2nd December 2017

Message from the Chair

I wanted to share with you an update of the key discussion points and decisions from the Board meeting held the weekend before last.  

The first strategic discussion topic was on Regional Associations, where we reviewed the analysis that Sue Whitehead, Chad Ehlertson and Chris Smith had kindly pulled together. This resulted in an agreement that Regional Associations would sit within the England Handball governance, but with their own autonomy, and the linkage point of the England Handball Regional Delivery Partners Manager. A draft constitution including proposed structure is being finalised with advice from the Sport and Recreation Alliance, also informed by the England Handball Diversity Action Plan, and will be shared with you shortly.  

The second strategic discussion topic was risk management. We agreed to implement a new dashboard visual containing a focussed set of risks, together with financials and other KPIs. We discussed the Safeguarding policy and agreed to get visibility of DBS checks for all coaches of Under-18 players. This will be included in the club information required going forwards.  

A proposal for enhancing the end of season awards was reviewed together with the nominations process and the timing of the presentation. The list of agreed awards and guidance on nominations will be sent to all members before Christmas.  

We discussed feedback and issues raised by members either via email (feedback@englandhandball.com) or at the club meetings. Thank you for your participation in this way. It all helps the Board's understanding of what you as members need, as well as enabling resolution of any issues in a timely manner. A specific write up of the key points from the club meetings will be circulated to all members very shortly.  

It was agreed the existing code of conduct for staff and governance be expanded to include members. This is so we have clarity on behaviours that are acceptable and not acceptable, as part of ensuring we create a culture for everyone to thrive.  

Following the Board meeting, the Audit & Governance Group met and we agreed the overall governance structure (see draft pictorial image attached) as well as the consistent Terms of Reference, recruitment and governance evaluation policies. A key decision from this was to have all governance components as Advisory Groups, not committees, providing recommendations to the Board for ratification.  

In continuing to provide transparency, listed below are the key achievements from the CEO report to the Board. The full report will be published on the website together with the Board minutes later this month.

  • Club survey completed with a 65% response rate. The survey showed a 26% growth in the number of teams and 24% growth in the number of players playing in England Handball affiliated competitions compared to Autumn 2016
  • Meetings with CSPs and Clubs in target regions ongoing
  • University activation projects developing in the South East
  • EHF SMART Plan application signed off
  • Advising GCSE Awarding bodies regarding changes to the handball specification for delivery in schools – Pearson already made amendments and OCR putting in place for next revision
  • Planning delivery of a club coach focused Level-2 course to be delivered alongside the GB Men’s training session in Nottingham on 24/25 March 2018. This is in response to request made at the club meeting in September. This will be run regardless of the numbers and at a greatly subsidised rate.
  • Premier Handball League brand launched – shirt badges and courtside banners sent to all teams
  • Discussions held with BBC to take the streaming of the National Finals next May on their website
  • Agreement also reached with UNILAD to put the National Finals live stream on their platform to 500,000 subscribers
  • Held a video conference with the EHA Referees to look at support needs, training opportunities and future developments
  • Club meetings held and attended by representatives from more than 20 clubs, providing useful feedback on a number of areas including club administration, competition review and regional associations
  • New intake of 45 athletes have started on the Award in Sporting Excellence Programme
  • Agreement reached with Loughborough College to become our Learning Provider Partner from November 2017
  • Governance Action Plan completed and returned to Sport England to outline England Handball’s compliance with the new Code of Sports Governance
  • First staff survey completed to help provide feedback on how staff members view their role with England Handball and their working environment which will help future planning in this area The Board have committed again to a conference call in mid-December to ensure progress on all the actions.  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Medway Council who kindly hosted our Board meeting and the European Handball Federation’s third-round second leg Challenge Cup match between London GD and VSACME-Zalgiris Kaunas from Lithuania. I moved the Board meeting so I could attend the match with board members and we enjoyed a thrilling performance in an exceptional venue from London GD women’s team.  With Medway Dragons HC in support, the spectator gallery full, the presentation of the event was superb and once again caught the eye of the European Handball Federation officials. It may also have helped London GD who scored eight goals more than in the first leg and held the opposition to 10 goals fewer. Congratulations to both teams, thank you to the volunteers and our hosts Medway Council for staging this third international Handball event at Medway Park. I look forward to attending more events at other venues in the future.

Posted in Clubs, South West, North West, East Midlands, East of England, London, North East, South East, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber