Committee Minutes - 17 June 2019

Summary of Actions

Number Action
4.1 PC and Rachelle Dinsdale to provide information to help to prepare a business case for a second paid coach and MSmith to engage with Everyone Active to see if they will be prepared to help with payment for a second coach
4.2 RN to liaise with juniors team to encourage greater participation with the track and field sessions
6.1 SB to confirm any 2017 Lanzarote training only participants
7.1 TP to prepare a one page document to discuss restructure role to cover coaching, track and field, and cross-country and team events.
7.2 Review of arrangements for AGM to be undertaken with MSmith to research school hall availability and price, L'OC to provide contact details for Greycoat Hospital, and SM to confirm the latest date for confirmation/payment of deposit to current venue
11.1 Race director for New Year's Day 10k to be identified

1. Attendees and apologies

Attendees: Lan O’Connor (LO’C), Rhiannon Needham (RN), Sue Barty (SB), Sid Wills (SW), Tom Poynton (TP), Peter Clarke (PC) Maureen Seguin (MS), Mark Smith (MSmith), Samantha Day (SD), Sarah Maisey (SM), Kim Boursnell (KB)

Apologies: Apologies: Jamie Giles (JG), Alex Elferink (AE)

In attendance (part only): Rachelle Dinsdale

2. Minutes from Previous Meeting, Matters Arising, Outstanding Actions

The minutes of the prior meeting were circulated and approved.

All attending reviewed the summary of actions which were reported as duly completed, save as identified below.

Outstanding Actions

Number Action
2.1 L’OC and SD to liaise on discussions with Royal Parks on the options for a duathlon in Hyde Park
2.2 SB will follow up on outstanding volunteer offer
5.1 KB will organise a meeting to discuss Lanzarote planning 
5.2 L’OC/SB/KB will liaise on pricing for Lanzarote 
5.3 SW to explore putting a poster up in the club room for Lanzarote 
6.1 Committee members to provide SB with wording for Life Member certificates 
7.1 RN to follow up in relation to the club’s athletics offering 
7.2 TP to set out for the committee his suggestions for restructure of Endurance Running role 
7.3 SB to send committee members the website description of their respective roles for review and edits 
7.4 MSmith to discuss possible new juniors coach with Everyone Active 

L'OC has assisted on the possibility of a duathlon in Hyde Park. Debbie Clarke has offered support to select a date and to confirm with Royal Parks. Debbie Clarke and SD will coordinate future actions.

SW will put a Lanzarote poster up once sales of the summer party tickets have picked up. A Save the Date notice is already up. Future notices and posters will be discussed with Lanza 2020 team.

Outstanding actions: 15 April

Number Action
2.2 SD will liaise with Royal Parks and discuss options for a duathlon in Hyde Park 
4.1 SB will contact the Sports and Recreation Alliance to see if they have any suggestions in relation to finding a bookkeeper
4.2 RN will see if there is any indication of the time spent by the previous bookkeeper in the invoices
7.1 SD will pull together details about the financial position in relation to the New Year’s Day 10K race
7.2 SB and KB will liaise on issues relating to promotion of the NYD 10K race
7.3 KB will review possibility of a year planner for communications

 25 February 2019

Number Action
6.1 L’OC to arrange a meeting to discuss the club's investment policy
7.1 RN and L’OC to discuss club support for tri events with AE

L’OC has discussed the club’s investments with Debbie Clarke, who is well placed to be able to help.

It is too late in the year to introduce additional support for the tri teams, but this will be introduced for next year.

3. Conflict of interest report

There were no conflicts of interest reported.

4. Juniors

Rachelle Dinsdale joined the meeting for the discussion on the Juniors, to introduce Rachelle to the committee and so the committee could ask any questions. The juniors sessions continue to go well, although unfortunately one of the juniors has left to join Belgrave Harriers as they have a particularly well developed Juniors section.

Rachelle has been playing an important role as the new juniors coach. However, it has become clear that there is a need for a second paid coach. PC thought it was best for MSmith to engage with Everyone Active to see if they will be prepared to help with payment. PC and Rachelle will help to provide full information to help to prepare a business case for a second paid coach for Everyone Active.

