The year has flown by and we have had many excellent sessions at Wakefield Football Centre and additionally some great successes “on the road” in different competitions and tournaments.
Along with the rest of the committee John Myatt Secretary, Mike Thompson Treasurer, David Holbrow & Peter Bentley I was pleased to give an update on our aims and ambitions along with a summary of the achievements and successes at the AGM on 11 Jan that we held at St Austin’s on Wentworth Terrace.
Our initial aim at the start of the year was to consolidate Wakefield Walking Football Club (WWFC) as a “stand alone” club with a constitution, set of rules committee and supportive club membership.
Our hard targets were to increase the membership of the club and in turn to increase the attendance at the mid week sessions. The soft targets were to increase awareness of Walking Football in Wakefield through the different social media formats (Web, Facebook,Twitter and local newspaper).
Figures would show that we have increased actual membership and session attendance every quarter and some of the “views,” “likes,” and “shares” on the different social media formats have been amazing.
Our aim in 2018 is of course to continue to strive to improve on all those figures.
Mike Thompson (Treasurer) gave a very positive finance report. We had received sponsorship from WMDC, Age UK and West Riding FA in 2016 to help us get established. This helped provide playing kit, insurance cover, medical kit and training fees and we again received some support in 2017 from WMDC towards those costs which allowed us to maintain the membership and playing fees at very reasonable and affordable prices.
We have recently agreed a fixed price with Wakefield Football Centre that helps their business model and allows us the possibility to retain some income if we maintain attendance at all sessions.
Whilst we continue to look for sponsorship we now feel more confident that we can retain and maintain the current membership and session fee levels for 2018 and these were proposed and accepted at the meeting.
John Myatt (Secretary) updated on all the team successes that we had achieved through 2017 and a full list of all tournament successes will be posted. He then talked about the fact we now field teams in 4 age ranges and this has increased his role quite considerably.
To help with the burden the committee had felt it appropriate to appoint managers at the different age levels and Chris Lund had already been appointed to oversee the 50+ team.
The committee felt it was appropriate to appoint a Fixture secretary and were pleased to advise that Mick Wilde had been proposed and seconded on to the WWFC committee to fulfil that role John would concentrate on Club secretary duties and will oversee the 65+ team. John Jones will help with the 70+ team and I will assist John & Mick with the 60+ team where we will share out the fixtures.
We finished the year with 68 members and have a number of prospects to sign up. We are aware that we may lose some existing members who have stopped playing but we will strive to replace them.
The attendance levels over the last few weeks were excellent and we have had sufficient (24+players) at a number of sessions to allow us to have 4 teams and a full hours play for all attendees.
We do have the ongoing challenge of finding referees for all the sessions and we again would look for all members to assist - I have been unable to play and have filled the role but it has helped me appreciate the pressures that the “man in black” faces!
It can be a demanding task and players may not be happy with the decisions that are made, or indeed missed, but as a club we have made a commitment that we will support and stand by the referees decision and we will not accept dissent, abuse or insults aimed at anyone who officiates at our sessions.
I am aware that we have had occasional issues and minor disputes but am pleased that these are all resolved amicably and indeed quickly but would ask all to be aware of our stance.
Among the successes we reported:
- The appearance at Bradford City (and on Sky & BBC Leeds)
- Our charity day to support Weston Park Cancer Unit
- The acquisition of the Defibrillator thanks to Corra Club and Paul Duggan
- The installation of the trophy cabinet thanks to Peter Bentley
- Retention of the Martin Dawson Trophy in GMWFL and promotion in that league
- Introduction of the “3 touch” rule with unlimited for 70+ - although some concerns flagged at the AGM
- Usage of the futsal which helps “play along the floor” – again will be reviewed following the AGM
- The introduction of the player survey that helped us get member feedback
- The increasing number of ladies and 70+ members
We have a diverse range of age and abilities who enjoy the opportunity to come and play a decent game at a reasonable standard in a safe environment and we want to continue to support that as much as we can.
We also want to look to support players by entering competitions and tournaments but our informal and social sessions will always take precedent and we hope all agree this is our main priority.
As always if anyone has any concerns or issues please feel free to speak to me or indeed any of the committee.
Updated 13:40 - 12 Jan 2018 by David Holbrow