UK Paintball Sports Federation
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
Jury’s Inn, East Midlands Airport
Thursday 10 March 2016
1) Approval of the Minutes of the AGM held on Wednesday 18 March 2015.
The minutes of the 2015 AGM were approved as a correct record.
2) Matters arising (where not dealt with elsewhere on the agenda)
There were no matters arising that were not dealt with elsewhere on the agenda
3) Chair’s Report on the affairs of the UKPSF since the last AGM
The Chair reported one of the Council’s key objectives for 2015/16 had been to eliminate wherever possible costly routine tasks, such as sending out membership reminders and cards, and to improve the data held by the Federation, which previously had been either in the head of the past Chairman or on his computer hardware and not readily accessible by the Council.
He reported that an online membership system for both player and trade/venue members had been developed and is now live. In future all memberships will be issued via the online system. Prospective and renewing members need to visit www.ukpsf.com, click on the appropriate link and complete a short questionnaire. They will then be emailed a link to confirm their identity, which then enables them to complete their membership application. Subscription fees are paid via the website, information is uploaded by the applicant (including in the case of players a passport-style photograph) and the system auto-generates, in the case of players ,a pdf membership card that includes the member’s name and photograph and a QR code that can be used to confirm membership details and status. The card then needs signing and laminating. Venues receive an appropriate membership certificate. The process is a five minute job for players and 10 minutes for venues. The system auto-generates reminders and invoices. Venues must pay by direct debit, which will be taken on the anniversary of becoming a member. Members are responsible for their own data and can access it via the members’ area of the website to update it at any time.
Once sites have gone through this process, the system automatically puts their venue on the list of member sites on ukpsf.com, with contact details, a locator map and a description of the venue.
Since the process requires members to upload their data and confirms an active email address, the system will enable speedy communication with members. It also enables venues to quickly confirm a player’s membership status by scanning the QR code on the membership card should discounts or offers be available to members. The next stage of development being considered is some software for venues that would enable the QR code on the card to be used for registration at venues/events. To be clear, the system does not give sites access to the member database other than to check individual’s status – no list of all player members is accessible to sites.
The system has been developed free of charge by Alan Craggs, with the support of Paul Grover, at Skirmish High Wycombe. Not only will it furnish real-time accurate information, and enable swifter and more effective communications, it will also reduce administration and postage costs to the bare minimum.
The Chair reported that in parallel to the membership system, a new website has been developed that integrates with the membership system, providing – amongst other things – members’ areas where relevant information can be posted. For venues the intention is to progressively include documentation in that area, such as the Code of Practice, sample registration forms, UKPSF policy documents, such as child protection, equality and diversity, High Pressure Air guidance etc.
Further work during the last year has been undertaken on making formal application for recognition of paintball as a sport to Sport England and on venue accreditation (both covered later in the agenda). The Federation is also in active discussions with insurers to develop an enhanced player insurance offering that includes travel and equipment cover, and the Council had, of course, done the work to stage the annual conference, exhibition and AGM.
Other matters during the course of the year have included issuing guidance on non-frangible rounds (as a direct result of discussions during the open forum at the 2015 AGM), liaised with insurers over various claims and incidents, with members over the import and export of markers.
The Chair said the Council believed the focus of its work in the coming year was likely to be sports recognition and a membership drive; both matter dealt with later on the agenda.
4) Treasurer’s Report
The treasurer provided a summary of income and expenditure during the 12 months to March 8, 2016 and a copy of the annual accounts for 2014/15, which were received and approved by the AGM.
5) Election of officers
No nominations having been received the existing Council members shall remain the incumbents: Chair, Bob Schofield; Treasurer: Jock McCracken; Secretary: Kayleigh Stanton; Chair, Venues: Don Logan, Ainsley Baddely; Players: Eric Bell, James Gregory; Trade: Anthony Leadbetter, Fraser Colley, Tim Taylor. Steve Bull remains as Honorary President.
6) Motions for approval
The following motions were approved nem con by the AGM
a. to approve the actions of the Council since the AGM of 2015
b. to approve the annual report and accounts
c. to approve the draft Complaints Procedure
d. to approve the draft Child Protection Policy
e. to approve the draft Equality and Diversity Policy
f. to adopt the foregoing into the Constitution, Code of Practice for Site Operators and Code of Conduct for Players
g. to re-appoint the existing auditor.
