BMAF AGM 17th December 2022

Yesterday I attended the BMAF 2022 AGM, which was one of the best Zoom meetings I’ve been to.

44 of us attended (approx. 1% of the membership). I’m not sure we are members. None of us belongs to the BMAF, it’s not that sort of organisation. I belong to my local club, London Heathside, and to the SCVAC, which links me in to all sorts of other affiliations, in England and the UK and World Masters. I think actually SCVAC might be a member of BMAF, not me.

Peter Kennedy, one of the elected BMAF officials chaired he meeting. I was there because I’ve volunteered to do stuff with IT, including writing items like this. Peter didn’t have too hard a job as chairman for this meeting because every one was very well behaved.

An AGM has a lot of routine stuff such as approval of previous minutes, and officers’ reports. All this trundled through without too much controversy. Zoom polls were used to have approved what needed to be. No doubt there will shortly be minutes produced giving a more thorough write up than I have managed here.

The Presentation

But the centre piece of the meeting was a presentation by Ian Richards of how and why BMAF is planning to change the way it all hangs together. The result of the incorporation vote is here.

I’ll come back to the restructuring, but first a couple of items of context.

  1. UKA, that’s UK Athletics (we also have England Athletics and British Athletics, I hope it doesn’t matter too much that they are all a blur to me) has lost £1.8m in its latest set of accounts That’s 10% of its revenue, and more than 81% of its reserves.
  2. The company behind the Brighton Marathon has filed for administration with debts of £1.2m

One of the problems to be addressed

BMAF is not operating on quite the scale of these bodies but it does enter into financial commitments, which could give rise to problems. Should it happen that BMAF encountered difficulties like those I’ve listed, and ended up owing money, then the debt would be owed by the area clubs, and in turn this debt would be passed on to the committee members of those clubs. Hands up, those who want to volunteer to take on potentially unlimited liabilities.

Ian’s presentation set out some steps to all but eliminate the financial risk to BMAF and area club volunteers. They’d still be on the hook for £1 each, a much more manageable amount.

Broadly speaking the proposal is to set up a structure of 2 limited companies.

BMAF Ltd will be at the top of the structure. This will be a company limited by guarantee, the guarantee being the £1 referred to earlier. BMAF Ltd will be governed by UK company law, with all the checks and balances that brings. This company will deal with all the company stuff that needs to be dealt with, and will be distanced from athletics.

This company will have a subsidiary, BMAF Services Ltd, which will deal with all the athletics related issues, including organising meetings and handling relations with, for example, the EMA and WMA.

What do you think?

If you’d like to know more about this, or chip in with your expertise to help smooth the path for these changes then the video of Ian’s presentation is here [upload it to youtube] and you can contact any of the current officials using our online contact form