RN suggested that it would be good to encourage the Juniors to join in more with the track and field sessions. RN will liaise further on this to encourage greater participation.

PC, Grace Sim and Megan Roberts are all stepping down from the Juniors role for different reasons, which highlights the importance of succession. There was therefore discussion on succession planning for the Juniors committee role.

5. Finance update

RN had provided each member of the committee by email with copies of the most recent bank statements and reported the current levels of the accounts at the meeting.

RN reiterated the importance of finding a bookkeeper to help with the treasurer role.

6. Lanzarote

SB reported on the current position with regard to the refund for the 2017 Lanzarote trip. There had been a query from one person as to whether any refund was due for those who had only paid for training and not for the accommodation. Those who paid for training alone are likely only to have paid at total sum in the region of £150, whereas those who paid for accommodation will have paid significantly more. SB will confirm with those attendees listed as training only.

The new Lanzarote team is making very good progress and has some really good ideas, including to encourage those who have not previously gone on the Lanzarote trip and the possibility of having a number of mentors before and while in Lanzarote. It was agreed that it would be good to help introduce newcomers to the club and as to what activities are more generally available at Club La Santa. LO'C volunteered to be a "mentor/buddy" for a Lanzarote first timer in 2020.

The committee also considered what discount should be given to those in the team for their time and respective roles in organising the trip. It was agreed that three free places should be made available, thereby providing a 50% discount to each of the six members on the organising committee. Members of the organising team introduced themselves to the committee.

7. Committee roles and AGM planning

There was discussion as to those roles where committee members were standing down, or planning to stand down, at the AGM. The committee will definitely need a new Treasurer. There was also discussion about the Race Organisation role.

TP introduced a discussion about ideas for re-structuring the Endurance Running role, about which he had emailed members of the committee in advance of the meeting. The role currently covers two key parts - coaching and team events. TP has covered the athletics role on the committee for the last year. For the future, TP identified that there are three different areas: coaching, track and field, and cross-country and team events. TP queried whether the Participation role could also encompass the latter. TP agreed to prepare a one page document to discuss this further.

It was agreed that it would be helpful to have photos of committee members and a couple of lines about the respective committee roles in the club room or in the corridor outside the club room.

There was discussion about the venue for the AGM and whether there might be a possibility of finding a cheaper venue, maybe for next year, for example a local school. MSmith agreed to research school hall availability and price. L'OC will provide contact details for Greycoat Hospital, and SM will confirm the latest date for confirmation/payment of deposit to current venue.

8. Club strategy refresh

L’OC introduced this item. Two of those who responded to the email to club members asking for help were particularly interested in club strategy and had specific relevant experience. One of the aims will be to consider how to take advantage of all activities now available to runners and other athletes, such as Iron Man and Park Run events. The aim will also be to consider what the club might do in terms of taking a lead on sustainability. However, all of this will be in collaboration with club members and club members will be asked for help in coming up with an agreed approach. It was agreed that it would be important to take into account the views of those representing different aspects of the club’s community.

9. Items from committee reports

There were no items raised from the committee reports.

10. Next committee meeting

The next committee meetings will be on Monday 22 July and 9 September, with pre-AGM issues also being covered by email.

11. Any other business

TP queried whether everything was in hand with regard to the plans for the summer grand prix series in June and July comprising 1km and 5km road races and 1 mile and 3000m track races only open to club members. The races are respectively on Saturday 29 June in Hyde Park (1k), Tuesday 9 July (1 mile) at the Paddington Track, Tuesday 16 July (3000m) at the Paddington Track, and Thursday 25 July (5k) at Battersea Park.

The need for a race director for the New Year’s Day 10k run was also discussed.

