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Club Constitution

1. Name of Club

The club will be called Pirates Canoe Club (Hereinafter will be referred to as the Club), and may also be known as Pirates or PCC.  Pirates Canoe Club will be affiliated to British Canoeing.

2. Values, Aims and Objectives

The values, aims and objectives of the club will be:

  • The club will operate within in a spirit of Inclusivity, openness and transparency towards all members.
  • To offer coaching and opportunities in paddlesport, including but not limited to kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding.
  • To promote the club within the local community and across the spectrum of paddle sport.
  • To manage the shipping containers that the Club are responsible for, located at Conningbrook Lakes in Ashford.
  • To ensure a duty of care to all members of the club.
  • To provide all its services in a way that is fair to everyone.

The Club believes that everyone should be able to access and enjoy paddlesports, regardless of their identity, background or circumstances, whether they wish to paddle recreationally, represent their Country on the world stage, or give back to the community through coaching or volunteering. For us, equality, diversity and inclusion are integral to our organisational values:

      • Every person matters
      • Striving for excellence
      • Always with integrity
      • Enjoying the journey
      • Individually committed  
      • Stronger together

3. Membership

(a) Membership of the club is open to anyone interested in promoting, coaching, volunteering or participating in paddlesport, regardless of sex, age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or other beliefs.

(b) The membership shall consist of the following categories:

  • Adult member (18 years and over)
  • Junior member (17 years and under or in full-time education)
  • Family member (2 adult plus 2 junior members)
  • Life member

(c) All members will be subject to the regulations of the constitution and by joining the club will be deemed to accept these regulations and codes of practice that the club has adopted.

(d) Members in each category will pay membership fees, as determined at the Annual General Meeting. 

(e) Individuals shall not be eligible to take part in the business of the Club, vote at general meetings or be eligible for selection of any Club team unless the applicable subscription has been paid by the due date and/or membership has been agreed by the Club committee.

4. Sports Equity

(a) This Club is committed to ensuring that equity is incorporated across all aspects of its development. In doing so it acknowledges and adopts the following Sport England definition of sports equity: 

Sports equity is about fairness in sport, equality of access, recognising inequalities and taking steps to address them. It is about changing the culture and structure of sport to ensure it becomes equally accessible to everyone in society.

(b) The Club respects the rights, dignity and worth of every person and will treat everyone equally within the context of their sport, regardless of age, ability, gender, race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexuality or social/economic status.

(c) The Club is committed to everyone having the right to enjoy their sport in an environment free from threat of intimidation, harassment and abuse.

(d) All club members have a responsibility to oppose discriminatory behaviour and promote equality of opportunity.

(e) The Club will deal with any incidence of discriminatory behaviour seriously, according to club disciplinary procedures.

5. Committee

(a) The affairs of the Club shall be conducted by a Committee which shall consist of the following positions:

  • Chair
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Coaching Officer
  • Quartermaster
  • Membership Officer
  • Welfare & Safeguarding Officer
  • Pool Supervisor Coordinator
  • Events Co-ordinator
  • Marketing (includes social & website etc)
  • Health and Safety Officer

who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.

(b) All committee members must be members of the Club. 

(c) If required, the committee shall elect a Vice Chair from among its number.

(d) The term of office shall be for one year, and members shall be eligible for re-election.

(e) If the post of any officer or ordinary committee member should fall vacant after such an election, the Committee shall have the power to fill the vacancy until the succeeding Annual General Meeting.

(f) The Committee will be responsible for adopting new policy, codes of practice and rules that affect the organisation of the club.

(g) The Committee will have powers to appoint advisers to the Committee as necessary to fulfil its business.

(h) The Committee will be responsible for disciplinary hearings of members who infringe the club rules/regulations/constitution. The Committee will be responsible for taking any action of suspension or discipline following such hearings.

(i) The committee meetings will be convened by the Secretary of the Club and be held no less than 3 times per year.

(j) Only the posts listed above will have the right to vote at committee meetings.

(k) The quorum required for business to be agreed at Committee meetings will be 6 committee members.

