Newsletter &  AGM 2021

  STOKE-ON-TRENT ANGLING SOCIETY

2021 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Thursday 8th  November 2018

  1. Roll Call.  There were 22 members present with John Davey in the Chair

  2. Apologies.  These were received from Andrew Riley , Jordon Riley and Rob Byrne

  3. Minutes of the 2020 Annual General Meeting.  These were accepted as read  

  4. Matters Arising. There were no matters arising from the minutes
     

  5. Chairman’s Report 2021.
    Introduction.
    Good evening everyone and welcome to the 2021 AGM.  It is lovely to be able to have meetings in person again, and I hope you have managed to get out and enjoy your fishing. 

    After our AGM in 2019, the club was prospering, and the future of angling seemed positive. However, running a club has many challenges and you can never be certain of what’s around the corner. In March 2020, it was announced that the country was to go into a national lockdown, due to COVID-19.  We were now in a pandemic, unaware of what was to come and for how long we would be permitted to stay indoors. But it is at times like this, you must hold your nerve and remain calm, rally the troops, and start to plan. The management of the society had many discussions over the telephone about how we were going to manage the club in this very difficult time. In March 2020, only 25% of our members had re-joined.  We carried out a complete review of our expenditure and income for 2020, and to be honest, it did not appear promising.  However, members continued to show support and re-join, and it was announced that anglers could come out of lockdown with certain restrictions, due to the excellent work from the Angling Trust. 

    With angling being one of few sports allowed to run during lockdown, our membership continued to grow to a level where we had to have more and more tickets printed, due to the growing levels of interest. Let’s hope this trend continues and people enjoy our wonderful sport! 

    The changes we made to allow people to join online have never been so important, with many people now using this facility.  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to promote our Society.  We have all had a part to play in promoting the Society, so please continue with the excellent work you have participated in this year.

    Updates on Current Waters
    Astbury Water Park – Astbury continues to improve. The management changes we made at the end of 2020 are proving to be a success, along with the reported fish catches of now two different 40lb fish!

    River Dove – Our sections of the Dove have fished hard this season for barbel.  However, members have had excellent catches of chub, dace, trout, and grayling.

    Stanley Pool – It’s been nice to see members at Stanley, fishing in the matches. There has been much improvement in the numbers with good catches being reported. Well done Andy and Jordan Riley for organising the matches. 

    Rode Pool – Rode Pool continues to be an excellent venue, not for faint hearted, but effort equals reward. Thanks, John Triner, for your excellent work on the venue.  

    River Sow – Whilst some members are not as interested in River Sow, it continues to be a gem of a little river, with lots of people enjoying it.

    Blithfield - Members continue to enjoy fishing in Blithfield, with some great catches.  

    North Road and Noels Pool – A lot of work has been done on Noels pool this year, with a new car park and fishing pegs. There is more to be planned for North Road in 2022, well done to all who have taken part.  

    New Waters 
    I am pleased to report on three new waters: 
     Belmont Pool
     - Stocia Pool
     - Lodge Farm Pool
    Please be patient with us while we get these waters up and running to our required standard.

    Committee changes  
    Two important changes to our committee are: Rob Byrne has been appointed as Health and Safety Officer senior official and Andrew Riley has been appointed as Works Party Project Manager.  

    SOTAS Academy
    Background
    For several years our Society have recognised the importance of increasing the number of youngsters within angling, to provide a future for our sport.  Since 2019, by using qualified and licensed coaches, the Society has delivered a successful number of ‘Let’s Fish events’, with funding being provided by the Canal and River Trust, and from the use of the grant money from Sport England.
     
    The ‘Let’s Fish events’ allow the youngsters to have a short taster session (50 minutes in 2021) on our stretch of the Middleport Canal.  After catching their first fish, many of the youngsters are keen to continue their fishing experience with their parents or grandparents, who also enjoying becoming involved.
     
    The basic principle behind the formation of the Academy is to provide a means, whereby these youngsters are given an opportunity to be able to continue their angling journey.  The Academy helps them to retain their initial enthusiasm, and the coaches can help them to improve their basic fishing skills and talents, by planning and delivering a series of structured Training Events.

    Class of 2021
    The Academy was formed in 2021 following a successful bid from the Angling Improvement Fund.  In December 2020, the SOTAS project application to the Angling Improvement Fund stated that the Academy was not viewed as a one-off 1-year project but was viewed as a longer-term project. The aim of inspiring more youngsters to join and stay within our sport is fantastic and encourages them to enjoy, like ourselves, a lifetime association with angling.

