AGM Chair’s Report

Chair’s report to the 14th AGM 12/04/2017

Firstly I would like to say that the last 12 months have been a resounding success for the club which continues to grow ever stronger. A lot of this success is


on the back of the work put in by the previous chair Helen Palmer from whom I took over last year. Helen steered the club through a difficult time in her usual calm and efficient manner. She still keep an eye on me, tapping her watch if I am going on to long on a Wednesday evening, or they are taking too long to get from the club to the car park so tell them the warm up starts when they are outside the door and run over. She is my running buddy and we have run and walked many miles over the years. She dragged me around my first Grizzly when I was 60 and got an ear blasting for her trouble, and this year when she saw I was struggling, came back and said “come on we can do this, and we did. A great friend and a credit to this club.

None of this would have been possible without the time and dedication of the leaders and coaches, not only in taking the runs but also the time they give in attending the various courses. Of course the more the club grows the greater the call will be on them. During the year we welcomed four new leaders Adam Marston-Price, Nigel Maeer, Tim Clay and David Lee. Tim Mitchell is currently taking a four day coaches course which he finishes in June so he will be organising some form of training plan for the autumn with his newly found knowledge. We are always looking for new Leaders so if you are interested in attending a one day course held locally then please let me know. And with that I would like you to join me in a round of applause to show your appreciation to them.

I would also like to express a vote of thanks to the committee for the work that they put in unseen on behalf of the members and in particular our Secretary Jo Earlam. Jo has been extremely busy this year but is always on the ball keeping us up to date on all the rule changes that affects us and minuting our meetings. Treasurer Sarah Burston, another lady with a busy life who keeps our account up to date but due to growing work and family pressure she is now standing down from the role. I would like to take this opportunity to pass on our appreciation of all the time she has given to the club in the role of Treasurer.

Naomi Garrick our Social Secretary never gives up trying to get the social side of the club going and it is an uphill struggle. It is also a side to the club that I have never been able to understand. When running you could not get a more sociable group of people, I have been on runs with the ladies that have lasted 5 hours or more and they never stopped talking! I have heard it said on more than one occasion from members of other clubs that you can always tell when the Sidmouth ladies are coming as you can hear them talking half a mile away. Yet we struggle to get the response to the social events we put on. This is an area I hope we can improve on in the coming year and we are arranging a BBQ here at Port Royal on Saturday 17th June. If you have any ideas for a social event please let Naomi know.

John Keast, our Membership Secretary spent a lot of last year getting to grips with the England Athletic Registration System. This System is an extremely important tool to the club as it allows us access to email all our members in one hit. And this is where you come in when filling out your membership form, especially your email address. Make sure it is clear and legible so that John can read it and check your spam folders for EA e-mails coming from has already started to input the 2017 membership forms and he has obviously got to grips with it as I have already seen it throwing up some anomalies.

Web Editor Rob Edwards. I would challenge anybody to find another Running Club website that is as good and up to date as ours. That in itself has had the effect of raising the profile of the club and the continuing increase in membership. The time and effort he puts in is incredible, what I send him one day is usually on the site the next. I cannot speak highly enough of him, not only with data input but sorting out any problem that arises with the system. At committee meetings he speaks a different language with weird sounding words similar to Dutch Tony. We do need an understudy for him, preferably someone younger with IT knowledge that could teach an old dog new tricks and at the same time learn how the system works to safeguard the future.

Exe to Axe race director Paul Mitchell who once again, with the help of Rob Edwards organised and ran an extremely challenging event exceedingly professionally as I have seen by so much favourable feedback from those that entered.

Thanks also to all the club members who helped out on the day.

The Chairman’s Mighty Green Challenge has been a resounding success and will be repeated this year. Keep sending in the photographs because as you will see later there are prizes to be won at the end of the year.

