1. Welcome and Apologies
DK welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies were received from RW.
2. Register of Interests
No changes reported.
3. Approval of Minutes of Meeting of Directors held on 9 June 2022
Approved as read.
4. Matters arising from Minutes of 9 June 2022
No matters to be dealt with other than those on the agenda.
5. Finance Report
KR raised the following points:
Current Cash Balances and Commitments
We currently have 4 accounts:
- Savings – balance at 31 October is £165,633 – £60,000 of which is ring fenced for WOC.
- Company current account – minimal transactions at present. Cash swept from savings when needed. Balance – £287
- Event current account – This is the normal standalone account and is currently operated by Karen Fraser (KF) for Moray 2023 having been transferred from the 2021 event. KF is the signatory and all payments are made online and approvals are under the Event protocols. KR/KF will discuss appropriate authorisation and oversight of online payments. Balance -£796
- WOC 24 current account – a new account opened in summer 2022 solely for WOC. Bob Dredge is a signatory but will only make payments on a “dual approval” basis with KR. Balance – £2,558.
Total cash in the 4 accounts as at 31 October is £169,278 of which a total of £62,500 is ring fenced for WOC 2024. This leaves £107,000 for normal 6 Day business versus our reserves policy of £100,000.
However, we need to be alert – we have 3 events over the next 3 years and it would not need much to go awry to eat significantly into our reserves. There are no significant outstanding payments or accruals to record as at 31 October, or in the near future, although expenditure for Moray 2023 will start flowing soon.
The signatory arrangements for accounts 3 and 4 were approved.
RO questioned whether the cash reserves should be spread with different institutions and whether a finance policy existed. BH highlighted that the SOA were looking at a finance policy including the raising of funds from investments/interest. KR will discuss the matter with BH.
6 Day Company Mileage Rate
KR queried whether the volunteer mileage rate should be normalised with the SOA rate which has revised its rate for volunteers to 45p a mile in line with SportScotland recommendations. However, SOA pays a small amount of mileage in comparison to the 6-Days and any rise would therefore have a significant impact – possibly an increase of £3,000 per event. A compromise of 35p a mile was agreed going forward and will be advised to Moray and WOC officials.
Moray 2023 Budget
KR has worked on the budget with KF. They have incorporated an increase in the SOA Grant to £84,000 (payable quarterly representing an 8.2% increase against the previous amount of £77,600) into the budget.
A few other points of detail were discussed. The draft budget incorporates a surplus and an ability to meet its obligation to generate at least enough cash to pay the grant for the next two years, once it restarts in summer 2023.
BH explained that the SOA was still using reserves following covid and funding from Lochaber but annual income was significantly below what the SOA expect to spend and staff costs have increased. Previously, in 2019, SOA had attempted to increase levies but this was not supported by the membership. In order to deal with the annual deficit of approx. £13,000 BH suggested that SOA were looking to resolve this through a number of measures including an increase in the 6-Days Co grant. BH indicated SOA hope to balance the budget by 2024 but this is dependent on inflation and the SportScotland grant and keeping costs low.
KR indicated the first SOA payment was due next August. The increase in the SOA grant was provisionally agreed and it would be reviewed when the Moray 2023 outcome was more definite.
Moray 2023 Entries
The Moray entry fee proposals – an increase of approximately 10% compared to 2021, and with a top rate below £30, was agreed.
KR indicated that he had been approached by Ian Hamilton of GRAMP in respect of the costs of updating the Glen Dye map. Their recent event had made a loss. KR indicated that approximately £1,950 is held in the mapping fund and it has been 3 or 4 years since any payment has been made from this fund.
KR suggested that the mapping fund should be relaunched with parameters for payment agreed. DK indicated that previous minutes indicated that the mapping fund would be used in particular to assist clubs which have not benefited from 6 Days mapping.
It was agreed that the mapping fund should be advertised on the website and by other means as appropriate including the SOA website (DK to draft notice and forward to NH). GRAMP to be requested to submit a formal request. Action: DK
KR indicated there is work to be done on managing the cost base and mitigating the effects of inflation and exchange rate fluctuations. The budget currently envisages a loss of £21,000 but the impact of inflation and forex could increase this to £96,000. While the company could bear a loss of £21,000, increasing this towards £100,000 could seriously impact our viability and present the directors with fiduciary duty difficulties, especially in 2024 when the WOC outturn is realised and funding for the 2025 6-Day event is required.
Bob Dredge will be working on the budget between now and April 2023 for approval. Whilst income from WOC athletes cannot be increased there is potential for an increase in income from the WOC Tour.
DK advised that the effects of inflation had been highlighted to VisitScotland and the City of Edinburgh and there is hope that the grant can be increased. A Steering Group meeting will be arranged shortly.
