Like a few others I had printed off the agenda (and the minutes of the 2010 AGM) and stuck it in my diary and turned up for the 8.00pm start.
The meeting started at 7.30pm.
Therefore I missed the first 30 minutes which included the election of office bearers and presentation of reports.
There was a brief recap (and I mean 'brief') for the 8.00pm arrivals. Apparently John Turner is vice president, Zoe Kennedy is the women's rep, Amin Chehade is on the board, and by the sound of it there are not too many changes.
Financially the SAAL is going very well - it made a profit of $13,484 in 2010/2011. It currently has $35,000 invested in secure term deposits.
The SAAL is looking at replacing the equipment trailer with a more secure and safer alternative.
Registrations are up due mainly to the introduction of the Under 14 (23 in 2011) category and the continued growth of the under 17's (From 27 in 2009 to 53 in 2011).
There were no life memberships awarded.
Some of the issues raised in General Business:
Will be a significant increase in prizemoney across the board in all races. This is the 125th running of the Bay Sheffield so the SAAL is keen to make it the biggest ever.
Still tentatively on the SAAL calendar. The major organiser is reluctant to continue and the major sponsor has withdrawn its support. However the local council is still keen to have the Mt Gambier meet as one of its major events, so there is a flicker of hope it will be back again.
Should be on again. Major problem with Whyalla is not the organisers and sponsors but with the athletes. Less than 150 entries for the meet in 2010 does not augur well for the events' future. A meet of this standing should have over 200 entries with at least 30 in the main event. The SAAL is looking at ways of encouraging more athletes to attend.
A good suggestion brought up by chief steward Phil Dawes was that veteran athletes (specifically Over 45's) not have to use starting blocks. Under current SAAL rules, all athletes in events up to 200m must use starting blocks. The general feeling was that many over 45's would prefer to not have to crouch down in starting blocks and just prefer a standing start.
Some discussion over the status of novice events. Suggestion was made that with the Under 14's, under 17's and Under 20's, young athletes have ample opportunities to experience the sport and by the time they've reached open level, they should have competitive marks and won a race or two. Therefore the proposal (from Michelle Burckhardt) is that we fall in line with the VAL and any win in an OPEN event automatically excludes that athlete from any novice race in any category.
An athlete could still win a novice event in each of the three categories providing the athlete does not win an OPEN event.
Under the proposal, an athlete who happens to win say a 70m Open as their first race (may be their only win), is not eligible for a novice 1600m.
There was some discussion on reducing the novice categories from three ( 0 to 200; 201 to 600; 601 and upwards) to two, ie: sprint and distance.
Something the SAAL Board will look into.
Personally I have no problem with the current situation. My issue is with runners winning multiple veterans events at a certain distance (eg: 70m) and then running in novice (eg: 70m) races over the same distance. I think if you have been round long enough to be running vets races and can win over the distance you should not be running in novice races against runners who have never won a race over that distance. By the time you are a vet you should have built up big enough marks to be competitive.
COACHES ASSISTING JUNIORS
One of the issues in respect to the influx of juniors is having coaches on the ground to assist them in getting started. General feeling is the coach, with the permission of the chief steward, be allowed to enter the arena and help educate the young athlete with the proper procedures for warming up, collecting their colour/number and reporting to the start.
BAY DISCOVERY CENTRE
There is a 'Discovery Centre' down at Glenelg that houses memorabilia from the area, in particular Surf Lifesaving historical items and information. The SAAL is keen to have an area devoted to pro-running and is looking for photos, video footage, memorabilia such as spikes, sashes, colours, programs, etc, that can be placed on display.
If anyone has something they can loan or donate for the display, they can contact the SAAL.
Overall there was a good turn up at the AGM with a cross secion of officials, coaches & athletes present.