Committee Reports

Honorary Chairman

It has been a short time since our last committee meeting and that time has been dominated by two main themes. Lanzarote past and future plans, and moving forward on a number of outstanding items.
Lanzarote 2017 refunds have now started to be processed. We are in touch with everyone who was at the camp and due a refund. Thanks to everyone who has replied. And thanks to the team and Treasurer who will be processing these payments.
We launched the Lanzarote 2020 team who are now busy setting up plans for the camp starting on March 5th 2020. A team of six volunteers met with some of us involved in prior years and with Club Communications Lead and Secretary to launch the team and run through planning documentation. Look out for their emails and invitation to the launch event soon.
I met with Debbie Clarke who had offered to help the club out with researching options for managing the club finances to ensure a good and safe rate of return on savings. Debbie is working with the Treasurer and the committee to discuss these options. We will update on this as it evolves. Thank you Debbie for your research so far.
We continue to review committee roles, to ensure no individual is overloaded and that we develop these roles in line with club needs. To that extent the secretary has shared committee role descriptions with the committee members to identify any gaps and any work we need to do to refresh these. This will be reviewed at upcoming committee meetings, alongside the earlier initiative to build teams around managing club activities.
A next focus will be on the website development project. This has slowed a bit due to a critical step (user experience) being slow to get going, down to resource availability. The project team led by Tony Gould has done great work on content management and user requirements so far.
As an aside, in my coaching role we have had good attendance at pool and open water swimming as the race season develops. The Monday swim team is testing out an approach to increase swim participation and provide more input and education alongside direct swim training.

Honorary Treasurer

I do not have much to report on for this month.
We are still looking for a bookkeeper to help with the reconciliation of the club accounts. This has become extremely urgent as we need these done for the AGM.
Succession planning for the treasurer role has only just started as I shall be stepping down at the AGM.
I have been keeping on top of the usual invoices and expenses. Apologies to those who experienced a delay over the past few weeks. This was due to me needing to concentrate on studying for (and taking) my exams for my degree.
I have also started to pay the Lanzarote 2017 refunds.

Honorary Secretary

It feels like it has been a busy few weeks again, although it has been a relatively short time since the last committee meeting.
A lot of my time has been spent on Lanzarote. It is brilliant that we have a great team put together to plan the 2020 trip - Kim in particular has put a lot of hard work into this. I have also been spending a significant amount of time in relation to the 2017 refund, both in terms of the various emails to those on the 2017 trip, but also to try and reconcile some of the finer details.
I was pleased to be able to help at the Last Friday of the Month, and had an opportunity to have a good chat with Malcolm French about a couple of issues.
Planning for the AGM is starting.
We are also looking at the descriptions of the different committee roles to bring these up to date, and a number of committee members have edited their respective descriptions.


Interest in Monday swimming at Seymour continues to be good and improving. There are still spaces at London Bridge though. Attendance at St Pancras isn't that good currently.
Fantastic and successful trip to Ocean Lava Montenegro in Kotor. Already talk of another trip next year to Kotor or another race.
Now half way through the year for club championship races. Next up is this Sunday 23rd The Bridge Tri Olympic distance champs. The planned duathlon champs race has been cancelled. Need to find another one.
Not a lot of interest in the tri relays in Nottingham. No one is coming forward to organize and there are not many interested athletes.


There were some great performances by the kids at the last MYAL and we have been busy preparing for the next MYAL at Parliament Hill on 23/6. We had some very good results at London Schools Championships, not least Jonah (1st, 800m) and Shiloh (2nd, 200m). Succession planning continues in advance of three departures from current Juniors roles in September (Grace, Megan and Peter). Head Coach Rachelle Dinsdale is attending Committee on 17th June to meet everyone and to give a general update from the ground and offer suggestions, which will help inform Committee on the most pressing issues facing the Juniors.


In the last few weeks I have mostly been focused on bringing together and supporting the Lanza 2020 organising team. Following a very productive first meeting on 31 May, our 6 enthusiastic team members are now well up-and-running! I will be supporting them with the marketing and comms for next year’s trip, as we prepare for the official launch.
Tom Poynton contacted the club website modernisation team, and has put me in touch with them so I can follow up. The project is ongoing and I hope to meet with one or two of the team in the next couple of weeks, to gain an overview and see how I can contribute.
A club member contacted me to share his idea of collecting good condition, second-hand training kit items for donation to the Malawi athletics team. We are keen to involve the club members, and are targeting July’s Last Wednesday of the Month for a ‘drop-off’ date, when Serpies can bring donated items to Seymour Centre. Further details will follow, ahead of this date.
A busy 2-months with personal and work commitments means I have yet to organise additional support for the Communications role - this is despite receiving generous offers of assistance from several club members. Addressing this matter is my primary focus for July.       