(l) An executive sub section of the committee will meet every 6 weeks or as close to as possible to maintain the business of the club. The exec sub section will be formed of the roles listed below. 

The executive sub section roles are as follows:

  • Chairman
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Coaching Officer
  • Events Co-ordinator & Marketing (includes social & website etc)

Operationally, the Secretary or Chairman will maintain contact with all committee members to ensure that any issues that they have within their devolved remit are covered at exec meetings or have them attend said meeting. There will be no restrictions for any elected committee members who are free and wishing to attend the executive meetings where they will be free to exercise the full rights of elected officers. The quorum for the executive subsection meetings is 5, there for all must attend for meeting proceedings to be considered valid. 

6. Finances

(a) The club treasurer will be responsible for the finances of the club.

(b) The financial year of the club will run from 1st April and end on 31st March.

(c) All club monies will be banked in an account held in the name of the club. 

(d) An independently verified statement of annual accounts will be presented by the treasurer at the Annual General Meeting.

(e) Any cheques drawn against club funds should hold the signatures of the treasurer plus up to two other officers.

(f) All members of the Club shall be jointly and severally responsible for the financial liabilities of the Club. 

7. General Meetings

(a)General Meetings are the means whereby the members of the Club exercise their democratic rights in conducting the Club’s affairs. All general meetings other than the Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be called Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM).

(b) The Club shall hold the AGM in the month of April to:

  • Approve the minutes of the previous year’s AGM.
  • Receive reports from the Chair and Secretary.
  • Receive a report from the Treasurer and approve the Annual Accounts.
  • Elect the officers on the committee.
  • Agree the membership fees for the following year.
  • Consider any proposed changes to the Constitution.
  • Deal with other relevant business.

(a) Notice of the AGM will be given by the club secretary with at 14 days’ notice to be given to all members.

(b) Nominations for officers of the committee will be sent to the secretary prior to the AGM.

(c) Proposed changes to the constitution shall be sent to the secretary prior to the AGM, who shall circulate at least 7 days before an AGM.

(d) All members have the right to vote at the AGM.

(e) The quorum for AGMs will be 15 members or 10% of the membership (whichever is greater).

(f) The Chair of the Club shall hold a deliberative as well as a casting vote at general and committee meetings.

(g) An EGM shall be called by an application in writing to the Secretary supported by at least 10% of the members of the Club.  The committee shall also have the power to call an EGM by decision of a simple majority of the committee members.

(h) All procedures shall follow those outlined above for AGMs. 

8. Amendments to the constitution

The constitution will only be changed through agreement by majority vote at an AGM or EGM.

9. Discipline and appeals

(a) All concerns, allegations or reports of poor practice/abuse relating to the welfare of children and young people will be recorded and responded to swiftly and appropriately in accordance with the club’s child protection policy and procedures. The Club Safeguarding Officer is the lead contact for all members in the event of any child protection concerns.

(b) All complaints regarding the behaviour of members should be presented and submitted in writing to the Secretary.

(c) The Committee or nominated sub-committee will make the relevant party/s aware of the complaint against them on a confidential basis. They have the right to submit their account of the dispute to the Secretary within 14 days.

(d) The Committee will meet to hear complaints within 21 days of a complaint being lodged. The committee has the power to take appropriate disciplinary action including the termination of membership.

(e) The outcome of a disciplinary hearing should be notified in writing to the person who lodged the complaint and the member against whom the complaint was made within 14 days of the hearing.

(f) There will be the right of appeal to the Committee following disciplinary action being announced. The Committee should consider the appeal within 28 days of the Secretary receiving the appeal.

10. Dissolution

(a) A resolution to dissolve the club can only be passed at an AGM or EGM through a majority vote of the membership.

(b) In the event of dissolution, all debts should be cleared with any club funds.  Any assets of the club that remain following this will be transferred to another organisation for purposes the same as, or similar to the Club. The organisation receiving the assets will be identified by the committee.

11. Declaration

Pirates Canoe Club hereby adopts and accepts this constitution as a current operating guide regulating the actions of members.

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