held by video conference at 8pm on 20 January 2021

  1. Present – 56 members.
  2. Apologies – Fraser Barrett, Cath Fenn, Lottie Graham, Simon Jones, John Ralph, Martin Turrall.
  3. Thank You – Many thanks to Stuart Paul from West Midlands Athletics for supporting use of video software which allows easy voting on proposals.
  4. Minutes of Last Year’s Meeting – Last year’s minutes accepted with 98% vote for (Proposed: Tony Mackness, Seconded: Roger Ladbury).
  5. Matters Arising from Last Year’s Minutes – None.
  6. Chairman’s Report  – Bob Adams
    You will all be aware that 2020 has been a year like no other for the club – I sincerely hope that this will be the first and last time that we hold our A.G.M. on Zoom. A big thank you goes to Stuart Paul from West Midlands Athletics – he has been really helpful to us in the setting up of this meeting.I also want to give a big shout out to our website guru, Roger – I don’t know how I would have managed without his technical knowledge and assistance.

    The year started in a fairly normal way, with the club competing well in both the Midland Women’s Cross Country League and the Birmingham Cross Country League. The women finished in 5th place overall in Division 2, and they made it onto the podium in the Masters’ category by finishing in 3rd place. Meanwhile, the men’s team finished in a very solid 6th place in Division 3 (out of 19 teams). The real stars were the members of the ‘B’ team, as they finished ahead of Severn A.C. to win their league.

    The cross country season ended with the National Championships at Woolaton Park in Nottingham, and at that stage, I don’t think that any of us fully appreciated the seriousness of the pandemic that was heading our way.

    Members had competed well in lots of road races at the start of the year, but unfortunately things more or less grounded to a halt in March, as the lockdown strategy began.

    As the year progressed, it became increasingly difficult for members to find races to run. Virtual racing became very popular as a way of keeping our runners focused on their training. Sadly, some 10 months later, that is still very much the case now.

    As far as Northbrook was concerned, it all started with the brilliant idea from Jamie Gould to challenge the other clubs in the area (apart from Coventry Godiva!) to virtually run around the world. This proved to be a very popular event, with lots of our members becoming involved – it also raised some much needed funds for the UHCW charity. Spencer became a bit of a star on local radio with his regular appearances on CWR!

    After that was finished, both Spencer and Kevin have been doing a fantastic job in coming up with lots of new challenges for us all to do. These included the Good, the Bad and the Ugly relay, won by Cath Fenn, Mick Duggan and Rob Cox, the 5km Summer knockout competition, won by Terry Moynihan and Robin Aston and the Equilibrium 5 mile challenge, where Mike Duggan reigned supreme. In December, it time for the 12 Runs of Christmas, with Spencer acting as Santa by giving chocolates to all of the runners involved.

    The current challenge is the Red January event. Kevin Coughlan is a real whizz with the technology involved- don’t ask me how he does it, but the recording systems he has set up are really impressive and fun to look at. He also did a great job with his crowd funding initiative to raise the funds required to pay for the trophies awarded to the winners of some of the virtual events.

    It’s proved to be a real challenge to get the club  ready to offer organised training sessions to our members, as we were determined that we should do this in a safe and compliant manner. The ever changing EA guidelines made this task increasingly difficult. I want to thank Cath, Spencer, Rob, Elle and all of the other leaders who have been working really hard in this connection.We were all set to go until the full lockdown was imposed a few weeks ago. In the meantime, suggested training sessions are being sent out on a regular basis.

    Sadly, we were unable to hold our annual 10km race in July, and this had a significant effect on the club’s financial position. The 11th July 2021 has been set as the date for this year’s race- Terry and his support team are keeping everything crossed!

    We were also unable to hold any of the summer handicap races last year- at least this gave my voice a rest! Obviously we want to hold a summer handicap competition this year, but this is entirely dependant on what happens with the COVID situation. As soon as it’s safe to do it, we will hold the races in the summer.

    In such a challenging year, it was nice to get a rare bit of good news a couple of months ago, when we were named as the runners-up in the West Midlands Club of the Year award. This was a recognition of all of the work has been going on in keeping the club functioning during the pandemic period.

    On the social front, the year started really well with the Awards evening being held at the Standard Triumph club. This event was superbly organised by Catherine Shepherd. Unfortunately, that was about it when it came to the club social events, but Rob, Sally and Tom have been doing a great job in keeping our brain cells active by hosting their regular quiz evenings.

    I would like to thank all of my fellow committee members who have helped to make my life fairly easy during the year. I particularly want to mention 3 members of the committee who either last year or this year, have decided to stand down. Catherine Shepherd did a great job as both the Social Secretary and the Welfare Officer, whilst Cath Fenn has proved to be a really inspirational Women’s Captain.

