Dear Members – a letter from our Chair

Dear Member,

I should like to take this opportunity to thank all those of you who have freely given of your time and talents this year to support Spartan events whether as race directors, marshals, time keepers, cheer leaders, coaches etc, the list is endless. This has been a very successful period for FVS and that would not be possible without all the volunteers who give so much.

One of the ways in which we keep our membership subscription so low is by organising events, such as the Fairlands Valley Challenge, which raise funds for the club. Some of our other events, such as the half marathon, and events which we support such as the Race for Life, Hospice 5K and Herts Air Ambulance Fun Run help local charity organisations to raise funds. This is as aspect of the club which raises our profile in the local area as well as helping those charities.

One of the problems we have experienced recently is the difficulty in recruiting enough volunteers from the membership to adequately support these events. It has frequently been the case this year that it is only very close to the event, after continued pleading on behalf of the organisers that we have enough volunteers to safely continue with the event. This in turn makes people feel reluctant to commit to become race directors and often means that the same few people end up doing most of the work.

So, we need to address this problem to ensure that we can continue to operate as we have done in the last few years. We have already started to cut back on the number of events we organise but this means that there are fewer events in which runners can participate and may mean that subscriptions will need to rise in the future.

I would like, therefore, to ask you all to consider volunteering for at least one event during the year, as a marshal or race director or in another capacity according to your inclination. I freely acknowledge that some people have done more than their share over many years and will (hopefully) continue to do just that, but it is not really fair on them.

I think that many people feel that they don’t have the necessary skills to become race directors, for example, so we will be providing a workshop to give information about exactly what is involved. It does not have to be a single person but can be a team effort with the workload split between several people. I would encourage as many of you as possible to consider attending the workshop when it is advertised, if only to find out what others do on your behalf.

The next big event is the Stevenage Half Marathon and we shall be recruiting helpers for a number of jobs including marshalling. This event really puts our club on the running map and this year the main charity is the Magic of Play Appeal at Lister Hospital.

Another opportunity to contribute towards the club is at the Annual General Meeting which is held in November. This year it will be on Friday 22nd November at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre in the Ellen Terry Suite at 7.30pm.Tea and coffee will be provided and there will be a bar to make it a more social occasion than it has been recently. There will be a draw for a place in next year’s Milton Keynes Marathon and, if possible we will conduct the VLM draw. Last year only 30 people attended the AGM which means that decisions are taken by a small representation of the membership. Again, I would ask you all to consider attending and note the date in your diary.

We shall be needing some key members of the committee to replace those who are standing down this year. In particular we need a treasurer and/or assistant treasurer If you would like to find out more about these roles please speak to a member of the committee or email me on chairman@fvspartans.org.uk.

Once again, I want to emphasize my thanks to those members who always step forward to help when asked to. Let’s try to spread the load a bit and build on the fantastic work of those people who do so much to make this club the club we want it to be.

Happy running.

Beverley Harlow
Club Chair

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