The Mighty Green on holiday has been seen in Gibraltar, Hanoi, Greece, Tokyo, Scotland, Ireland, Morocco, the Baltic, Spain, Croatia, Portugal, Wales, England, Bali, Australia, Africa, India, Madeira, Thailand, South Africa, Italy and France.

The Mighty Green Racing shirt has been worn in the following races: The Wolf Run, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Bristol, Taunton, Windsor, Exeter, London, Dartmoor, Dublin, Drogo, Templar 10, Barcelona and Australia.

Earlier in the year we sent out a questionnaire and from that we were able to find out what you would like from the club. This has resulted in Justin Ashby developing an 8 week 10k training programme focussing on the Ottery 10k. This has proved an outstanding success with over 30 runners registering, ranging from those who were on the Beginners course to the more accomplished runners. So much so that Tim Mitchell has been recruited to help him out. Already PB’s are coming in from members on this course. I thank them both for their time and expertise.

The Time Trials have been resurrected under the leadership of Vice Chair Becky Robson. She must have been overwhelmed with the 74 members who recorded times on the first outing, together with the helpers and others running but not recording a time we had over 80 members out on a Wednesday evening, truly remarkable. Thank you Becky and all your helpers.

Members also showed an interest in Park Runs and Debbie Marriott will be organising these. There are a number of venues around here where the event takes place and if there are sufficient members interested Debbie will arrange a coach outing to one. Contact Debbie if you are interested.

Guess the time of your run. We will discuss this at the next committee meeting and arrange a date and venue.

The January beginners’ course was a huge success. Expecting 10 to 15 people, on the first night 35 enrolled with a further 10 the following week, and for once I was at a loss of how to cope with this! Helen Palmer came to the rescue and once again got involved with organising them. The positive feedback from them regarding Helen and the run leaders on the course speaks for itself and only about 10 dropped out. For some unknown reason she will not let me get involved with the beginners!!

Port Royal. When you become a member of the Running Club, you automatically become a member of the Port Royal Club. This allows you full use of all the facilities when the club is open, except when there is a private function on. You can also request a key for which a deposit will be required or a door code whichever they decide on, allowing you access to the showers and toilets at all times. It is here to use and they have asked us for feedback on the bar, are they selling what you would buy or would you like to see other products available? e.g. coffee machine, better quality wine, different beer or spirits, more comfortable seating etc. Please let us know.

This autumn we will try and arrange for Gavin and hopefully Jo Pavey as well to come and give us a talk and maybe run with us. But with Gavin’s experience in the Exe to the Axe, that might be optimistic.

We will see what interest there is in going to Exeter Arena on a Monday night for training on the track and we will arrange a coach if there is sufficient interest.

Any other ideas for the Autumn/Winter programme please let us know.

During the year club runners have collectively entered 60 different events (39 the previous year).

The Sports relief mile organised by Colin Flood raised £3,475.07. Overall 72.5 million was raised.

Organising the races at the Sid Vale Athletics meeting raised the club £300.

It is great to see those that started in the beginners continuing to improve, likewise the more accomplished runners who have joined throughout the year. One of


them told me that when she told her friend she was thinking about joining us she was told “you don’t want to join them they are hardcore” Well that is one thing we are not. We are one big family that enjoys our running and that is the message we must get out there. The press reports play a part in this as the public can see not only the range in the age of our members but also that their friends run. I am ever grateful to my wife Rita for her help in compiling these reports, present tense, past tense, commas, full stops, spelling, grammar and my old favourite of or off mean nothing to me so on a Tuesday night when I write the reports she gets the calling while watching TV “pause that a minute please and check this”.

Thank you to my grandson Kyle for the time he gives to the club with his amazing photography, when they say that the camera never lies, don’t believe it. Keep taking the photos everyone and send me details of events you enter.

And finally, to sum up, I would like to thank you all for continuing to support your club, renew your membership now so that you are insured while running with us, buy that Mighty Green shirt and wear it with pride, enter more races wearing it, it’s not about winning but supporting your club, show them the strength of The Mighty Green Army.

Thank you everyone