7) Making application to Sport England for formal sports recognition &
The Chair reminded the meeting that Sport England documentation concerning application for formal recognition, together with a research proposal from Leeds Carnegie University has been circulated via the Federation’s Facebook pages. The documentation will also be made available via the member areas of ukpsf.com
The Chair covered some of the benefits of formal recognition, including access to funding (the range of which can be seen on Sport England’s website and in the member areas) and the potential for the wider profile of the sport to be raised. The meeting agreed that, these benefits apart, paintball would be stronger if recognised than if not.
The Chair reported that the work associated with gaining recognition fell into three elements:
1) ensuring the Federation complied with the basic requirements (for example having a formal constitution, having minuted annual meetings and accounts, having certain policies in place – some of which were brought to and approved by this meeting earlier);
2) driving membership over 1650 members (the threshold for recognition for any sport other than very new activities);
3) providing evidence that the sport contributes to improving physical health and mental well-being (a key criterion by which Sport England is judged).
Work is in hand to deliver the requirements under 1) above, and the Council has been in discussion with one of the country’s leading sports medicine institutions (Leeds Carnegie University) regarding a three phase programme of research to provide the evidence for 3) above. This is the proposal previously circulated via Facebook and on the member areas. The cost of this work is £14,000.
The new online membership system provides the mechanism to streamline membership applications. There will be provision for sites to facilitate their own members become UKPSF membership. Basic membership is £5 per year, rising to £15 a year for full members which includes player insurance.
The meeting discussed a variety of ways of quickly driving up membership, which presently stands at around 500 – although active ‘own-gunner’ players are known to number several thousands, leaving aside the 1.5M plus participations at venues from the general public. Amongst the ideas were sites signing up (and paying for) basic membership for their staff; venues including UKPSF membership in their own membership schemes; players at tournaments/big games being required to be UKPSF members in order to take part (this idea recognises that unless players are covered by UKPSF insurance, their fellow players are at risk of injury by someone against whom they would have no clear recourse).
There was general agreement that gaining formal sport recognition would be of benefit to all aspects of the sport. Increasing membership under requirement 2) above would also have the effect of increasing the level of funds to meet the costs of the research project. Similarly, curbing administration costs (thanks to the new online membership system and linked website) would liberate some the Federation’s existing resources and that further support could be available from the trade and sponsorship. All that said, the Federation could not commit to £14,000 of expenditure without being clear where the resources would come from.
The meeting agreed the Council should continue to pursue formal sport recognition and efforts to drive up membership.
Don Logan reported on progress to date on Accreditation. Accreditation packs had been made available online in October and, in line with the decision of the AGM in 2015, in order to remain an accredited member of the UKPSF sites must complete the Accreditation process by 1 April 2016.
He reminded the meeting that three levels of membership for venues exist: Basic membership, which requires venues to affirm their intention to comply with the Code of Practice, provide basic information and a copy of their insurance policy; Accredited Member, which requires venues to affirm they already comply with the Code of Practice, complete the questionnaire in the accreditation pack and submit supporting evidence (which is then checked by the UKPSF and, if all is in order, accredited status is issued); and Accreditation Plus, which involves the venue being independently inspected to confirm what is claimed on paper exists in reality. Basic membership is £200 per year; there is a further £50 fee to cover administering Accredited status (payable when the accreditation pack is submitted); and independent inspection for Accreditation Plus status is a further £200 plus travel expenses (for sites with more than one venue, the cost of further sites inspection will be lower and by negotiation, recognising multiple venues in the same ownership will have much in common in terms of processes and practices).
Again in line with last year’s meeting, Don Logan reminded the AGM that basic membership would only be available for 12 months because the Federation believed all venues should be striving to put in place the systems and processes to meet the requirements of accreditation. Specimen documentation to support a site striving to meet the requirements of the Code of Practice are available via the members area and the UKPSF.
At the time of the meeting, seven venues had submitted accreditation packs.
8) Any Other Business
Enola Gaye gave a short presentation on the latest legal position regarding pyrotechnics and agreed to make guidance available via the member areas.
Anthony Leadbetter reported on an initiative being considered by some trade members to develop some short videos to promote various aspects of the sport that venues could use at their sites and on their websites and other social media. The meeting welcomed the initiative and indicated there would be wide support –including financial for such material. A formal proposal is to be submitted.
The meeting closed at 2pm
5) Any Other Business
There being no other business, the AGM closed.
Signed as a true record
Robert D Schofield Jock McCracken