’s own tournaments, including the National Championships. If he does not carry on this time in either his volunteer or his paid role the UKPA will have to quickly find other ways to continue to deliver what its members have become used to over the last few years.

Iain Heaton is currently Members Representative but he has served on the Exec Committee since 2006, initially as Players Representative, then as Sport Development Officer, then as Chief Executive Officer up until early 2012. He was one of the two executive officers, alongside Quintin Cornforth, who stepped in to run and deliver the 2011 World Cup when it was nearly cancelled in early 2011, after the original organising committee pulled out. He took a break in early 2012 when he stepped down from the committee due to work pressure but returned in the autumn of 2012 and has served as Members Representative for the last two years. His length of service and the different roles he has held has given him a good understanding of a number of key areas of the UKPA and the UKPA handbook and rulebook.

Exactly why Iain is stepping down is known only to him. However, he did write an article called “Work in Progress” for this year’s National Championships Programme in which he explained the process the UKPA went through in appointing a paid administrator, the history behind the appointment and also what had improved in the sport due to the work of the executive, its appointed officers and the paid administrative support. Alongside this article the UKPA published a point by point review of their development plan, which they originally wrote and published at the start of 2015. Click on the following links to read the Work in progress article and The UKPA’s Development plan.

Since the National Championships, the UKPA have concluded a formal survey of their membership, in which they asked for their members views across a number of areas, and it would seem likely they will update their development plan to take these views into account. They might also look to report back on the results of the survey at the UKPA AGM.    

Nominations for all the UKPA Executive positions which are up for election this year (the posts of Treasurer, Sport Development Officer and Executive International Officer are also up for election) close on the 10th of October, with full details and nomination papers available on the UKPA website here. Alongside the nominations for executive positions, there is also the call for resolutions (which are amendments UKPA members want made to the actual UKPA constitution) and points for discussion in the open forum, when Members get to discuss areas that they want to see amended or improved in the next year. All of these points are also due in by the 10th of October as well.

After the AGM concludes the UKPA has its Annual Awards dinner and ball, also held at the De Vere Staverton Park Hotel near Daventry where the AGM is taking place. Tickets are available from the UKPA website, we would suggest getting yours quick as places are limited!