The annual AGM took place via an on-line platform this week as members came together to look back at the past year and discuss plans for the coming year.
While most people would far prefer to gather in person, the Zoom meeting, chaired by haired by one of our trustees, Derek Sommerville, was easy to access for all and proved to be very slick and timely.
Derek opens AGM
Derek opened the AGM by saying it had been the first full year operating as a charity. The charitable status offered the opportunity in 2020 for the club to give greater access to racing bikes for junior members. Thanks to a kind donation by club sponsor Billy Bilsland Cycles, three youngsters were given the chance for the first time to ride race-ready bikes.
The board of trustees is gathering further ideas for similar ways to put the club’s charitable status to good use.
Membership figures have reportedly held up well despite a year of Covid restrictions. The club has just over 500 members with a spilt of 48% women to 52% men. The greatest increase in membership has been among the juniors, with numbers rising to 180.
Derek reported how the club had “embraced a digital transformation by Zoom”. Among the on-line offerings, there are spin sessions, run training podcasts, strength and conditioning, yoga and a growing league of Zwift riders. It was noted that by all accounts, GTC is offering a far greater platform of digital training sessions than many other sports clubs.
Thanks went to the coaching team, led by head coach Vicky Begg and junior head coach Billy Mitchell.
In addition, the social side of the club was maintained via innovative ideas, such as the swim cap challenge (raising £500 for the charity Common Wheel); family fun challenges, including the Children in Need Act your Age challenge; guest speakers; Q&A evenings and the recent and highly praised Badge-athlon.
Sadly, only one club organised event, the Cameron Intellectual Property Allander Aquathlon, could go ahead and all other races were postponed. It is hoped that one, the Big Bobble Hats Bishopbriggs Triathlon may now take place in September.
Looking ahead, the trustees are currently leading a five-year strategic review of the club. Following a member survey, there is now a committee that is considering the results – and making plans.
It’s also hoped that the club will be able to run in-person coaching sessions in due course and according to Scottish Government guidelines.
Club’s finances and board of trustees
Next up, Jim Lockhart, the club’s treasurer, gave an overview of GTC finances. His message was that members can help the club by attending training sessions both on-line and in real-time when restrictions allow.
A vote of members at the AGM saw all of four of the trustees standing again for a further year.
Remembering Bill Rees
Bob Newton took to the on-line stage to note the passing of much-loved club member Bill Rees in 2020. Bob said: “Bill was a member for many years and a gentleman. On behalf of the club, we send our condolences to his wife and I want to say how much we miss Bill.”
Presidents old and new
Bob also gave thanks to the out-going president Sean Webster. The sixth president since the club formed in 1988, Sean has served two terms over six years.
Bob said: “Sean has worked hard with great commitment to the club. He offered wise counsel and had a constructive and ambassadorial approach to his role. He has made a difference.
“In addition, from all on the committee, you have done a grand job Sean.”
The new president is announced as David Brown. A new role of vice-president is taken up by Iain Todd.
David took the opportunity to introduce himself, giving a brief overview of his journey to triathlon and GTC and his hopes for his role. He said: “I am looking forward to taking more responsibility for a sport that I have such a great passion for.” (There will be a future blog to find out more about David and his hopes as president, as well as a podcast interview with Kate Pearson.)
On the vice-resident role, Iain said: “I’ve been a member of GTC for a number of years. During this time I have benefited from the coaching the club provides, but more importantly I’ve met lots of interesting and friendly people.
“Glasgow Triathlon Club is truly the friendliest club in Scotland. I look forward to helping our new president David Brown and the rest of the committee continue and build on the great work that Sean has left us with.”
Reports from the coaches
Ben Adler, the chair of the junior committee, gave an overview of the past year of training, including the many successes and what was learned from the move to a digital platform.
He gave credit to the club and the coaches for the encouragement and motivation given to the junior members. Despite a difficult year, the number of junior members is on the increase.
It’s hoped that the club can continue to offer the juniors as full a training programme as possible on-line and that there will be a return to in-person training this summer.
He also thanked the juniors for their commitment and enthusiasm. He added: “We have learned a lot over the past year and we realised how much the training sessions have meant to the juniors. When we were able to meet, it was clear that the social side of the training was very important to our young members.”
Vicky Begg, GTC head coach, also gave an overview of the past year, including what she described as a “speedy transition to on-line”. She gave thanks to the coaches who supported the digital programme.
She added: “We learned what worked and what didn’t and overall it has been a successful year with plenty on offer to club members, including spin, running and strength and conditioning. There has been a great sense of community and this has been aided by both the training sessions and the sociable activities.”
In addition, Jonathon Campbell is now leading a club Zwift league.
When restrictions were lifted in 2020, the club was able to resume some in-person training sessions, which were greatly enjoyed by those who attended.
In 2021, Vicky will be continuing the programme of on-line coaching, with hopes that restrictions will be lifted in due course. She said: “We very much hope to be able to get back to some in-person sessions but we will need to see what the guidance is.”
Vicky called for as many members as possible to support the sessions, both on-line and in person when allowed. And she appealed for all of the club coaches to get in touch to offer their availability.
She said: “Our motto is positivity through activity – and I think this has been very true of the past year for the club.”
A few final words
Derek rounded up the AGM by thanking everyone for attending. He also said the board is looking for people with fund-raising experience to support the club as a charity. If anyone can help, please do contact Derek: firstname.lastname@example.org.