The BSSF has now completed itís financial year and in reviewing the last year the Board has analysed the progress that has been made.
10 Point Plan
The 10 point plan, agreed with the Sports Council and all the BSSF membership, has all but been completed. The exception is the policy relating to "Regional Centres of Excellence" which needs to be implemented by the Home Nations.
Freedom of Information - Open Management techniques have been adopted and all Board minutes and adopted policy papers are published on either/or the BSSF section of the Complete Skier website or Peter Heathís website.
It has been agreed that this season the BSSF should take control of itís own website and we are awaiting for one of our sponsors to provide us with the necessary IT equipment to be able to achieve this.
Equal Opportunities - The Board has adopted the Equal Opportunities paper and policy produced by the English Ski Council.
Child Protection - The Board has adopted the English Ski Council policy on Child Protection.
Fair play and discipline - The Board has adopted the Sports Councilís guide to Sports Ethics, Disciplinary Procedures and Appeals as set out in the brochure "Getting It Right". In accordance with this policy a Disciplinary Committee with an independent Chairman, in the lawyer Charles Jerrett, has been appointed.
Selection Policy - The Board has, after consultation with the different disciplines and Home Nations, set out and made public, the selection criteria for the Alpine teams and will publish similar papers for Freestyle and Snowboarding. Any coach has the right to nominate an athlete who has met the criteria and attend the selection meeting to speak on their behalf. There is no whispering behind closed doors. Indeed next season the Board anticipates devising an application form so that all nominations are judged on similar information.
Financial Support for Athletes - The Board has just adopted a policy paper on this subject for the Alpine Teams which will be circulated to all team athletes and coaches and published on the Website as soon as the remaining Sponsors have committed. This will be followed by similar papers covering Freestyle and Snowboarding before the end of the season.
Relocation of offices - The previous offices, which were freehold, were not ideally located (East Calder) and were very expensive to maintain being a period building and were too big for current and perceived needs. The Board accepted the officers proposal to move into the separate building at the Midlothian Ski Centre previously used as the café. The rent is subsidised and the premises are being shared with Snowsport Scotland.
Accounts - The Board is presented with monthly management accounts and cash flow statements.
Team Costs - The Board has resolved that team costs be monitored on a weekly basis.
1999/2000 Accounts - For the first time for many years Year End figures have been achieved within the set budget.
Sports Council Funding - For the first time in many years there has been an increase in Sports Council funding whereby the BSSF will receive £160,000 Exchequer Contribution for the forthcoming year and £60,000 (annualised) World Class Performance Grants for two Snowboard competitors.
Sponsorship - Whilst we are still waiting to complete several sponsorship agreements we are confident of over £260,000 of commercial sponsorship income. The Board has attracted three new Alpine Sponsors in the last year and is currently negotiating with a potential sponsor for the Snowboard programme. It recognises that a pressing priority is to find a sponsor for Freestyle.
One year ago the BSSF had two Alpine athletes and one Frestyler in the World top 100 ranking lists. Had Snowboarding ranking lists been prepared in a similar manner we might well have had athletes in the Top 100 there as well. At the beginning of this season we will have 10 athletes in the 100 World Top Ranking list and these comprise as follows :
6 Alpine (2 English) - Johnny Moulder-Brown and Chemmy Alcott (both LSERSA)
2 Freestyle (1 English) - Sam Temple
2 Snowboard (1 English) - Melanie Leando
Another activity undertaken by the Board on behalf of the Freestyle Executive was to take over the "client role" for the development of the Water Jump at Sheffield. This has been a successful venture and a further grant application is about to be made for the construction of separate changing facilities. The level of interest in and the better quality of Aerial activities will undoubtedly follow.
Whilst the Board cannot relax, it has, with the help and commitment of the staff and athletes, achieved significant progress over the last year. These achievements have been made by exceedingly hard work and some Board Members feel that they cannot give up sufficient time to continue at the current pace. Both Peter Rooney and Peter Mitchell have stated that they will not be standing at the next elections and Andrew Steel felt it necessary to resign in the early part of the summer when the Board made a decision to cut back costs on the Ladies Alpine Team by laying off the Coach over the summer period. Andrew felt on a personal basis that he could not support that decision.
There have been a few Board Membership changes in the current year. As previously mentioned Andrew Steel resigned as Deputy Chairman on the 14th May 2000 and the Board appointed Peter Clarke, the previous Finance Director to that position and appointed Alan Hartley as Finance Director.
The remainder of the Board being Tim Alcock (Chairman), Peter Clarke, (Deputy Chairman), Cliff Webb (Events Director) and the new Finance Director, Alan Hartley, have indicated that they are prepared to stand for re-election and of course John OíGrady as the Snowboard Director is not required to stand for re-election under the rules as they stand.
The Board needs a degree of continuity to go on to improve thoroughly to the 2002 Olympics and it is hoped that the support of the Membership can be relied upon.