    Rich Cawley has really got to grips with the job of Membership Secretary. With the number of members that we now hold have, this particular role has become increasingly challenging, but when it comes to getting money from some people Rich has proved to be the right man for the job. He also agreed to become the club’s COVID Officer, which was an essential step in getting us back to organised training.

    These will be big shoes to fill when it comes to all of these roles, but I have every confidence that all of the members who have been nominated will do an equally good job during the year ahead.

    This is your annual opportunity to have your say about what goes on at Northbrook A.C.

    Thanks to everyone who helped with the committee, training and any events in the last year. We all give up our time but enjoy being part of a great friendly club.

    Treasurers Report – Tony Mackness sent a detailed presentation of accounts to all members, and showed the presentation at the meeting. The accounts were audited by Terry Moynihan.The committee recommended that subscription fees remain unchanged.

    Proposed by: Tony Mackness, Seconded by: Terry Moynihan.
    Existing Members Renewals £30 – VOTE: Accepted – 97.6% for
    Concessions £21 – VOTE: Accepted – 100% for
    Second Claim £20 – VOTE: Accepted – 100% for
    New Members/Rejoining Members: – VOTE: Accepted – 95.2% for
    Full rate: £45, Concessions: £30, Second Claim: £30 (all includes £15 vest)
    Fees are now due.

  7. Proposals Received
    Proposal: The establishment of the Equilibrium Cup as an annual award.
    In 2020 it was used for the 5 mile distance however it can be used for any distance as the engraving simply state “The Equilibrium Cup first staged in 2020”.
    For 2021 I propose it is applied to any UK affiliated 10k Race Distance staged in 2021. The same calculation method will apply:
    – For every 44 feet (13.4m) of overall loss we will add 10 secs to your minute mile pace (NB a looped run will be net zero).– Similarly for every 44 feet (13.4m) of overall gain we will subtract 10 secs from your minute mile pace.
    – Next, we will recalculate a new time based on this Grade Adjusted Pace (GAP).
    – We will then take this new time and calculate a WAVA score – (a score out of 100 adjusted for your age and gender).
    See calculation link here This is used by Pakrun and Fetcheveryone website.
    The winner of the cup is runner with the highest score on 31st December 2021.
    Note: Roger Ladbury clarified an addition accepted by Kevin Coughlan for the proposal that the distance for the award will be decided each year.
    Proposed: Kevin Coughlan, Seconded: Spencer Davies.Proposal accepted 83% for, 13.2% against, 3.8% abstain.
  8. Election of Officers – the following officers and committee members were elected*/re-elected unopposed:
    • President – Tony French
    • Chairperson – Bob Adams
    • Secretary – Mark Baker
    • Treasurer – Tony Mackness
    • Men’s Captain – Spencer Davies
    • Women’s Captain – Sally Eason
    • Membership Secretary – Tim Hughes*
    • Social Secretary – Sarah Duffy

    There were 2 nominations for Membership Secretary for Tim Hughes and Anne Hughes.
    VOTE: Tim Hughes – 56.6% (30 votes), Anne Hughes – 39.6% (21 votes), abstain – 3.8%
    (2 votes).

    Non committee

    • COVID-19 Officer – Sean Duffy
    • Summer Handicap – Richard French
    • Website – Roger Ladbury
    • Kit Person – Damian Pharoah
    • 10km race – Sara Phipps, Terry Moynihan, Tony Mackness, Pete Marshall, Fern Kenney, Richard French, Steve Turvey.
    • Race Champs Administrator – Kevin Coughlan
    • Welfare Officer – Jenna Davies
    • Auditor – Terry Moynihan
  9. Any other business
    1. Runner of the month changes – Sara Phipps suggested that awards will still to be decided by the committee, but could be nominated by the membership. Sara said that there are many good runners in Northbrook, and some go unnoticed by the committee as they do not post on social platforms but just keep quietly doing what they are doing and just being brilliant. So I would like the membership to be able to email in our nominations and reasons why for runner of the month. The committee will still in charge of choosing a suitable winner. This was agreed by the committee.
      ACTION – Bob Adams will send out an email to members before committee meetings so that they can nominate candidates for runner of the month. The committee will make final decisions at the committee meetings.
    2. 2021 Road Race Championships – Steve Turvey asked how many races will count towards the championship if COVID affects races this year. Bob Adams explained that it is difficult to predict at the moment, but the committee will monitor and consult with members and send out a poll when the COVID position is clearer.

Meeting closed at 9pm.

Minutes prepared by Mark Baker