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35th - Highlight of the Year?

At the recent club AGM it was agreed that the contributions of over 70 members to our “Do something involving the number 35” to celebrate our Club 35th Anniversary provided the club highlight of 2020. We can all look forward to seeing a record of the results as soon as the Social Committee can finalize a coming together event – hopefully be back at the Open Air Pool in July/August.

To find out more – please check Chair Pam’s Annual Report below. Our heart felt thanks go to Pam, and Treasurer Caroline, who (along with other members of the Committee) continue to beaver away on behalf of us all. The Minutes of the AGM will be available soon but the main thing you will be pleased to hear is that all the officers including Head Coach Dorian and Club captains James and Liz Thomas, ALL agreed to continue in their rolls. Thanks everyone of you.

My report this year covers, albeit briefly, 2 years of club activity. Due to the Covid-19 situation we did not hold an AGM in 2020, so this report covers some aspects of that period. All committee members have worked tirelessly once again over the last 2 years, despite not a lot going on in terms of actual running since March 2020, capably and enthusiastically supported by a band of other stalwart members of the club.

After the huge success of the Chedworth race held on Sunday 14th April 2019, by new race organisers Liz and James Thomas, the 2020 date was set and entries were gathering pace. However, and at the time the decision was made none of us knew what the future had in store for us, but an early call was made to cancel the race for 2020 and what a good call that turned out to be! Thanks to Andy Hindson for all his hard work facilitating refunds on Entry Central and to James and Liz for the notifications to all parties concerned about the cancellation.

We hosted our 5th successful summer race in Cirencester Park in June 2019 and we were hopeful that the 2020 race could take place in June and we even deferred the race until August 2020 but sadly all to no avail. The new date of 2nd June 2021 was agreed but due to the only going pandemic issues we decided to cancel totally for 2021. James and Liz have been instrumental in the use of social media to advertise our races. Our marshals once again responded to requests for help in a most positive and enthusiastic manner although clearly not needed this year! Both races are very well established in the local race calendar.

In 2019 we continued to enjoy a buoyant senior and junior club membership, the latter with a waiting list. Excellent results were achieved in both road racing and in the Gloucestershire Cross-Country League and James and Liz continued with their respective team captains’ roles, enthusiastically cajoling members to compete in various events until Liz decided that it was time to give more of her time to bringing up Sylvester so she stood down but gladly James remained in post. We entered 3 teams in The Cotswold Way Relay in 2019, numbers restricted by the organisers. The 2020 event was a virtual race but well supported by members despite the Covid -19 situation. The 2019 County Cross-Country Championships were held at Rendcomb College and organised by James and Liz in conjunction with the Gloucestershire AAA committee, but with the outstanding help of Rupert Chesmore, Tim Ingham and Louise Abbott. The College facilities and the first-class course were extremely well received by both the Gloucestershire AAA committee and all runners and spectators. Clearly, the 2021 Championships did not take place!

The new website designed by James and Liz continues to serve us well with lots of tweaks made to enhance our profile. The website newsfeed tab continues to be the official means of communication with members although various WhatsApp groups continue to thrive especially during the last year. Pre pandemic, Liza Darroch continued with the impressive weekly press reporting, always achieving the very tight timescale imposed by the local press, with Rupert Chesmore making the weekly result announcements at training evenings. David Wright continued to provide the detailed race result stats which ensured that our press reports were regularly the most comprehensive of all local clubs detailing race results which were always many and varied. David stood down in March 2020 with the fixtures/results and club records being taken on by a team of volunteers – Martin Croucher, Louise Horner-Baggs and Ruth Fulford, but coincidentally they were never required to do much due to the pandemic. A small token of our appreciation was sent to David for all his hard work over many years.

Ian Pople handed over the Membership Secretary role to Rachel Ranger in 2020 but because of the Covid-19 situation we decided not to charge membership fees for 2020 so Rachel has been waiting in the wings so to speak. Our sincere appreciation to Ian was made at the time of his handover for a job extremely well done. Membership renewals resumed in April 2021 at the reduced cost of £15 for club membership and £15 for EA membership. Rachel will update the meeting on current figures.

