Posted: May 13th 2014
By: Kayleigh Stanton
The UK Paintball Sports Federation (UKPSF) has put a new governing body structure in place following Steve Bull’s decision to stand down as chairman. More than 20 figures from the world of paintball met last week and threw their weight behind the new governing body.
Steve Bull said: “After more than 15 years as chairman of the UKPSF it’s time to focus on other aspects of my life. It’s been a privilege to be involved in the sport, but the volume of work means the UKPSF has to change and get a committed team involved.”
“Despite the best efforts of the meeting to get me to stay, my mind is made up that I am standing down – though I’ll be available to provide background information on issues I’ve been handling to the new governing body as it finds its feet.”
After a briefing from Steve on the history of the UKPSF and its present status, the meeting, which involved players from tournament, scenario, mag-fed and rec-ball as well as trade and sites, discussed a format for the new governing body and the issues it needs to tackle.
The consensus around the table was that the UKPSF should involve all aspects of the sport in its governing body – the Council of the UKPSF – with the clear aim of working in the best interests of all those involved in the world of paintball.
The meeting – held at Rodbaston Hall near Stafford – concluded that in addition to the usual officer roles found in any sporting association – chair, vice-chair, treasurer and secretary – there should be sub-committees focussing on specific issues, with the chair of each sub-committee being a member of the Council.
Following a break-out with representatives from each aspect of the sport forming small groups to discuss ideas for the work of sub-committees and the full Council, a clear consensus emerged on what the Council should look like and the initial ideas for its work agenda.
The favoured sub-committees were: Players, Sites, Trade, Sports Recognition and Standards.
The Players, Sites and Trade sub-committees have a common goal of trying to increase membership through enhancing the benefits – financial and otherwise – of being in the UKPSF, whilst the Sports Recognition and Standards sub-committees do what it says on the tin.
In addition, it was decided the Vice-Chair’s role should include handling Home Office/Police liaison, other legal issues, complaints and media relations, and may require a sub-committee to support that work.
It was agreed each Council member and the sub-committees, once members were nominated or volunteered, would review the initial ideas for their roles and responsibilities and bring forward proposals to the first meeting of the new Council – due in the summer.
The meeting then took nominations for the various officer and sub-committee roles, with the following emerging:
Chair: Bob Schofield
Vice-Chair: David Thatcher
Treasurer: Jock McCracken
Secretary: Kayleigh Stanton
Players sub-committee: Chair: James Gregory; Vice-Chair: Craig Patterson; Members: Alex Munro, Kayleigh Stanton
Sites sub-committee: Chair: Don Logan; Vice-Chair: Ainsley Baddely; Members: Tony McGinty, Jon Evans, Ged Green
Trade sub-committee: Chair: Anthony Leadbetter; Vice-Chair: Ash Chaplen; members: Tim Taylor, Fraser Colley
Sports Recognition: Chair: Lee Wickham; Vice-Chair: Jamie Pagett
Standards: Chair: Scott Rathbone; Vice-Chair: Danny Bradshaw; Member: Eric Bell.
The meeting also agreed that, if he was willing, Alex Heath should be co-opted for his expertise in paintballing for players with disabilities.
Bob Schofield said: “Steve Bull has done such a sterling job over many years that he has become the ‘Voice of Paintball’ and everyone involved in the sport owes him a huge debt of gratitude.
“Taking on the role of chairman is daunting to put it mildly, not least because Steve and the others involved in the Council have forgotten more about paintball than I will ever know after only just over three years in the business.
“What I do have is 20 years’ experience of helping organisations achieve their business objectives, which is what I’ll be focussing on trying to do in the UKPSF. That’s going to be made easier by the commitment round the table to advancing the interests of the sport and everyone involved in it.
“Deciding upon, and achieving, the objectives of the UKPSF requires the involvement and support of all aspects of the sport. The more the workload can be shared, the more manageable and achievable it will become. So I would urge anyone with an interest in helping shape the future direction of the sport to contact members of the Council and its sub-committees and get involved. Each will be able to offer a flavour of the areas they’ll be considering.”
All the roles on the council and its sub-committees are ‘acting’ and elections will be held for all the posts at the next Annual General Meeting of the UKPSF. It was decided to form a Council of acting members in order to progress the work of the Federation, rather than having to wait for the next AGM to make a start.