London Welsh held its annual AGM on 22nd May 2019.
The Board of Directors were delighted with the large turnout and engagement from both supporters and players, which only does even more to reinforce the levels of confidence we have in its members commitment to this great club of ours.
It was quite a large agenda to get through as we had a lot of items to cover in this second year of our five year plan, and it was emphasised early on in proceedings, that while there was a lot to take in, the information was essential to guide our members, who are after all the owners of this club, whether they should have confidence in the Clubs Board. From the feedback post the meeting and from the voting of offices which we will come onto later, the impression the Board took away was that the membership was indeed confident the current Management Team was delivering.
Introduction and Board of Directors
The first order of the evening was Danny Griffiths (new Chairman) welcoming the Club Members to the meeting. To emphasise what we have achieved since 2016 Danny presented a short video that he believed could say it better than any words.Video Click Here.
The video says it all really, that we have achieved so much in such a short period, with a perceivable feeling that the spirit of optimism and enjoyment is as strong as it has ever been. One overiding emotion shown not only in the Video, but also by all of the Directors and Supporters was that we could not have achieved this without the guidance of our outgoing Chairman, Gwyn Williams who has stepped down from his role at London Welsh to move onto the board of the ODPSG with Martyn Ryan (who will take over the Chair from Chris Goldie of the Richmond Sport Clubs) and Gareth Hawkins.
Gwyns resignation left a vacancy for Chairman and the first order of business as presented by Michael Talbot was to vote for;
- the new Chairman Danny Griffiths (passed)
- the new Vice Chairman Haydn Parry (passed)
- re-appoint Club Secretary Michael Talbot (passed)
- re-appoint Present Board of Directors (passed)
The meeting then moved on to Jonathan Shanklands review of the previous season, highlighting our fantastic achievements over the past year and the fact we are already 50% through our five year plan goals but only on year two with the strongest defencive record in any English League. The summary also unfortunately included the news that Tom May has had to step down from full time coaching this season owing to other commitments.
The announcement about Tom was followed by the announcement of the new Coaching set up which included some new and exciting names being added as well as Cai becoming Director of Rugby.
As you can see below, Stephen Shingler is coming on board for the first XV which is fantastic news for this club and brings in yet more exceptional quality into our coaching set up. Heather Stevenson joins us from Staines Rugby Club to replace Dai Langdon as Head Physio, and Roger (Rocky) Hudson also joins us from Staines to be assistant Forwards Coach and help us develop the Druids even further, Lydie Jenks will be the Druids Physio as Daniella is moving over to cover the Women.
The Playing Management Team for 2019 - 20
- 1st XV
- Cai Griffiths Director of Rugby
- Will Taylor Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Stephen Shingler Backs Coach
- Pete Lowe First XV Team Manager
- Heather Stevenson Head Physio
- Druids XV
- Roger Hudson Druids Forwards Coach
- Paul Bessent Druids Backs Coach
- Lydie Jenks Druids Physio
- James Collins-Clarke Attached Skills Coach
The Men's season will start with two great fixtures, a re-engagement with Neath Rugby club on the 17th August 12pm Away followed by a 1st and Druids XV double header away at Thurrock on the 31st of August.
London Welsh Women
Following 'Shanks' presentation Ruth Barton gave an overview of the fantastic success the Womens section has had over the season, the key bullet points were that;
- London Welsh Women had a successful season under new coach Michael Griffiths
- Currently playing in South East West 1 they finished close runners up but are aiming for promotion next season
- Player numbers have grown significantly on the 2017 – 18 season due to increased social media presence and very successful Inner Warrior sessions
- There has been a tangible increase in awareness of the team across whole club, with fantastic support from the London Welsh supporters.
- The women are also looking to continue their growth and start a girls side within the Youth Structure.
Youth and Mini Rugby
This led on nicely to Gareth Vaughan Jones giving an overview of the Youth and Mini section, two of the most important sections within our club, not just because of the support and revenue generated but also because of the impact we can have on our community by providing such a wonderful experience for the youngsters, but also in being a fertile environment to provide players with the senior teams, with the Likes of Marc Weir, Alex Laybourne, Morgan Browne, WIll Childs being examples of players now representing our 1st XV and Druids after coming through the system.
