June 17, 2007

Facts and figures from the RCCC AGM

Only one hundred of Scotland's 568 curling clubs sent representatives to the Royal Club's AGM at Glenrothes yesterday, see previous post. There had been a general invitation to all curlers, although a mailing glitch saw members all receive invitations addressed to someone else. Chairman Mike Ferguson made an apology at the AGM. "Lessons have been learned," he says. Still, there seemed to be a good turnout of non-voting members for the two and a half hour meeting.

Financially, the Royal Club appears in good shape, with a £9,000 surplus in the Annual Accounts, and membership fees for next year remain unchanged (£16 for ordinary members, with reduced fees for juniors aged 18-21 at £8, and £4 for those under 18). The number of registered curlers in Scotland at March 31, 2007, was 12,791, plus 797 juniors, down slightly from 13,140 with 781 juniors last year.

Income from grants (particularly from sportscotland) continues to increase ..... to £427,000 this year, and this of course has allowed the new initiatives in the National Academy announced recently.

The election results for the two vacancies for Elected Directors on the Board were also announced yesterday. The three candidates were Irene Hird (Dollar Ladies), Lockhart Steele (Lesmahagow), William Nicoll (Bank of Scotland - Fife).

A total of 238 clubs cast a postal vote, of which 219 were considered to be valid. Each club could pick up to two candidates. The numbers recorded for each were:
Lockhart Steele - 187
Irene Hird - 144
William Nicoll - 80

Irene and Lockhart will now serve on the Board for three years. Other members include Mike Ferguson (Chairman), Bob Tait, Jeanette Johnston, Anne Malcolm and Colin Grahamslaw (CEO), plus Tommy Hinnigan, the Royal Club President who was elected unopposed at the AGM yesterday.

The postal voting for these posts can certainly be seen as successful. The previous problem with spoilt ballot papers, although still present, is much improved. The background to this? The decision to adopt a new constitution was made at the Royal Club AGM just two years ago. The first elections were held in October 2005, using postal voting for the first time.
Six were elected from ten candidates, to serve from one to three years. In total, two hundred and eighty-three clubs were to cast a vote, a substantial increase in the numbers that usually attend the AGM or which might have been expected to turn up for a Special Meeting. However, 24% were regarded as being invalid, and were put aside. So just two hundred and fifteen ballots were tallied.

A year later, when postal voting was again in force, one hundred and eighty-two clubs cast a vote, but fifty-five ballots were spoiled (30%) and so only one hundred and twenty-seven clubs were held to have cast valid votes. After that election CEO Colin Grahamslaw took on board the need for a simplified ballot form to cut down on the spoilt papers.

This time, as noted above, 238 votes were received with 219 valid (8% invalid). Some of the reasons for the spoilt papers are indicated here.

Special mention was made of Scotland's two teams, skipped by Sarah Reid and Keith Prentice, who won GOLD last year. WCF Vice-president Kate Caithness presented the winner's banner to Keith and his team (the World Seniors Champions) yesterday (photo).

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