This has been a tough summer for politics within snow sports in the UK. The Annual General Meeting of Snowsport England (SSE) was the latest challenge for the politicians to overcome. After 14 months of discussion and consultation with the members of SSE, when it came to the moment to vote on … the change to the trading name to Snowsport England Limited and then how the voting classes would be defined, nit picking over the little things took precedent for those in the room. The more successful the sport can become across all the disciplines almost seems irrelevant as the nitpicking became more of a focus. The issue of communication and who controlled the flow of information raised its head again.

The main issue for the membership that attended the AGM was whether the clubs held the power in the flow of information or whether this was bypassed. Sport across the disciplines and in general needs to move forward: 15 years ago communication was more via the postal services, in 2014 and going into 2015 the internet, email and social networks are much more prevalent and it is now the challenge to keep contact details up to date through all the mediums. This is the challenge for all parties. The Gatekeeper of information is now technology rather than positions within organisations, whether that be club or governing body.

While there was debate over whether the clubs were to be bypassed in the grand scheme of things, both motions were carried comfortably.

The flow of information debate some felt focussed on whether people knew what they were voting for adding that it was open to challenge and that there was a blind faith in the leadership. Alan Jones, an honorary member, added that the new articles were ‘too simplistic and unclear’ adding that he felt they had ‘not been thought through sufficiently at this stage.’

Bryan Thomas, Financial Director for SSE, responded to these comments by saying that the clubs will still have a role.

Jeremy Eaton, Chair of Snowsport England said: “It has taken us 18 months to get to this point and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the debate around the change in articles and engaged in the consultation. This is a big step forward for Snowsport England and it is just the start of a of a longer process to modernise the NGB and work towards being a high performing NGB as outlined by Sport England.”

Tim Fawke Chief Executive said:” We will now work with the Clubs, Regions and Key Committees in building on the changes that the new Articles allow us to do. I would like to reassure everyone that everyone is registered with Snowsport England that this will not impact on their membership and in time will bring additional benefits. This is an exciting time for the development of Snowsport England and I hope we can all work together to move the sport along.” 

With only 37 of the 87 affiliated clubs sending in votes, one of the hardest problems that the Board has it seems is encouraging more participation in the running of the sport. Chairman of the Board, Jeremy Eaton explained that there are a couple of places on the board that are now vacant and that he is looking for skiing related people to apply to fill them. If you would like to discuss this further, contact Jeremy Eaton directly.

With the voting issues sorted there were presentations on the financial status of SSE by Bryan Thomas, the Chairman’s report in which he announced the two Chairman’s awards to Jenny Jones and a posthumous award to Alan Russell from Norfolk and a presentation by Tim Fawke, CEO, on the way the SSE will be going forward with reference on the numbers involved.

SSE AGM Voting

 Picture: David Ryding Credit – Racer Ready, all rights reserved