    The youngsters are SOTAS Juvenile members, and in time, it is anticipated that they will be fully paid Senior members of our Society.  Several parents and grandparents have also joined the Society, to support the youngsters, with even some adults returning to the sport.  

    12 Events were funded, which included specific training days at several of the Society Waters: (Middleport Canal, Noels Pool, North Road and Stanley Pool) together with 4 junior competitions.

    At the SOTAS Committee meeting on 20th May 2021, after a detailed discussion about the Academy, the Chairman concluded that in his opinion, provided that the Club was financially secure, it should support the Academy in achieving its longer-term aim of increasing angling participation.

    At the SOTAS Committee meeting on 26th August 2021, the Committee agreed to arrange for a raffle type auction night, to raise funds for the Academy through requesting members to donate any of their surplus fishing equipment – this night is planned for December.

    The first year of the Academy has been successful in several ways, including: 
     - Contributions from John Skidmore, in the form of tackle vouchers for the inaugural match at North Pool, together with a Memorial Shield for future junior matches.
     - 135 juvenile membership tickets sold.
     - 14 Let’s Fish Gudgeon Awards were issued to members of the Academy.
     - 15 SOTAS members competed in the National Celebration of Junior Angling compared with 3 in 2020.
     - One of our team of Cadets won the National; one of our teams of Juniors came a respectable 9th of out 40 teams; individually we achieved 5th place in both the Cadets and Junior Nationals.
     - Several of our SOTAS Academy members have been selected/ invited to fish in a friendly international match on 30th October.
     - A new SOTAS Academy Facebook group has been launched.

    Finishing Remarks
    I would like to take this time now, to thank all of you for all your hard work and dedication. 
     - Brian Banks, for all the support and hard work over the years 
     - Graham Green for his contribution. I wish a Happy Retirement to both of you 
     - To Mick Hann for all his sterling work, in what’s been a very difficult year
     - To all the officials and lets Fish coaches
     - Tony, Roy, and Kevin for all their hard work and support
     - The rest of the committee
     - Trentside Tackle
     - And finally, our wonderful members for staying with us through a difficult couple of years. Without you, we wouldn’t have a club
    Thank you for listening and it is great to see you all.
    John Davey, Chairman. 
     

  6.  Treasurer's Report and Statement of Accounts. 
    The Treasurer reported that the Balance Sheet showed a very healthy financial position 
     

  7. Auditor's Report and Reappointment of Auditors; D. Malkin. The Chairman read out the report from our Auditor to the meeting.  The Chairman then asked the meeting for agreement to appoint the above auditor for the coming year.  This was passed unanimously. 
     

  8.  Election of Officers. 
    The Secretary gave details of the officers who were due for re-election. It was unanimously agreed that the following officers should be re-appointed:  
    Treasurer                     Mick Hann                    1 year
    Fishery Manager          Kev Grocott                 3 years
    Match Secretary           Jordan Riley                 3 years
    Committee                    Dru Lunney                 3 years
    Committee                    Andrew Cartlidge       3 years
    Committee                    Graham Hulse            3 years
     

  9. Notices of Motion.
    There were no notices of motion received
     

  10. Subscriptions for 2022. 
    The Committee proposed and seconded that:
    a) The Astbury Premium Carp Ticket be increased from £200 to £205 to reflect the new arrangement for car parking charges. 
    b) There will be no charge for night fishing at Challinor’s Pool ( previously £25 )
    c)  The night permit for rivers to be £25 
         The remaining subscriptions to remain unchanged: 
    d)    Seniors - £65
    e)    Senior Citizens/Disabled/Ladies - £40
    f)    Juveniles up to th age of 16 years - £1
    g)    Canal Only / Non-Fishing Guest Permit - £10
    The subscriptions were passed unanimously by the members present. 
     

  11. Approval of Match Calendar and Academy Events.
    The proposed match calendar and Academy Events were agreed unanimously. Details of the matches for members, veterans, juveniles  and Academy events are published on the Society’s web site and in the membership book. 

 The AGM closed at 8.40 pm and a question and answer session then followed the AGM.

Nb The 2022 membership tickets will be available to pre-order on line from 1st December 2020 and also be available to purchase at the next Members Meeting on 9th December 2021.

Important Re- Astbury Carp Tickets. These must be renewed before January 31st as per the Waiting List Webpage details  (Click Here) or your place will be offered to a person on the waiting list. ! No Excuses Excepted !