Chairmans Report

Chairmans Report – 2023

Happy New Year to everyone.

I have had a look back at a number of the reports I have written over the past few years and other than the Covid years we have made progress and 2023 continues with the same results both in terms of performances and also some of the successes we have had behind the scenes.

We now have in excess of 100 registered athletes with EA and the club is slowly evolving with new member’s joining across all age groups which demonstrates that the club can field and compete with some of the bigger clubs in the region. Although XC is not everyone’s cup of tea we did have a small number who represented the club across all of the fixtures no small achievement. This current XC calendar the committee made the decision to reward each individual who competes in all the fixtures a cash voucher.

It has also not gone un noticed that we have some the juniors now sampling the delights of XC. Let’s hope promotion is on the cards for both the men and ladies teams.

As I said in my report in 2022 it is behind the scenes as the club expands which needed more volunteers to come forward. We now have all the necessary documents approved by EA and I pleased to say everyone registered with EA has signed the Club Code of Conduct form however only half have completed the EA code of conduct form. Can those members who have not accepted the EA Code of Conduct please go onto the portal. It is very simple and takes no time at all.

Hopefully we will have a couple of more coaches to add to the 2 we have with a number volunteering to take the assistant coaches course. We now have 6 Coaching Assistants. Joe Hall is taking the Full Coaching Course. Together with Geoff and Gerry we are also taking the run leadership course so that we can build on the success of the Thursday night session from either Crook or Willington. One notable addition is the winter handicap which follows the old handicap course which we had in place when based in Crook and is being sponsored by Inovate. The handicap which is 5K takes place on the last Thursday of the month.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the track sessions on a Tuesday night. There is an enormous variety to each session and the various groups run well so no one should feel out of place.

Our membership of the Northern’s had been discussed a few years ago and in view of the lack of senior members it was felt that it would not be supported and justify the addition costs. The committee have made the decision to join and hopefully it will be well supported. Pleas note these notes were written prior to the event which took place at the end of January.

As you will see in the treasurer’s report the club is financially sound and to try and give something back to the members we are subsiding the presentation night in 2024 with a £10 subsidy for members. This has always been a popular event in the club calendar with an opportunity to enjoy good food as well as rewarding the achievements of the previous year.

Sharon Trevor has organised the Xmas party for a number of years and 2023 was her finale so a big thank you for all the hard work. Big shoes to fill but pleased to confirm that Rob and Caroline Teasdale have agreed to organise the 2024 Xmas Party.

Harry Binyon has held the position of Treasurer since as long as I can remember back in the days when cheques were the norm! With modern banking together with the number of events and the increased numbers can you please remember any transaction if it’s for a race, subscription please put a reference when you make a payment makes Harry’s job a lot easier.

As you know I stepped down from the secretary role and Danny has co-ordinated a lot of work behind the scenes with improving the profile of the club. We now have achievements of all age categories and distances on the web site and again a big thank you to all the hard work which has gone into getting these numbers together. We were also able to obtain a grant from EA which has allowed the club to totally re-vamp the website. I know there are mixed views on why and if this is needed. Certainly, on the basis of trying to attract new members we need a good social media presence.

I cannot remember how long Crook Ed has been going I know we have had a number of editors over the years and this continues to flourish and is envied by a number of other clubs who have nothing like Crook Ed. Enormous thanks to Andy for the work he puts in and I know this sounds like a broken record but we need members to put together articles if everyone just contributes 1 article a year it makes sure Crook Ed can continue.

Our other social media outlet for news has not gone un noticed we lost the way a bit when Craig Downs left the club until Sam Dixon picked up the mantle. Sam decided to step down a few months ago and to continue Sam’s hard work Laura Alliston, Josh Pearson and Mel Riley have agreed to take over. It does seem that we have all bases covered.

The new web site will have further improvements over the coming months including profiles on all the officials and committee members. If we are missing a trick and anyone has other ideas and can help in any way please do not hesitate to come forward.

The club has come a long way since I became Chairman. The old facilities when we were based at Crook to the new and modern track at Shildon. The club championship is not now just a dream and in the development stage but a key part of the club’s activities. Health and fitness throughout the UK is constantly evolving and this has been shown in the numbers showing up at the track both for the seniors and the juniors.

Success also brings problems. We have tried to obtain a more suitable track time for the juniors but unfortunately it is late on a Thursday night. Despite this we have a waiting list but there is nothing we can do without more coaches. All the assistant coaches have agreed to a rota system to help out so hopefully over coming months we as a club will be able to take on new members as the weather improves.

I don’t want to single out any particular performances as this club is not about obtaining PBs all the time. If you just want to take part get out of the house on a regular basis this is fine. Equally the club do provide the environment to develop and work together with other like minded athletes. We are certainly not an elitist club and I for one want to retain our core aim as a friendly club.

Runners of all abilities are recognised at the presentation evening and again a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes. It goes without saying that the awards are voted by the club members other than the captains and president award.

Enjoy your running for 2024, stay fit run with a smile and remember as you get older every day is a PB.

Graham Laverick, Chairman.