It may have been the lure of the free pizza, but we had an excellent turn-out for this year’s Annual General Meeting, with a good mix of older and newer members looking for an update on the state of the club.
Although the meeting has to include certain formalities, we have tried in recent years to keep it relatively short and sharp, focusing on the things critical to the club’s success: diving, training, membership, money and assets.
The presentations and minutes will be made available to members; in the meantime, here are the key points.
The year in bullet points
- Fully back to normal, with 68 days of diving, 47 of them in the UK.
- Diving Officer Nick Barter achieved his objective of over 1,000 dives (not counting the late November training trip); this despite three Portland weekends being blown out.
Training & Diver Development
- 15 instructors and eight assistant instructors took in 21 try divers and four Go Divers, and helped run two Ocean Diver courses and two Sports Diver courses.
- They also ran various skill development courses and informal training and refresher sessions for members.
- Our bank balance is healthy and in line with previous years; our 2023 surplus will, as usual, be reinvested in the club boats, van and kit.
- We will need to be in a position to replace one of the boat engines in the next couple of years, at a cost of around £20k.
- Training trip and diving fees have been increased to reflect rising costs of fuel, etc, as well as increases in pool hire.
- We have 124 members in total; we’ve lost a few over the year, but have also gained 26 new members.
- Our female membership remains around 33% (BSAC overall 25%) and we have a good proportion of younger members.
Assets: boats, van & kit
- Two boats and a van allow the club to be independent, but cost us around £4–6k a year to keep in service.
- We have introduced – and will continue to update – more stringent maintenance regimes; and we were lucky enough to be gifted a new van engine this year.
- Quite a lot of our dive kit needs servicing at the moment – faults should be reported accurately through the tagging system.
- We have gained a couple of new van drivers/towers, but more are required.
Our 2023 Goal: Rebuild the community
We first set a club goal in April 2021 when, following the pandemic, the committee felt we needed a clear sense of shared purpose. At the same time, we agreed a set of values, behaviours and aspirations that continue to guide our decisions, although we keep them under review.
Having retained the same goal for two years, we are now confident that it has been achieved, as evidenced by: busy pool nights; more members doing more diving; a growing cohort of Dive Managers enjoying improved support; more regular and engaging member communications; a growing programme of social activities, including a well-attended BBQ at John Davies’s house; and some very active new members.
We also reached outside our own community this year, giving 12 14–19 year-olds an opportunity to try snorkelling and scuba diving as part of Islington’s Summerversity.
Our Goal for 2024: Build for the future
Next year, we want to consolidate that success and make sure that the club runs on solid foundations and as effectively and efficiently as possible. We’ve already got a great programme of diving organised and some headline objectives that the new committee will be fleshing out at its first meeting in January. We’re looking forward to an even busier, more successful year than 2023!
In the meantime, if you want to make a suggestion for how the club can work better for you, speak to any committee member or drop me a line at email@example.com.
Our 2024 Committee
Chair: Elaine Hendry
Treasurer: Chris Wilson
Secretary: Amanda Carr
Diving Officer: Gillian Bell
Membership Officer: Fiona McCrindle
Equipment Officer: Nick Silk
Training Officer: Debbie Pippard
Skills Development Officer: Cassi Harrison
Dive Leader/Advanced Diver Training & Web Officer: Nick Barter
Bo’sun (boats officer): Steve Walsh
Communications Officer: Rebecca Oliver
Social Secretary: Pranav Murugappan
NB A new Committee webpage is under construction so that you’ll be able to spot us more easily at the pool, the pub and on dive trips.
Our 2023 Award Winners!
The best bit of every AGM is when we recognise members who have particularly stood out over the year.
And the winners are …
Trainee of the Year: Dan Mackenzie
Advanced Trainee of the Year: Giovanni Corriga
Instructor of the Year: Michael Holliday
Eddie Beagley Award for Adventurous Diving: Cathy Kremer
John Rycroft Award for Diver of the Year: Steve Walsh
Thanks to all who attended the AGM, and to everybody who helped the club to achieve so much in 2023. See you all in 2024!