Minutes of Sport Richmond Open Meeting held at Richmond Athletic Association on Tuesday 14th June 2018

Present: Andy Sutch, Chris Jones, Kevin Rice, Jimmy Wallace, Frank Perry, Frances Wetherall, J F Burford, Peter Mutton, Neil Guilder, Sarah Sinclair, Salme Naylor, Joe Clark, Marie Curry, Richard Hackwell, Sian Hardy, Luke Edgcombe, Tim Chadwick, G Sharma, John Dilley, Lorraine Moore, Jenny George, High Whelan, A M Smallden, George Parmiter, Louise Oldfield

Apologies: Ken Chivers, Trevor Wetherall, Colin Sinclair, Dave Palowski, Kieran Pierce, Katie Pearce, Tony Waszkiewicz, George Crowe, Richard Wood

  1. Welcome and Introductions. Andy welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially those who had not attended before and thanked Jimmy Wallace and the RAA for their hospitality. He extended apologies from Katie Pearce of the Jack Petchey Foundation who was unable to attend but information about the foundation was available and she hoped to attend a future meeting. He introduced Chris Jones (Sports Development and Partnership Manager) and thanked him for the work done on sport in the borough. He also thanked Sport Richmond (SR) secretary Frances Wetherall for her work and committee member Kevin Rice who has been contacting clubs in the borough to confirm we have the correct details.
  2. Report since last open meeting. There have been several changes including a change in the political administration of the borough and the ending of the current community plan. It is important that voluntary clubs have a voice into the drafting of the next community plan. Future funding for Sport Richmond is looking hopeful and the work done by voluntary clubs (alongside Chris and his team and the dual use facilities) in helping Richmond to retain its position towards the top of the Active People listings is valued. Richmond has also maintained a strong position in the multi sports London Youth Games (LYG). Important, however, not to become complacent as more needs to be done. Key issues remain linked to planning. Defending and improving existing facilities, floodlighting and change of use from retail to sport being the main areas of interest.
  3. The accounts were presented in Ken Chivers absence and Andy noted that the late payment of the grant had implications on spending. He explained the background to two additional amounts – Badminton fund, held for badminton sport and the Olympic Legacy Fund available for projects in the borough. A question from the NPL bowls club regarding the small amounts involved and the exact purpose of Sport Richmond led to the next item on the agenda
  4. Supporting the voluntary sector Andy responded by noting that across the country local government spending on sport had been greatly reduced since 2012 and along with this was a reduction in staffing and expertise. He referred to a draft statement of the aims and objectives of Sport Richmond (copy attached)
  • Aims to add value to facilities
  • Provide advice and expertise in a range of areas
  • Provide a stronger voice for individual clubs and groups of clubs
  • Linking clubs together to provide a stronger voice

At the moment SR is a forum for the sports and, over time, has developed partnerships with St Mary’s, RAA and the RFU.

It is hoped to employ a facility development expert on a part time basis to extend the level of advice available to clubs to help them with specific projects either in the early stages or when problems are met along the way. Several clubs do have issues and this role may help. Also will be able to help with strategic applications for funding

The main change in administration has been the working with Wandsworth which has differing needs and organisation.

Funding cuts now mean that there is less money available to the 2 boroughs than there had been for 1 in the past.

Other achievements in the borough are the dual use facilities in many of the schools and the high quality parks with sports facilities which are generally well maintained EG Christs School has been funded externally to support a new cricket facility in partnership with Richmond Cricket Club and SR.

Funding is always a key issue with clubs – a recent national survey showed that most voluntary sports clubs were operating just in the black. A quick survey of the room confirmed that most clubs were in the same position but only just and this has implications for the expansion and development of the clubs so limits growth. Particularly vulnerable to this is the development of disability sport which can be expensive.

