March here already – this momentous year for sport is marching on, toward the excitement for us, and all Olympic sports, of what is rightly called the biggest show on earth. This Chairman message is triggered by a chat with a member and volunteer, who gave me some advice. In brief, the key advice was – you and BF are trying to do too much; we should all just enjoy this wonderful year, because it ain’t going to come round again.
This made me stop and think. Always a good thing. The Board of BF under my chairmanship is indeed engaged in a programme of change – which is rarely easy or comfortable. I did set it all out to the AGM, but let me repeat the main points here, so that all members are clear what we seek to do and why.
The Board’s aims are summarized in the 3 G strategy. The “Green” part refers to our governance of ourselves and the sport, for which these days there are high standards to meet, if you want to justify funding from Government bodies and the National Lottery and sponsors,. Our stated aim (from before my time as Chair) is to be a “world class governing body”. It is clear that many of our members, volunteers and partners do not think we are there yet. The Board believes it is essential to be as good as we can be. We have progressed from a “Red” rating some 12 months ago (which means, no public funding) to a “Green” now. But we know we cannot be complacent. Therefore, I announced at the AGM three further important reviews – of the Board, of Head Office and of our Committee structure. The first two Reviews are just about completed, watch this space for some announcements soon, which will require an EGM for you, the members, to agree the changes we will propose.
Everyone knows our aims under the “Grow” and “Gold” agendas. The results are not yet there. We are rethinking and planning on Grow, ready for a new submission to Sport England in May for funding in the years 2013 to 2017. We are also busy on a similar submission to UK Sport for “Gold” funding in the same period. We will be consulting as widely as we can on both sets of plans and proposals.
All this is, I believe, of critical importance to the well being and growth of fencing in Britain. And part of it is of course our determination to keep improving our customer service. We cannot and will not take our members’ support for granted. If at any time you feel we do – call or mail me. Feedback is vital.
So, yes, we are busy on a process of change. I’m sorry for any uncertainty caused – but I agree, we must all make the most of this home Olympic year. Enjoyment remains legal and good for the heart!
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