Minutes of GB Freestyle Committee Meeting – 06/09/18– 1930

Minutes of GB Freestyle Committee Meeting – 06/09/18 – 1930

Posted on July 14, 2018 by Andrew Jackson

Minutes of GB Freestyle Committee Meeting – 06/09/18– 1930
Attendance & Apologies
Andrew Jackson – Chairman
Josh Wedgewood – Vice Chairman

Nicola Beeby – Treasurer
Gav Barker – Member
Justin Bunn – Welsh Representative
Craig Ayres

Tim Ward – Team Manager
Lee Parry – Events

Conflict of Interest
• None noted

  1. Follow Up Actions from previous meeting
    Follow Up Actions from previous meetings and messages

    1. Chairman’s request of 25/8/18
      1. to find a secretary – Advertise on FB and Website – JW to action
      2. FYP launch Meeting – to be held on 13 September – JW and AJ to action
  • Annual awards – do we want to nominate anyone? Bev – JW will do nomination
  1. BC Future leaders message – anyone? We couldn’t think of anyone
  1. August Committee Meeting
    1. CA to contact Bruce et al around Scottish freestyle. Further follow up with CA – suggest NB takes this on
    2. We will run another HPP Females session. NB to organise – consideration of new Development Pathway to be made and these workshops to be aligned.
  • JW to review Terms of Reference and action as appropriate.
  1. JW to Start thinking about an ACM. Nottingham last year. Could we do multiple locations and have a google hangout to connect people. Does this meet the requirements of the ACM? Need to agree on this at September committee meeting to allow for 40 days notice to be given. 10 November HPP set JW TO notify via web channels
  1. Success Monitoring – Euro Open a huge success (data to follow) – key point Live scoring on a tv with our home system at Euro open., euro championships 1 Gold, 1 Bronze and more paddlers progressing through rounds than in previous championships.
  2. Finance and Budget – Accounts hand over in October all going to plan NB? NB to talk to Bev about this
  3. 4 Year Plan – 13 September meeting (as above)
  4. Events –
    1. AS to compile event organiser check list
    2. Selection dates 31 March HPP with Back up 27 April (AJ has asked TW to change this Back Up as it clashes with a YGFS at Nene’ – JW to Publish.
  5. Welsh & Scottish Matters
    1. Welsh 15th September – Freestyle meet being hosted by Vanessa Hiller @ CIWW (following in from her attendance at ladies freestyle session at HPP)
    2. 6th October- Final Ciww Freestyle league event
    3. Ceufad (Canoe Wales Magazine) September 2018 edition – Younguns article written by JB included and front cover shot. Also coverage of European Freestyle champs included.
    4. Held a meeting with Ben @ Ciww to set dates for next years Freestyle league and Welsh Open (6/5/19) – agreement in principle to use any public sessions – will await all other dates on calendar to avoid potential clashes. Raised issue of no dedicated freestyle coach when Tyler leaves at Xmas.
    5. Scottish- RD not able to attend
  6. Welfare – no update – AS not able to attend
  7. Team Matters –
    1. Team Matters – From July meeting committee feedback on what to do if Athletes do not abide to the athlete agreement. Parked until tim represent . AJ to place in Agenda for October meeting
    2. TW report from the Euros – 2018 Team Managers report
      1. Selection – This year a new format was trialed for selection with the two events run in one day. This was done in an effort to reduce volunteer’s time input and travel expenses. This format also significantly reduces costs for entrants.

We had very good weather for the day at HP which undoubtedly helped but overall the response from athletes and judges was good.

I posted a request for feedback to seniors and judges as they have more experience of previous events to make a comparison. Feedback was universally positive other than some misgivings about how it would have gone if the weather was not on our side. There were also valid suggestions that the judges briefing could be more thorough for the benefit of new entrants.

We had 41 entries, the number probably boosted by the reduced cost of the format.

  1. Competition

As I had suspected from comments heard when the venue was announced several of our athletes who won places in selection opted not to take them giving us a reduced team of 15, covering 16 places as Matt Stephenson qualified in JMK1 and C1. In the first year of equal numbers for men and women we filled three of five places in MK1 and four of five places in WK1. Claire O’Hara also declined her performance place for personal reasons. Late in the process Alex Walters decided to withdraw leaving a place vacant which was filled by reserve Alex Ludlow.

We competed in Bratislava, Slovakia on the Cunovo artificial course which has two channels, the main channel hosting a European U18 and U23 Championships running concurrently with our event.

