Club Documents

Chair’s Report 2023-24

Our club is very healthy

Over the last two seasons we have created a continuous player development pathway: from age 9 to adult; from beginner to local league to regional league and beyond.  No other club in Wiltshire can match the range of ages and development opportunities we now offer.

Member numbers remained at or close to full capacity this season.  We still have waiting lists for adult players and past experience tells us this summer’s Olympic Games will generate new demand.

I noticed a strong feel-good factor this season as our players enjoyed their training sessions, our team performances improved rapidly through the season, and some our players participated in higher level development opportunities (see our Club Coach’s report for performance highlights).

And this spring/summer we look forward to celebrating the 40th anniversary of our club (see Planning paper).

New equipment

Two years ago we invested in new net equipment to boost capacity and improve the quality of experience for young players aged 9-15.  This summer we will invest around £1,300 in new posts to provide a robust second training court at the far end of the hall, primarily benefitting players aged 15-18.  This will be funded partly by our club and partly by a grant of £642 from Wiltshire Council Area Board to support junior player development.  In these challenging economic times this grant is very welcome as it will improve our provision whilst keeping our membership fees as low as possible to encourage participation.

This season we experienced problems with the functionality and safety of the main volleyball posts as this old equipment reaches the end of its life, so the leisure centre is now planning to replace them.

New constitution

Whilst applying for Wiltshire Council grant funding it became apparent that our existing club constitution did not meet modern requirements (eg for financial management, safeguarding, environmental policy, and so on) nor did it meet latest Volleyball England expectations and guidance.  Hence we have substantially updated it, and present it to our members for approval at this AGM (see agenda item 5).

Leadership and representation

From my perspective the Chairperson’s role is: to provide vision and leadership so the club keeps moving forward; to make sure all sections of the club are healthy and connected; and to make sure we have good governance and management in place.  The role also includes external promotion and representation of our club, so this season I have met and liaised with: Volleyball England; South West Volleyball; Wiltshire Volleyball; Lime Kiln Leisure Centre managers; Wiltshire Council Area Board and Swindon Sports Forum.

Thank you to our amazing volunteers

Our busy and active club relies entirely on unpaid volunteers to make it all happen.  Many of these amazing people are listed on our AGM agenda, and they’ve all made a huge contribution to our club this season (in addition to their contributions as players) – we say a big THANK YOU to all of you.

In addition to our volunteer administrators, coaches and match officials, let’s not overlook Julie, our Club Welfare Officer.  She quietly makes sure we safeguard junior and adult players, and she is always there for anyone who has any questions or concerns about our members’ welfare (see our Club Information Pack for Julie’s contact details).

Remember we are always looking to welcome new coaches and helpers, of all ages, for our junior sessions and for our adult teams.  We will support you at whatever level you wish, whether you prefer to simply turn up and assist occasionally or whether you aspire to develop your coaching skills to help players and teams achieve higher performance.  Please see Phil to find out more!

Phil Heads, April 2024

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