Club Runs & Mentoring

Not much to report as not much time since the last meeting. Carried out my normal Wednesday night and Saturday morning duties.
Nominated and sent details of new Mental Health Champions to England Athletics. The Saturday morning beginners’ group has been reformulated as a Run and Talk group with Mental Health Champions involved. I have designed a t-shirt specifically for the Saturday morning initiative. As a group we will eventually put together a leaflet to encourage those apprehensive about running.Bought new towels and tea towels and continued maintenance of the Club rooms. Special thanks to Brian Pickles and Sammy Li for consistent support as well as those who help on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I’d like to make special mention of Adrian Kerr and Emma Canning who are regularly help at the gate on
Wednesday evenings, making my role much easier.
I am watching any changes in access in Hyde Park due to summer concerts. Temporary closure of the main hall at the Seymour has meant rerouting members to the Club rooms


London Marathon team champions
The Serpentine men’s team of Nick Torry, Will Green and Andy Greenleaf have been confirmed as winning the England Athletics team championship - their medals have now arrived and these will be presented to them at the first suitable opportunity. Nick has also been selected to run for England in the Frankfurt Marathon on 27 October. In slightly slower time we will need to consider how we maintain and consolidate our position at a time when standards continue to rise across the country and how we can best use this to inspire others in the club and to share the knowledge and expertise that has been built up within the club. In particular our women’s squad continues to improve (for example see the WCR report below) and we should be able to find more ways to enable this to continue.
Men’s team captain
I am in the process of finding a new men’s road relays captain as Dani de Palol returns to Spain next month. Dani has done a great job in his time as captain and I would very much like to thank him for all his hard work. Phil Whitehouse will continue his role but we do really need two people doing this rather than one.
Dan Robinson seminar
Many thanks to everyone who attended the talk by Dan Robinson (3 June), a PhD sports psychology student at the University of Wolverhampton involved in the England Athletics Marathon Development Programme. This proved a lively and interesting session and our club members had a lot of useful insights and questions that made it very much a two-way discussion. His slides, plus my quick-and-dirty-notes are now on the website. I hope to continue our involvement with Dan as his research progresses and to hold similar seminars on other topics.
Thanks to David Chalfen for speaking to the Let’s Get Running podcast – this did make me think that we could do more things like this to show the wider running community what we do and how you can get more out of your running by joining our club.
Last Half Training Run
Continuing to gather feedback from participants. We do seem to have problems in recruiting pace group leaders which can result in some runners not being guided along the route, which reduces the impact of the session. This is normally held two weeks before the London Marathon, and in 2020 Easter Sunday takes place on 12 April and the marathon on 26 April so we might well have more problems in finding enough volunteers at a weekend when so many people might be away (I will be anyway!) so I would be minded not to hold it next year should I still be in post.
Welsh Castles Relay
Many thanks to Natasha Sheel, Sophie Flanagan, Megan Roberts, Adrian Kerr, Thom Martini and Margaret King for all their hard work to organise our two teams at the WCR (8 & 9 June). This was a huge logistical exercise but those who took part gave a lot of very positive feedback in particular (1) newer members welcomed the opportunity to get to know other club members (2) around now being more likely to try other club sessions and events (3) several said that they were inspired by their team members and motivated to improve their running and (4) how much fun and enjoyment was fitted into the weekend. Final results are taking some time to come through, but our women’s’ team were particularly impressive and we are pretty confident that they came a close second.
Green Belt Relay
Liaising with Sarah Maisey and Luke Parker about lessons learnt from this year’s event (the first one in which they had sole responsibility after Ian Hodge stepped down) and considering how we might best organise our 2020 entry.
Club champs races
Continue to promote the half-marathon club champs race (Maidenhead on 1 September) and will shortly promote the 10k club champs race (Middlesex and Open on 29 September).
Grand Prix (responsibility of race secretary)
Initiated the process of finding key volunteers and raising the profile of the event within the club before handing this back to the race secretary to pick up.
Athletics role - currently vacant committee post, but I volunteered to raise any issues to the committee on this. I very much hope we can get someone in post to cover this on the committee at September’s AGM.
(a) Cross country
The Met League will need a team manager for the 2019/20 season.
Thanks to Malcolm French for representing the club at the ECCA's AGM on 18 May in Derby. No club submitted any proposal to amend the rules relating to the race distances for the National and so they will remain unchanged for 2020. There are likely to be changes in the cross country licencing system to align it more closely RunBritain's road race event standards. Wollaton Park Nottingham will host the 2020 National. Race arrangements will be very similar to when it was last held there three years ago. The entry fee will be going up by £1 per entrant to cover increased costs.
It is hoped that the National Cross Country Relays will be hosted at Berry Hill Park, Mansfield but much uncertainty surrounds the future management of the park. The ECCA has a Plan B should the park shut and/or be partly developed as a housing estate.
Parliament Hill Fields is the proposed venue for the 2021 National and it's likely to be held one week later than usual, on 6 March 2021, as a one-off and at the request of UKA, due to the World Cross Country Championships (the inter-counties will also be moved to a slightly earlier date). Serpentine will be asked to assist with the marshalling (for which the club will be paid) and also with course set-up in the two days before the race.
We will be hosting the North London XC Champs at Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday, 2 November.
Malcolm French has received the UKA licence, has permission from Hammersmith & Fulham Council, paid the Council for a 2-hour booking, and Thames Valley Harriers have provisionally agreed that we can use their clubhouse subject to our cleaning it after the competition. Malcolm has all the competition equipment needed other than two reels of tape. Medical cover needs to be booked.
(b) Track and field
Our second and third home T&F meetings are coming up in July - 3rd is Rosenheim and 13th is SAL. Our home fixtures are the responsibility of the race secretary to organise but happy to discuss how this can best be done. Rosenheim will be a problem as Malcolm French is not around and the only other person we have who could be field referee is Sally Hodge but she won't be able to get there until 6pm at best which is rather late to start organising stuff. Ian Hodge will contact our officials to remind them and send a mail to the club to get general help. Ian will also be stepping down as SAL and Rosenheim representative, and from the SAL committee. Ian will also not be able to officiate from next year onwards, which means the club will be short of our only L2 timekeeper and a L2 field judge (leaving only Malcolm qualified to lead long throws) for next season. Whoever takes this role on in September will need to take action to get more people qualified to officiate, otherwise we will put our participation in the various T&F leagues at severe risk.

