Thanks to all those who attended or passed on their apologies for the Club Meeting – Meet the New GM – on Monday night. There was good robust debate about several issues and it’s great to see the passion and commitment people have for their club.
Among the items discussed were:
- Danielle Ralph’s new role
She’ll be joining the team on a permanent fulltime basis as a development officer/events assistant. She’ll have a focus on providing support to junior development, developing school-based programmes, and creating pathways for junior riders. It also builds on the role she’s had around events with an eye to developing her experience and knowledge around planning and running these.
- Health and Safety changes and policies
The new law comes into effect in April and considerable work is being done by myself, Adam McLeay and Sport Southland representatives to collaboratively develop robust and manageable H&S policies in various areas as well as comprehensive Risk Action Plans.
I made it clear that it’s no longer possible to avoid H&S issues or to underplay them – they are at the heart of all our planning around events and are a core part of how we have to operate.
A “she’ll be right” attitude will no longer suffice and we have to be proactive around protecting all those involved with our racing both on the track and road.
It doesn’t mean the “fun police” will shut down events, it means we have to be thorough in our policies and activities to ensure that we’ve made things as safe as possible. This is an important area for the club.
- Member Protection Policy including police vetting
As part of the H&S work being done, we’ll also be updating and tweaking the Member Protection Policy, affirming the club’s position around police vetting and developing a simple process for this to happen. This will bring us in line with the new Vulnerable Children Act.
- Progression plan for junior riders
One of the things talked about was that as part of the current H&S review, it’s become clear that there needs to be a system to allow junior riders to progress through from beginner to race level at a defined standard. This will help us to mitigate risk at racing events. It also gives the young riders something to aspire to and a tangible record of the effort they’ve put in. This will be an ongoing and gradual process with Danielle working with the coaches.
I have concerns, from an H&S perspective, about inexperienced riders taking part in events that they’re not quite ready for but are racing because of their age. In conjunction with the coaches, Danielle will be developing a simple system to ensure those riding races are not only physically capable but also have the right training and experience to take part. Having a policy will eliminate any confusion over this.
- Welcome to the Club packs
We will introduce a ‘Welcome to the Club’ pack for new members that:
- Outlines the ABC of competitive cycling (importance of getting the right size bike, gearing, how to change a tyre, training needs, the types of races etc)
- Also outlines the expectations of the rider AND the parents/grandparents/caregivers.
- Invites them to learn new roles within the club (timekeeping, wheel changing, how to hold riders, how to marshal and use flags.
We also hope to hold a training camp/series of evenings giving riders the chance to learn the basics of bike maintenance: how to change wheels and tyres, tensions, chains etc to help them become more self-sufficient.
- Coaches and commissaire training course
Cycling NZ has indicated they are keen to hold a coaches foundation training course in Invercargill on May 6-8. The cost is $250, of which Cycling Southland will pay half upon completion of the course. If you are interested please get in touch with me.
I’ve also approached CNZ about a commissaire course. They could potentially hold one later in the year if there was enough interest. Again, please get in touch if it’s something you want us to push for. Costs and dates are yet to be determined but expressions of interest will assist.
- Update on the Regional Performance Hub
There is ongoing work around this happening but there’s little to report on at this stage. CNZ are focussing on it but the start date is more likely to be around April-May now. I’ll hopefully have more details later this month.
- Age Group Track National planning (March 9-13)
Planning is well underway but we would appreciate more volunteers putting their hand up to assist. If you want to take part and give something back to the club, plus gain experience at an event ‘behind the scenes’ please get in touch. Even if it’s just for one session, any assistance would be appreciated. It’s an intense five days of racing what we learn from this event will be invaluable for next year when we host the elites AND the age groups.
Other things discussed
Include licensing requirements for races – effectively, if you’re riding one of the club’s events you should be licensed. (Clarification is being sought on this and will be clearly conveyed to all members.)
What level of certification is required before we let someone on the track – including out-of-towners? (This is a work in progress.)
Can we run a showcase of the Southland riders who performed so well at the elites? (Timing is a challenge but it’s being given some thought.)
How can we use our members and parents to the best advantage for the club? (Don’t be surprised if you’re shoulder-tapped to assist at some event.)
If you couldn’t make the evening but want to find out more or if you have some ideas or feedback to offer then please get in touch.
Finally, a survey will be going out to all members in the next two weeks – I look forward to hearing your constructive thoughts on what could be done to continue the good work the club is doing.