Sponsorship income is being investigated and Paul McGreal is considering employing an agency to secure funding. The IOF have indicated there will not be a lead sponsor in place for the IOF and are willing to work with WOC 2024. EM indicated that the international market was worth exploring as TV coverage was mostly located in Swedish and Finnish markets which are still open to sponsorship opportunities.
ACTION: KR to keep RO and BH up to date on budget as SOA only shareholder.
6. Moray 2023
EF indicated all was on track for entries opening on 1st December now the entry fees are agreed. Entry systems for the event are being constructed and tested. It was noted that the event is being advertised in CompassSport.
EF indicated that the lack of organisers for DAY 1 still caused concern and this was being pursued. Other areas of concern included provision of event services which due to the location meant there were few if any providers willing to become involved.
FLS have provided permission to host the events and we are awaiting formal agreement. All other landowner agreements are being progressed.
World Ranking Status has been awarded to Day 2 but Day 3 is still under consideration as a modification, with the event being classed as long middle rather than long, has been requested.
It was agreed that cloth badges would not be offered at Moray 2023.
7. WOC 2024
Matters relating to WOC had been discussed under the Finance Report.
8. 6 Days 2025
DK indicated three possibilities at present:
- He has had discussions with Tim O’Donoghue and Bob Cherry about the option of holding the event in SW Scotland. Loch Doon has been highlighted as a possibility for a long and a middle and the sand dunes in Wigtonshire offer a possibility though there may be an issue with ground nesting birds.
- He has reverted to MAROC/GRAMP and asked if they considered whether there were sufficient forests for an event (even if they were unable to provide a leadership team)
- The possibility for a Stirling/Perth event has been raised with FVO but a response is still awaited.
DK noted that the 6-days business plan stated that the event would be predominantly held in forests but that did not discount the possibility of the event including dune or other open areas. Most events in the most recent CompassSport edition were sprint events but he noted these were a challenge unless held on a university campus or equivalent.
RO indicated he had been considering the sport’s demographic trends and had seen an increase in the 50+ age groups. This led to a discussion on how feedback on a potential change in strategy could be obtained as whilst the survey from 6 Day competitors provided some information it did not provide details from those that did not attend. The potential for a survey of BOF club members was proposed.
EM suggested that the event should be marketed as both competition and training opportunities as O-ringen is also offering both 5 or 3 days as an option.
The targeting of a younger audience and the importance of WOC to attracting a younger audience was highlighted. It was queried whether a change of focus for 2025 should be considered to follow on from WOC.
The linking of the 6 Days to WOC Legacy was raised. RO reported that a joint BOF/SOA project (not part of the organisation for the WOC2024 event itself) is being developed in order to develop the sport.
The plan is to split this project into 2 phases:
- Phase 1 (6 months) will focus on identifying opportunities to make the most of WOC2024
and development of a coherent plan for Phase 2. Funded by SOA.
- Phase 2 (18 months) is the delivery phase. Funded by BOF through to 2025.
A consultancy team has been appointed for Phase 1.
The phase 1 team has 3 objectives:
- Raise awareness of WOC2024 and the impact it could have on the sport
- Develop pathways that lead to actions and enable us to make the most of this awareness
- Bring it all together in a focused and coordinated Phase 2 plan
This will involve engagement with the 6 Days.
Action: Strategy and 2025 would be considered at the next meeting and be included higher up the agenda to allow time for discussion.
9. Succession Planning
DK reported that CE and RW had indicated a willingness to stand down next year following Moray 2023. It was agreed there was a need to advertise through both the website and other means as appropriate to recruit new board members.
Three other members had agreed to stand down in 2024 but it was agreed that only two should stand down in any one year. In addition, the selection of a successor to DK as chair also needed consideration.
Action: DK to consider replacement and follow up.
10. Strategy and Business Plan
To be considered at next meeting.
11. SOA Business relevant to 6-Day Company
WOC Legacy, increase in mileage payments and the SOA Grant were discussed earlier in the meeting.
Fixtures – 2025
BOF have asked if Scotland could take on the British Championships in 2025 as the South West England Association cannot find a suitable area. Two possibilities had been mentioned:
- As part of the 6 Days
- In combination with the Scottish Championships
It was agreed following discussion that it was not sensible to include as part of the 6 Days. It was raised that Scottish policy is generally not to hold any national events in the same year as the six days event in consideration of the volunteer burden.
RO indicated Peter Hart from BOF has agreed to organise an insurance workshop with Howdens in the New Year to answer questions. This has an impact on the 6 Days in respect of the registration of the event with BOF and liability / insurance. Traditionally one of the organising clubs is registered as the organising club but clubs did not want to take that on in 2021 so it was agreed with BOF to register the event under the SOA.
All agreed more information on insurance would clarify the potential liability for the event and indeed insurance for urban events or calamitous events.
Action: Decision re registration of 6 Days after insurance workshop.
13. Date of Next Meeting
TBC Early February.
Action: DK to put out doodle in early New Year