Volunteering is another area of concern. Many of those running clubs also want to participate in the sport. It has been established nationally that there are a large number of young volunteers (through schools and youth groups) and a large number of older volunteers. However, there is a gap in the middle age group which is a concern as the established volunteers become older. Richmond Council for Voluntary Service  www.richmondcvs.org.uk can be a good source. A digital framework to support clubs in their running is being trialled at the moment and 4 clubs in the borough have expressed an interest. Also being trialled is a safeguarding programme. Training is also available online through Kingston and Richmond Local Children Safeguarding Board (LSCB) http://kingstonandrichmondlscb.org.uk/training.php it is also hoped to set up a specific meeting for clubs safeguarding officers later this year, probably September

Performance is also important. Much is known about the health and welfare benefits of sport and SR is keen to support this although our key target is the sports participation itself and excellence is part of that.  SR has a small amount of money used to support talented young athletes before they achieve regional or national funding. This scheme has been very successful and it is hoped to allocate more money to a wider range of sports in the future. Application forms are on the website www.sportrichmond.org

Chris Jones then spoke about his role in the borough and how the strong partnership with the voluntary clubs was key. LYG a major event for the borough as all London Boroughs take part this is important. Richmond has been in the top 4 for the last 10 years.

Another success is the borough RISE (Richmond Inclusive Sport and Exercise) programme which has focused on basketball, dance and swimming with strong partnerships with clubs and a pathway to performance. Richmond won the Boccia tournament at the LYG. The latest club survey showed that many clubs would like more training to work with disabled or recovering individuals. If your club is interested in being part of this then contact Chris c.jones@richmond.gov.uk

The Community Levy Fund (previously CIL or village planning fund) has just completed the second round of awards. In the first round Richmond Gymnastics Association, Twickenham & Brunswick Club and Twickenham Cricket Club were all successful. In the second round, 10 out of the 28 applications were successful and 3 were sports clubs. Greycourt Community Sports Centre, Hampton St Marys and Teddington Cricket Club. This is an ongoing fund set up in geographical clusters so the amount available to each area will depend on the development in that area. Clubs interested should contact Chris directly. It was also noted that Teddington are being charged the London Levy on their development by the Mayor of London while receiving a grant through Richmond. There are several other sources of funding which are available to sports clubs

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  2. AOB

The meeting was then opened for discussion.

NPL Bowls Club asked if Richmond had any input into developing football pitches in the borough. Chris responded by saying that there was a good record with artificial pitches at all centres in the borough part funded by the Football Foundation in partnership with SR. Also important to maintain strong links with the FA to ensure that when capital is shared Richmond is included. Andy commented on his role within the Playing Fields Association and said that often the cost of maintaining pitches is difficult to sustain. There are some good grass pitches in the borough but also some very poor ones. Sadly in the future many local authorities will not be able to afford to maintain such facilities. Athletics is in a similar position where the income does not support the facility. All weather pitches can solve some of these issues but they are expensive and need to be used extensively which often means they need floodlighting to be economically viable. This has its own issues and often will not extend beyond 9pm. Twickenham Tennis Club is currently applying for floodlighting but is meeting objections from local residents. It is a private club with strong links to the neighbouring school so a well used facility.

A question was put about the many small spaces (eg on primary school sites) which could be used more. Key questions being have we got enough grass? Could we make it work better?

The German School recently opened a very high quality sports hall which was totally funded by the school and the German Government. They are very keen to encourage community use and have a manager in place to help facilitate this. In other situations without such personnel the negotiations re the facilities and equipment can be challenging. Multi sport centres or multi club centres (such as NPL) have specific strengths but also specific issues to contend with. Clubs working within the Royal Parks have different issues again and SR can help with discussions if required.

Andy then asked the meeting for their main areas of concern

  1. Facilities some rented some owned                          8
  2. Volunteers/coaches 2
  3. Funding 6

Any views should be sent to SR through secretary@sportrichmond.org

We are working hard to maintain links with as many voluntary clubs in the borough as we can so clubs are invited to pass information onto colleagues in non attending clubs.

It was noted that 4 women from Cambridge Park Bowls Club were currently competing abroad as part of the GB National team in a major international. Clubs were made aware of our website www.sportrichmod.org and our Facebook page and encouraged to either post directly or send articles and promotional flyers to SR (secretary@sportrichmond.org) to add.


The meeting closed at 8.30