An exciting opportunity took the Chudley family to Australia and unfortunately junior manager Sophie was unable to find a suitable replacement before she left so the junior section was put on hold although we retained and paid for our booking with Kingshill School. Not long after this the excellent and popular teen group had to be postponed from 0ctober 2019 after Richard Morris stood down as a parent helper and none of the coaches wished to take responsibility for the group during the dark winter months. Lisa Stevens stood down as admin co-ordinator for the teen and junior groups in March 2020. All were thanked for their various contributions to the club. Dorian Matts took over as Head Coach from Colin Tapley in January 2020. I am pleased to say that Dorian will make his own report and of course Colin was thanked for his work for the club.

The Annual Awards Presentation in March 2020 was obviously cancelled but the award winners were notified, and results added to the website in April 2021. It is hoped that a personal presentation can take place later in the year. Thanks to Jo Roberts, David Lattimore, Ian Pople, Fi Collings and Rachel Ranger who all continued to support the social committee. This was the first year that we opened nominations from members and although not particularly well received it did work and will probably be repeated in the future. In the absence of any formal written guideline and the procedure being partially subjective, a selection criterion was added to the club constitution in 2019. The summer prediction run and BBQ was held again at the Abbey Grounds and Open Air Pool in June 2019 and was thoroughly enjoyable and well supported. It is lovely to be able to hold a social with all age groups in attendance. The pizza and chips on Tuesday evenings continued to be popular but again clearly have been on hold for more than a year.

Triathlons were not particularly well supported again, however our tri rep Kate Sackett continues to make excellent progress to reinvigorate the tri section to its former glory! Kate initiated some swim coaching led by Andy Gardner that was very well received by the Sunday Swimmers, although sadly Andy has now left the area for pastures new. Carol Clarke continues to sort out the swimmer’s payments. Thanks again to Andy and Carol for their hard work.

At the 2019 AGM, the club vests purchased through IProSports received a huge amount of criticism so it was decided to revert to our previous supplier, Wasp Sports although the other club kit would continue to be purchased through IProSports. After the AGM Terry Ranger, who had done such a sterling job, decided to stand down from the role, but Caroline Buck very generously offered to sort out the new vest and design with Wasp Sports. It took a long time to get the final design sorted but Caroline did a superb job for us all. Brian Harris very kindly offered to distribute the new vests and exchange on a one for one basis the hare and laurel design vest, a decision made by the committee to ensure that we all match at races and to ensure that members were not financially disadvantaged by having to purchase another vest so soon after the introduction of the hare and laurel design vest.

During the first lockdown in March 2020 Liza Darroch and Martin Croucher came up with a stunning idea to help keep members engaged and motivated and thus Cirencester Runs On (CRO) was established. The weekly distances were promulgated in advance and members then submitted times and Martin created a league table based on times and age grade. It was a great success and enjoyed by many. This was superseded by the Cirencester Runs Over Second Spike (CROSS) later-on with plans to take in swimming and trail running and although supported with the admin by James Thomas, Oliver Pritchard and Nea Seddon-Jones the initiative didn’t get off the ground due in the main to the timing of the second lockdown. Our sincere thanks are extended to all who helped with this initiative.

June 2020 saw the 35th anniversary of the club and the week was celebrated with various activities included in the number 35. It generated a huge amount of interest with many members taking part in all manner of ways!

In January 2020 Tony Curry resigned from the committee. Tony was thanked for his 30-year loyal service to the club and a small gift was delivered to him due to lockdown restrictions. Louise Horner-Baggs moved to Cheltenham so she too resigned from the committee with our very best wishes. In my time in post, I have continually cried out for more help. We have done well, and it is a delight to have achieved such support. However, we must not become complacent as we continue to strive to be the best club around! We are a vibrant and thriving club with lots going on year-round albeit clearly constrained this year but thanks to Dorian and Liza members have been engaged on a weekly basis with news/reviews etc posted on the newsfeed tab and usually repeated on the WhatsApp groups. However, we are a very small committee so if anyone else would like to join us please do get in touch. New involvement means new ideas as we move forward into the 37th year of the Club. I understand that you are all generally very busy people, but please do consider helping.

Sincere thanks to all members of the committee and to you all for attending this AGM.

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