• john mcnulty
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29 Aug 2006 19:22 #19375 by john mcnulty
The thread below is taken from the topic about prizes at the Southerns as it concerns class organisation and needs further comments from members at large. Mine appear below this thread

<b><i>Hi Simon

In regards to your workload - This does need to be looked at

It would be a good idea that a fomula could be set up to over come
this issue . The problem is most of us who are working full
time and have families (like yourself) and are leading full live
as it it . I take my hat off to you for your commitment in doing
what you do - however that will help you - praise is not enough

If this issue is not dealt with before long - You will get fed
up and where will we be if you resign .

In an ideal world if we could generate enough funds somebody
like your should be paid(in part) for their time.

Can Viv (nat squad coordinator) roles be extended (since I understand see has a small salary already) or something similar

Has any other members any other idea ????

John Arrowsmith </i></b>

The workload of the Class Secretary has been the subject of several topics over recent years when Jan Grieg-Gran and then Simon have undertaken the co-ordinating and administration of the whole organisation because of a shortage of volunteers. Everybody is too busy or too short term to get stuck in to do what is necessary. If you really have the class's interests at heart, and not just your immediate involvement because of your children, then you must make time in your busy lives to give the Association the support it needs.
It is not sufficient to moan that something needs to be done but not be prepared to do what is needed or even propose solutions.

If it weren't for Simon (and one or two others) there would be no class events; squad opportunities for your kids or all the other things that happen ( e.g. a stand at the boatshows; a modernisation programme etc).

At the AGM questions were asked about what is the job spec for the various offices, either elected or co-opted. These have been proposed in the past and much sage nodding of heads and sounds of agreement have been seen and heard but still we are where we have been for the last 6 years. One day the wheels will fall of and then the wailing and gnashing of teeth will be wondrous to behold.

Below is a somewhat ambitious organisation structure that was devised last year but which was unlikely to ever come about with the present lack of interest from volunteers. Maybe it could be simplified but, in essence, it does reveal the range of tasks needed to be undertaken and how much of it falls on one man.

<font color=red>PROPOSED MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE STRUCTURE for consideration prior to AGM

Admiral/President - a figurehead with substance and clout; head of policy, ISaF/RYA representative,
Commodore/Chairman - to ensure committee functions, is soundly constituted and provides authority to execute policy
Vice-Commodore - in charge of and co-ordinates all sailing activites eg events, training, judging
Rear-Commodore - in charge of all marketing, class association development, membership
Captain - in charge of area representatives and area liaison;
Technical Officer - in charge of technical developement, rules, builders licences, reviewing production costs
Treasurer - in charge of Association and linked accounts, budgets,
Secretary - in charge of class administration, committee communication
Trustees - 3 elected owner member to maintain the ethos of the class and its aims
The committee of 11 senior members of the Association should meet quarterly in formal session to authorise decisions, set objectives and tasks etc. Other communication via a restricted messageboard.

EACH OF THESE APPOINTMENTS is served by co-opted representatives/sub committees/special interest groups covering the following functions:

Events - planning, management, trophies/prizes, venue liaison
Training - planning, management, syllabuses, coaches, venue liaison
Marketing - boat shows, publicity, sponsorship, class growth, membership, merchandise
Technical - builders, sailmakers, spar makers, kit suppliers, cost of boats and equipment
Safety - policy and risk assessment, liaison with venues
Secretariat - a paid events administrator and a paid committee administrator
Editor - Website, Reflections, Yearbook, other class publications, commissioning articles
Members - Area reps, Junior/Youth reps, Singlehander rep, clubs liaison
It is proposed that each Class Association Area forms a local sub-committee of member/club representatives to meet twice a year to develop Mirror activity in each area and provide feed back to the Association.

The history of the Association does not bode well for such a change but, without it, the Association is likely to fold when the situation arises that no-one will accept the work load undertaken by a very few dedicated class members. The only sure way ahead is to divide up the work into known tasks and get more members involved on a long term basis. It should be a rule that parents of individual junior members (U/19) are required to be at least associate members and be required to undertake co-opted roles. Also, we should ensure that to be a class captain in a club you must be a full member and try to ensure that we affiliate clubs to the Class Association so that their members/owners can be affiliated at say £5.00 a head and thereby get some Association benefits. This way we might get a handle on a greater list of names who could help. This could also help attract all those hundreds of non-racing casual sailors who, at present, don't feel a need to join the Association.

I know trying to get people onboard will be a struggle but maybe we could start with a small working party to attempt the task of getting this going. Shall we ask for/co-opt volunteers?
</font id=red>

John Arrowsmith asks questions that have been around for 6 years and need some answers. The sort of matters that arose at the Southerns prizegiving are partly the product of expecting too much from Simon, insufficient involvement by the membership at large and too narrow a focus on ones own interests. Paying someone is not a complete answer as it is the range and variety of tasks and detail that has to be managed and THIS MUST BE SHARED and the work broken down into particular functions and managers appointed.

To go forward requires all of you out there to be not so busy with the other things of life and give some time to your Association. You get a lot from it for very little. Some of the very active class associations are run by strong teams of dedicated members whose lives are just as busy as those of Mirror members so it can be done if action is put in place of words.

Other views might help.

Edited by - john mcnulty on 29 August 2006 20:29:04

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  • toddy
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29 Aug 2006 20:45 #12600 by toddy
I am new to sailing. Started in May of this year aged 40. My children are not keen but i am fanatical about my mirror. I have started racing at Bassenthwaite single handed and love it (no spinaker yet)
I am volunteering to help if I can. I am self employed and employ 5 people so am busy, but hey so is everyone.
If someone contacts me with what I can do, or wants any ideas from a novice.

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  • Simon Lovesey
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30 Aug 2006 08:00 #12605 by Simon Lovesey

Fantastic, thanks for your offer, this is the spirit, we are a self help organisation and the more who help the better things will be.

Bass will be hosting a Class Championship next July, and it would be great if you could get involved in its organisation. Hugh Godfrey is the local contact and the new NE Rep Richard Elsdon will also be involved.

If you are happy to help I will put you in touch

MCA Secretary

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  • toddy
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30 Aug 2006 15:24 #12610 by toddy
I am racing tomorrow night if Hugh is there I will speak to him. I am pleased to be able to get involved.
Feel free to pass on my contact details to whoever you need to inform.

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  • john mcnulty
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08 Sep 2006 13:02 #12695 by john mcnulty
Apart from Toddy, this subject doesn't seem to have grabbed the interest of readers yet the future of the class depends on an active membership and committee.

Has no-one any views on how they might help? One of the main tasks is event organisation. We should be planning 2-3 years ahead especially for the Worlds in 2009 and need a team for this. We should be getting members saying they will put themselves out to help.

Why is it not happening? Does anyone care?

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  • abeach
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11 Sep 2006 19:34 #12723 by abeach
I am no longer a member o the association however I still think I owe a lot to the boat/association that gave me so much enjoyment, racing for my youth years.

I am more than willing to help. John I know you have my number (I have lost yours), so just give me a call.

Many Thanks


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12 Sep 2006 10:42 #12727 by Tim Cushion
I have no data on the number of members the Association has, but I bet it’s a small fraction of the 10,000 Mirrors (at a guess) still afloat. I also bet that the majority of members already take advantage of the training and racing events available. Please prove me wrong with actual numbers, but I suspect that there are only enough people actively involved to call themselves a small sailing club. And it’s a club that is spread very thinly across the UK.

Perhaps, as you can’t rely on volunteers, a helper tax is required: “If you want your child to get some training then you have to help organize itâ€

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