He also announced the fantastic news that Ty Sterry will be joining our coaching team, helping us deliver a pathway system to adult rugby.
The Bullet points from Gareths presentation of our mission were
- 300 boys and girls from U6 – U12
- The importance of adhering to the RFU’s guiding principles
- The benefit and our participation in Festival/Friendlies/Training
- Developing a love of the game/club
- Girls Rugby - thriving
- Engaged parents
- Delivering the players to Senior Rugby and a love of playing the game at our club
- It’s all about the numbers, numbers, numbers
- Keep them playing
- U13 – U18 League and friendlies
- Mid week and additional Coaching (required)
- County & DPP -
- London Welsh Academy Launch
- Ty Sterry - Under 18’s Head coach and Head of Pathway
Richard Brundle then took us through the financial situation.
We wont publish all the figures presented here but they are available for any member to see and will be publishedin our accounts, but the main take out was, we have some fantastic sponsors and donors and we really need to keep those relationships mutually beneficial to ensure we can continue on our journey with the fantastic resources we have at our disposal. We did not make as much profit as we would have liked from ODP this year due to a number of issues, the fact we had a larger bill than expected for a back payment for the Crown rent (which has increased from a few hundred to £50000 per annum for ODP split 50/50 with Richmond Sports clubs), and also the fact that there were some innefficiences and other back rent payments that needed to be settled which meant we ended up breaking about even.
The intention next year is that we presented a budget to the AGM that will hopefully leave us with a small surplus so we can start building a reserve.
With Richard outlining the hard figures Tim Boag then presented our commercial strategy to the AGM.
The bullet points below cover most of the points raised by Tim.
- 2018/19 Report
- Sponsorship income £53k – crucial to sustainability of club
- Thanks to all our sponsors and especially – Jon Carpenter (Morgan Price), Tim Bates and [*]Dan Killick (Chestertons), John Phillips (Kingswood)
- Other activities – raffles, lunches, festivals.
- 2019/20 Plan
- Sponsorship Target £70k
- Leverage additional sponsorship opportunities at all levels– kit, social media, specific [*]events, players, pitch boards etc.
- Marketing of LW and sponsorship packages
- Identify additional fund raising opportunities
- Work closely with facility managers at ODP
- Help required - identifying and on-boarding sponsors and wider commercial activities.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim then went on to explain the new membership proposals, this would not only include a slight increase in memberships across the club but also the addition of a new Gold Patron membership.
The following bullet points hold the detail in full;
- Generous donors assisted at times of hardship – thank you
- Our donors can help us create a sinking fund for future capital items/emergencies on our journey back to National Leagues
- Launch of Gold Patron Club for those who wish to upgrade from Patron to assist the club financially.
Gold Patron Club.
For any enquiries on the above please contact: email@example.com
- £75pcm/£900 p.a.
- 50% of funds raised will be earmarked for sinking fund for future capital items/emergencies
- Launch 1st July 2019, with other membership packages.
- First ballot for International ticket
- Patrons lunch
- Additional free lunch plus 1 at Presidents Table
- Priority booking for club events
- Enhanced gift and Shop voucher
- Further benefits to recognise value of Gold Patron Club under consideration ahead of launch.
|Playing Memberships (£) |
|Single Junior + Parent|| £160.00|| £160.00|| £180|
|Junior|| £125.00|| £125.00|| £140|
|Family|| £250.00 ||£250.00|| £280|
|Two Junior ||£225.00|| £225.00|| £250|
|Adult Player|| £60.00 ||£120.00 ||£144 (£12 per month)|
|Student Player|| £30.00|| £60.00|| £60 (£5 per month)|
|Non Playing Membership (£)|| |
|Adult ||£60.00|| £60.00|| £70|
|Adult Concession|| £35.00 ||£35.00 ||£40|
|Patron|| £240.00|| £240.00|| £300 (£25 per month)|
|Gold Patron (NEW)|| n/a|| n/a ||900 (£75 per month)|
Haydn Parry was next to give his presentation on the Supporters Club and both its joy at being part of our great Club as well as the huge contribution the Supporters Club has provided to our success, both financial and more importantly, with events and support.