Strategic Partnerships

No meaningful updates since the last meeting. Current priorities include past Lanzarote camp related matters, any discussions with EveryOne Active, and updating the club discounts and offers to members on the website.


The social sub-team met in May to discuss the Summer party and also other wqys that we can regularly engage members in social gatherings. We agreed that having a specified meet up place (ie usually a pub!) after big races that attracted high numbers of member participation was always well received. We agreed that the best way to deal with these was to identify the relevant big events and then approach suitable participants to organise the pub rather than always doing it ourselves (although we would coordinate on the communications side). Along these lines a social was organised at the Buckingham Arms for after the Vitality 10K on 27th May which was well attended. I am currently in the process of identifying further races and relevant organisers.
Plans for the summer party are well underway. The date has been set for 17th August (so as to avoid any major Serpie events or races the next day) and the venue will be The White Horse pub near Liverpool St Station. We will have the whole venue and the minimum spend is £3000 which should be reasonably easy to meet as this includes money we will spend on food. We have set out plans for a fancy dress theme, prizes, food, a welcome drink and are currently exploring options for music and other potential entertainment. I will be coordinating with Ian Hodge shortly to set up ticket sales and make the announcement via email/ the website.
Other than organising the summer party in the coming month I will be firming up arrangements with the Victory Services club for the AGM and also reviewing the social secretary role as a whole.

Race organisation

Since the last report I have met with David Cull and Lee Tolentino to distribute our tasks in preparation for our upcoming races. Lee is now helping share the responsibilities due to David and myself having unforeseeable extra commitments and circumstances crop up and making things difficult. We would like to thank Lee for making himself available and willing to take on responsibilities.
I have undertaken the regular tasks of purchasing the needed awards for our races.
I have also spoken to some members about joining the committee.
Along with other committee members, I have also been giving input into revising the committee roles, updating the responsibilities and aims.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped in any capacity, put on our club races and as usual, put out a call for volunteers for our regular and seasonal events. It is you who keeps the great tradition of club running going.