As I predicted we were unfortunately overshadowed by the larger event throughout the competition.

GB Slalom were courteous towards us and as helpful as they were able given they had their own work to do but there were a number of areas where we felt very much the underdog supporting event.

I feel feedback should be given to the ECA regarding in no particular order:

  1. Bibs, slaloms were tailored to fit, ours were baggy and athletes tied knots in them to stop them flapping about.
  2. “Jumbotron” screens. There were two, side by side showing the same pictures almost exclusively slalom.
  3. Hoardings and info boards. All photos of slalom and minimal textual mention of freestyle.
  4. Total exclusion for all but slalom on the main channel whereas we had slalom paddlers, SUPs and others coming through our feature at times throughout the event, despite raising the problem.
  5. Yet again no shade for heat groups waiting on the water to start. This could have been provided easily. Also no shade for our spectators.
  6. Security guards made life difficult as only security guards can.
  7. Car parking onsite was unnecessarily restricted during the competition. Only one pass was given per nation which went to slalom. We fought eventually successfully to be given parity.
  8. Our parents and supporters were expected to pay to watch. Again after an extended fight we were given passes but these did not allow them to cross certain bridges, even on the way out.
  9. Organisers were difficult to track down and it was apparent that they were often overruled by the top layer of the event management.
  10. The campsite is very basic and sanitary provision was poorly maintained throughout the event.
  11. Vehicle breakins were again a problem, day and night. It seems much thought was given to stopping spectators wandering into the wrong area whilst no security cover was in place to protect their possessions.
  12. Throughout our finals there were four white plastic chairs in prime position in the judges tent marked “Reserved VIP” These remained unused for all of the finals that I watched although Albert Woods was there in the tent for several finals. I had to miss the men’s final so don’t know if any VIPs turned up for that. This looked awful and sent a hugely negative message to the spectators on the opposite bank.
  13. The rules require us to provide assistants to the judges and we rely initially on parents and supporters for these roles. The negative feeling re our treatment caused resentment to my requests for help although we did pull through in the end.
  14. Event “Banquet” A banquet for VIPs, organisers, judges and Team Leaders was arranged to follow the opening ceremony. It soon became apparent that the invitation was not extended to freestyle team leaders as they were not required to pay accreditation. A very expensive dinner at €160! The ensuing conversation led to me reclaiming €640 as we had actually paid for team leader and coaches.

The competition itself ran very well and spot on time apart from a couple of one or two minute delays, nothing considering the havoc the heat was playing with scoring tablets and microphones.

We came away with two medals, gold in JWK1 and bronze in JMK1, two fourths and two fifths. This represents 37.5% achieving finals ie top five, an increase on last year.

Creditable performances (other than medalists of course) were, Matt Stephenson for outscoring our experienced C1 pair and in a very old boat design, Matt Stephenson and Alex Ludlow for making final from unpromising semi positions. Abi Goddard for making final in her first international, as was Alex.

Bruce and Chris, in my opinion were excellent in their coaching role and it was undoubtedly their intervention that took Matt and Alex through from semis into the final.

Gemma and Anna from British Canoeing were once again totally supportive and all of my requests for help were dealt with rapidly and efficiently.

We need to review the team uniform provision as the current set from BC, being of man made fibres are unpleasant to wear in hot weather. I have also had requests to consider sourcing team shorts as we are almost always competing in hot environments.

  1. Publicity –Web and FB channels now open ALL committee now need to get active posting
  2. Selection Policy and Review –
    1. GB to chat with Den about another person on Selection Panel …..
    2. Not offering places past team selected – from July meeting… Committee statement on this matter. GB to create this
    3. Mitigation application fee – GB thought this would become unnecessary as the new policy will make clear that decision is final.
  3. Chairman’s Update
    1. Response to Alan Ward comments about Squirt. (from July) – The Committee agreed that we would very much go in the direction suggested by Performance Director Dennis Newton. AJ to communicate with Alan Ward
    2. Three person panel to sanction spend up to £500 on projects – AJ with NB to set up a spending guidance and authorisation procedure
    3. Moving meetings to new structure reporting on FYP – Over the next few months the meeting structure will start to evolve so that it respresents reporting on our FYP. JW and AJ to lead this
  4. AOB – Document for Jon on scoring system – JW put together a requirement document.

The meeting Closed at 2045
Minutes prepared by Andrew Jackson- Chairman
Minutes checked by Gav Barker – Committee member