Proposal the restructure of club nights both indoor and outdoor in by dfhrf555fcg


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									Proposal the restructure of club nights both indoor and outdoor in response to “appendix 2 Sept 2008
Leader”. Rebecca and Tim Lounds.

    1.   Club member BMC insurance covers all climbers in the event of an accident and is not a reason to ban
         U18s from the club.
    2.   Teaching the next generation of climbers to climb responsibly and safely is part of our commitment to
         the sport as a whole. As a club we should be welcoming those “like minded individuals” who wish to
         try climbing, encouraging adults and under 18’s to develop good climbing practises. All of us learnt
         from others when starting climbing and as holders of SPA and ML leader qualifications we are more
         than willing to teach others safe climbing techniques.
    3.   For the past 3 years at club AGMs it has been noted how healthy the club membership has been. There
         is a high % of under 18 membership and also “inexperienced” adults. Should the proposed membership
         changes be implemented it is conceivable the club could lose 50% of its membership or more, there are
         20+ Junior members and the adults who accompany them.
    4.   By banning U18 membership and allowing other organisations to teach climbing to keen individuals in
         the county the club will be poorer both financially and socially. Surely we cannot turn to current U18
         members and say they are no longer welcome?

A solution to the increased membership and possible pressure could be as follows:

    1.   Retain Thursday evening indoor sessions from 8-10pm as a “competent adults” only session.
    2.   A beginners (inexperienced adults) and U18 session from 6-8pm would allow the thriving junior section
         of the club to be developed in a safe supervised environment. We are willing to supervise this session
         and provide qualified tuition to newcomers and developing climbers alike. Before over 18 climbers can
         stay to the later session they must first pass a “safety competency test”.
    3.   Outdoor meets: clearly there are issues with inexperienced climbers causing hazards outside. Rather
         than allowing any inexperienced climbers to turn up each week, there could be set places with willing
         outdoor lead climbers each week who are prepared to take outdoor novices. Perhaps more beginner
         only outdoor sessions could be organised too if required. This may help alleviate the problems caused
         by large numbers of novice climbers at some outdoor meets.

Jim Dwyer
I have read the submission by a club member Appendix 2, to be considered at the forthcoming Club AGM
The concerns raised by the member are fourfold and relate to
1 Liability
2 Inexperienced adult members
3 Under 18 membership
4 Individual choice
I would like to comment as follows

As Rebecca and Tim Lounds have stated in their submission there should not be difficulties with insurance for
either adult or junior members. All clubs whether for horse riding, sailing, table tennis or tiddlywinks would be
wise to hold insurance. Members of affiliated climbing clubs are fortunate that an appropriate level of cover is
provided through the BMC, The difference between our activities and those of other types of clubs is the level of
risk for which insurers are happy to cover, for a no doubt appropriate premium. It would not be unreasonable for
the Club to provide members with details of insurance cover or refer members to them, for as with any contract,
there are duties and responsibilities required of both parties.
In any event, regardless of insurance I understand we all have a duty of care in common law to have due regard
for the safety of others regardless of where we are or what we are doing. It may be appropriate to make members
aware of that duty from time to time.
Inexperienced adult climbers.
All climbers were at one time inexperienced. It would become a very elitist club if only the expert were
admitted. It would be a great shame if potential members, particularly those living in Pembrokeshire where
required to gain their experience elsewhere. Climbing courses can of course act as an introduction to the sport
and teach the basic skills but they are no substitute for the opportunity to climb regularly, in the company of the
experienced and develop the shared ethos of our sport. This is not in any way to underestimate the potential risk
that the novice or inexperienced pose to themselves and their fellow climbers.
Rebecca and Tim have suggested how the conflict of the desire of the novice to climb and the risks to safety may
be reconciled. As a relatively novice climber myself, I see their proposal as a very practical way forward.
However, this puts a considerable burden on those experienced members willing to sacrifice their own climbing
time on the tuition and guidance of others. I do not believe that would be entirely fair. I am very aware that
longstanding members find themselves at some meets hauling us fledglings up the cliff, when quite reasonably,
they would wish to be climbing themselves. It would not, I believe, be unreasonable for a new adult novice
member, to be expected to attend an appropriate course, within a set period of joining the club. Indeed their
membership could be a provisional membership, until the course is completed. The club may even consider
booking courses for a group of novice members perhaps at a discount.
Of perhaps greater danger to safety may be the new member, who having climbed elsewhere, overestimates the
ability they actually have, putting at risk unsuspecting members who have agreed to climb with them. This has
been alluded to by the member making the first proposal and is a concern I understand is shared by many in the
club. Although to many, an invitation only membership would be too elitist, I see no reason why new
“experienced” members should not be granted a provisional membership until their ability and if necessary, their
behaviour, is assessed by the Safety Officer and other members of the club. If appropriate, the new member can
be advised as required or asked to attend a course as a new novice member.

Climbers under the age of 18
If the club were to “divorce itself” as proposed, from under 18 membership, I believe this would have far
reaching and long term consequences for the sport of climbing in our county. An irony in that we have some of
the best climbing in Britain yet it would not be available, other than through a course, to the young who live
here. It would also be an injustice to those under 18s required to leave the club, many of whom would probably
give up the sport. It would be particularly harsh on the handful of 15 -17 year old who regularly attend outdoor
meets and have developed the competence and ethos to possibly be considered as equals with like minded adult
climbers, Indeed it is rare for teenagers to have the opportunity to interact with adults on equal terms. As a result
they have, in my view, developed a responsible attitude to safety for themselves and others and a mature outlook
of which they and the club should be proud. I understand that if they were excluded from the club they would
continue to climb as a group at weekends, although their experience would be poorer for not being in the
company of the more experienced. I am not sure, having been so shoddily treated, that they would be skipping
along the cliff top to join the club again on their eighteenth birthdays.
Rebecca and Tim’s proposals are a sound starting point to enable the club to be inclusive rather than exclusive
for adults and young alike. I believe their ideas should be developed further.

Individual choice
It should be recognised, partially by relatively new members, which includes myself, that the founding and
longstanding members may not have envisaged or even intended the club to develop as it has. We should be
grateful to them for allowing it to do so. It should also be recognised that some members might not wish to climb
with the inexperienced or minors. They should be allowed to choose not to. If an experienced climber were to
say to a novice that they would prefer to climb with someone of their own standard they should do so without
being thought badly of or suffering guilt. It may be possible to include a few words in the constitution so that all
are aware of the right to choose with whom one climbs.

I propose that the club set up a working group to consider the diverse views, within the club, with respect to
membership. The aim of the group would be to present to the committee and the members a workable proposal
that can be voted on, at an EGM before January, when membership renewal takes place. I propose that the
working group should consist of:

The member who put forward the first proposal
Rebecca & Tim Lounds
Myself –Jim Dwyer
The Club Committee and anyone they wish to nominate

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