We are saddened to share the news that John Ball has passed away. For many years John provided IT, digital and infrastructure support to all of the National Sprint Regattas.
John was the oracle of all of the start, timing and photo finish systems at Holme Pierrepont and provided an invaluable service to the regatta committee.
John first started working with British Canoeing whilst employed at the National Watersports Centre and latterly from his own business Hudson and Ball.
Many members and paddlers will not know John but thousands of participants and spectators at national sprint regattas will have benefitted hugely from his calm and supportive approach to keeping all the systems running like clockwork.
National sprint regattas at Nottingham won’t be the same without his ability to solve problems and his resourceful and capable presence to fix everything with a smile.
Cathy Wynne – Sprint Regatta Chief Official said:
“John was truly the ‘backroom hero’ who will be sorely missed by us all. There have been times when without John solving a problem the regatta would not have been able to continue.
“Many paddlers and clubs would not actually know just how much John Ball did for our Sprint Racing regattas, but for the regatta officials he was our ‘rock’ that provided steadfast support when all else was falling apart.
“He was a lovely guy and without his calm and reassuring presence the national regattas will never be the same.”
John’s brother, Chris, said:
“John was my younger brother – 44 years old. He loved the challenges and problem solving faced in the organising of sporting events, along with the thrill and appreciation of participants and spectators benefiting from the hard work that the events teams put into such events.
“Outside of the working environment, John enjoyed life with his loving partner of 20 years; Anna and their house of dogs and cats.
“John’s main sporting passion was sailing – having sailed and raced with friends and family since a young lad; heading off on adventures sailing around the UK coast, and across to the continent. When racing John reversed roles and was the focussed competitor rather than a competition organiser.
I know John’s contribution to the sporting community is appreciated and will be sorely missed, as he will be by his family and friends.”
Our thoughts are with Anna, his partner, his brother Chris, his family and friends.
The Annual Consultative Meeting is open to all with an interest in Sprint Racing but only a ‘Voting Member’s Representative’ can take part in a vote at the meeting. However, there is a requirement to register an intention to vote with the SRC Secretary, Cathy Wynne, by 10.00pm on Sunday 26th September 2021. This is to allow time to check credentials and links to be emailed to them.
A list of Registered Sprint Clubs will be available shortly on the SRC website as part of the information for the meeting. As will the meeting zoom jointing invitation.
Voting will take place using two methods,
i) Zoom ‘raise hand’ function. The Zoom ‘raise hand’ function is a simple process, instructions and the opportunity to practise will be available prior to the start of the formal business.
ii) Online voting form. The voting forms will only be open for responses during the meeting. If you open the links prior to the meeting, there is an automatic response to explain when the link will be live. You will need to refresh the page once the vote goes live.
A Proxy vote for one other club can be held by a registered vote carrying person, in addition to their own club’s. This restriction is intended to promote attendance at the meeting itself. The current SRC Chair may hold as many proxy votes as are given to them, the proxy will either give the Chair the right to vote as he wishes OR instruct him how to vote.
The person who holds the vote for the ‘Voting member’ should identify themselves when signing-in using the chat feature before the start of the meeting.
Please forward this information to your club committee and sprint racing members.
Additional information and a link to register attendance can be found on the ACM page.
Kind regards, Cathy Wynne Secretary, British Canoeing Sprint Racing Committee
Full details of this year’s Annual Consultative Meeting (ACM) including details of how to register your attendance, the updated agenda and all other documents can be found on the Annual Consultative Meeting page, under the Organisation menu of the site.
With the continuing concerns about Covid-19, it has been decided to hold the Annual Consultative Meeting for 2020 as an online event. You can find details of how this will operate by looking at the ACM page of this website, under the Organisation menu.
The Sprint Racing Annual Consultative Meeting has been announced to take place at the Royal Canoe Club in Teddington on Saturday 17th October. The formal announcement, nomination form for SRC members, and suggestion form for discussion items at the meeting can all be found on the links below.