The key points from Haydns presentation were
- The Supporters Club is now in its 42nd Year
- The Community Feel the supporters club contributes to
- The supporters club continues to provide busses to away games
- The Supporters Awards are an integral part of our awards night
- Supporters Lunches
- The Revenue the Supporters Club raises is for the benefit of everyone at London Welsh
- The 400 club needs to be relaunched, this provides a monthly prize but is also a great fundraiser
- Membership of the supporters club remains at £10 but many members give more
- The rrip to Guernsey to support the Women was a tremendous success and helps provide links across our club.
- The launch of a WhatsApp group
- Currently developing a Supporters page on the main Club website
Ground Improvements, Volunteers and ODPSG Ltd.
firstname.lastname@example.orgMedia Manager [list]Experience in managing production staff but also editing content for website and social media as well as weekly contentMatch Day assistanceAssisting COO in smooth running of match day, preparation of venue and lunches on day and before , retail opportunities on match day and beyond Finance
- Assist preparing budgets, reviewing operational reports from sections, preparing reports for board , assisting Finance director for online and banking operations
- Assisting Commercial Director to identify prospective new opportunities both large and small scale . Help manage relationships with existing sponsors.
Mike Talbot then gave an update on Old Deer Park, here again the exciting news was mentioned above about the changed to the board of ODP but the slide in its entirity is shown below.
OLD DEER PARK
- The facility is run by Old Deer Sports Ground Ltd
- All staff associated with Old Deer Park (bar, groundsman etc) are employed by this body.
- The Board of ODP is made up of three directors each from London Welsh and Richmond Sports Club Ltd (Cricket, Archery and Tennis)
- The relationship between the parties is controlled by the shareholders agreement
- As of this month London Welsh have taken over chairmanship of ODPSG with the aim to improve facilities and operations.
- There are three new directors representing London Welsh, Martyn Ryan (chairman for next two years) ,Gwyn Williams and Gareth Hawkins.
- The new lease for ODP was signed April 2019 and backdated to October 2016 for 25 years
- The new rent is 50K pa split 50% each between the London Welsh and Richmond Sports Club.
- This rent is fixed unless combined VATable income is over 700K pa, we then incur an excess turnover rent
- The lease restricts the use of ODP as an amateur sports club but does allow ancillary commercial activities
Honoury Vice Presidents.
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The proceedings were than handed over to Terwyn Williams who announced that the Board had decided to add three new Members to our list of Honoury Vice Presidents.These were awarded to three stalwarts of the club
- Gwyn Williams, our outgoing Chairman and the main driving force behind getting us to where we are today
- Dai Williams, a long standing member of the Club and ex player who has been a stalwart of our traditions and our values.
- Ruth Barton, the Head of Womens Rugby at London Welsh who as a long time player and also board member has done so much to advance the fortunes of the Womens section in recent years.
Pete Laybourne finished the AGM presentations with a summary of where we currently are with the London Welsh Hub, this is an exciting innovation that will hopefully benefit all those involved, especially young players just starting out or looking to change or get help with their careers.The objective of the LW Hub is to provide a forum for discussion, connection, mentoring and career advice for all Senior players .. Men & Women
- It’s a two-way street ..
- The LW Community helping players improve their job/career prospects
- The Club benefits through player retention, succession and recruitment
- It is NOT about finding jobs for players .. but helping them improve their chances of securing one
- Idea initiated - April 2018 .. With a plan to be live and fully operable for 2019/20
- Sept 2018 - Survey Monkey Q’nnaire identified 50+ mentors/advisors from within LW Community
- Oct-Dec 2018 - Structure evolved and developed following player input and engagement
- Jan 2019 - Mentoring/advisers presentation (30+) at ODP
- March 2019 - Mentoring Manual developed
- May 2019 - University Recruitment Initiative launched across Welsh Universities plus Leeds Becket Uni, with a new player link into Loughborough University
- To date we have mentored/advised 13 players (12 Men, 1 Woman .. including 3 new recruits with 2 from the National Leagues)
- As planned THE HUB IS LIVE .. and fit for purpose