A Working Group (WG) was appointed by the Sprint Racing Committee (SRC) in October 2018 to review the UK sprint canoe/kayak competition structure and make recommendations to improve that structure
The SRC would now like to share the group’s report and ask for views from the racing community. The consultation report has been prepared by the WG and is the culmination of a process that has involved;
Engagement with the UK paddling community, through a questionnaire administered in March 2018.
A comprehensive review of regatta participation data for the period 2011-2017.
Discussions with senior leadership of the Australian, Danish and Canadian canoe federations.
Insight and experience of individual group members who are active in the sport.
The full report and a full summary of all data analysed can be found here.
The report represents the final stage of the WG’s activity. It is the first stage towards a further process that will see the implementation of changes to improve domestic racing competition and participation levels in the sport.
This is the start of a consultation period with sprint paddlers and clubs.
The aim of this consultation is to encourage discussion around the report’s findings and recommendations. The report does not aim to provide answers to every challenge and opportunity in the sport and indeed there will be varying views on what is presented. You may not agree with the recommendations, however it is important to bear in mind that whilst the existing structure has some strengths there are also significant weaknesses which means the status quo is not recommended.
We wish to encourage constructive feedback and therefore suggest you read the full report prior to sharing your views via the survey. You may like to take the time to discuss the recommendations at your club prior to responding. There is the option to submit your views as either an individual or on behalf of your club.
The WG haven’t addressed implementation of the recommendations within this report so we would encourage you to think around possible solutions as part of your response.
I write this as a personal statement as the current Chair of the Sprint Racing Committee to try and answer some of the questions around the process for electing the Chair and the proxy voting at the upcoming ACM.
The process of appointing the Chair of SRC
I understand that there is a concern about the advertisement that appeared at the beginning of the year to seek a new Chair for SRC and that this was not in line with the Terms of Reference in the handbook.
I had announced my intention to step down at the ACM in 2018 and despite lots of discussions to seek out a potential new Chair there were no candidates stepping forward to stand as Chair. The advertisement was intended to encourage people to step forward and had some limited success with one or two people making contact. This was never intended to change the fact that the ACM would elect the Chair, but was designed to try to find a candidate that wanted the role, had the skills to do the role and who may be suitable to the ACM.
The advert made it quite clear that the process of election and appointment rested with the ACM and that candidates could come through the normal channels. See extracts from the advert below.
‘The post of Chair of the SRC is one that is elected by the registered Sprint Racing Clubs at the ACM in line with the terms of reference’
‘The preferred person will then be nominated to the Annual Consultative Meeting of the clubs on 19th October 2019 for them to vote their approval. In the event of more than one nomination, the normal voting system will take place’
In the end this advert did not produce a candidate for these elections. The two candidates standing, Roland Lawler and myself both came through the normal process of being nominated by 2 members as per the Terms of Reference.
I understand there are a few concerns around proxy voting. Prior to this year to cast a vote, a member of a registered Sprint Club had to be present at the meeting.
This is the first year that proxy voting has been introduced. Proxy voting means that clubs can vote without having to attend the meeting, by sending their vote with someone else. It is designed and has been introduced to increase democracy not the opposite. The new terms of Reference [as in the handbook] allow for proxy votes and I would refer you to the 2019 handbook page A7 items 8.8 to 8.14. As per the Terms of Reference, the detail of the proxy voting system is at the discretion of the SRC and I am sure the SRC will be very happy to consider comments about how this could be improved for next year.
The Terms of Reference allow for a club attending the ACM to hold two (2) proxy votes. The guidance issued was incorrect when it stated a club could hold 1 proxy vote and this will now been adjusted to allow clubs to carry 2 proxy votes in addition to their own in line with Terms of Reference. The limitation was designed to encourage clubs to actually attend the meeting and so take part in the whole Annual Meeting process.
There is a concern that the proxy voting form does not provide for the facility for the club using the proxy to cast its vote in advance. It had been envisaged that this would have been done in conversation between the two clubs, so that the person holding the proxy would know how to cast the vote.
Proxy votes still need to be registered in advance by the deadline of Wednesday of this week.
I hope this helps to clarify the situation re the election of the Chair and the proxy voting