ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HERITAGE QUAY HOTEL
TUESDAY 20TH JANUARY 2009
The Executive got its mandate to operate the affairs of the Antigua & Barbuda Softball Cricket Association on January 17th 2008. Although the Executive make-up was of some experience from the previous Executive and some fresh blood added, the task of the initial administration proved extremely challenging.
The Executive after careful analysis concluded that softball cricket in Antigua & Barbuda had reached a critical juncture, where the need for innovative and inspirational thinking had to be the order of the day. The Executive realized the need to strengthen the relationship between itself and the general body in a bid to maximize on the full benefits of our sports.
The Executive set forth to work, with a determination to bring a professional & disciplined approach to the administration of softball cricket in Antigua & Barbuda.
Registration of Clubs/Teams & Members started very slow, however after an extension to the deadline date and during the season, registration flowed smoothly. Early registration is of key importance as it can assist with our sponsorship negotiations and general planning of the calendar year.
Three Major Competitions were held in 2008, Caribbean Alliance Insurance Company Ltd 30 over league & the St John’s Co-operative Credit Union 20 over league, 20/20 League and the 10 over league. The Executive also launched a new one (1) day tournament called Five (5) Alive which was held on Whit Monday. Although only six (6) teams participated, the Executive felt that it was a promising start and every effort will be made to organize the tournament once more in 2009. Thanks to Harney Motors who stepped forward with the sponsorship to the tune of EC$1500. The prize monies were split, Male winners EC$800, Female winners EC$700. The Independence Competition was not held this year due to the excessive rainy conditions which affected the Island for the last quarter of the year. However every effort will be made to resume the Independence tournament in 2009.
The Caribbean Alliance Insurance Company Ltd Competition being our flag-ship tournament was held with much fan-fare this year. In a bid to offer more spot light and highlight of our Sponsor for Thirty (30) years of Sponsorship to softball cricket, the 1st Division was played on a Zone Basis to allow for semi-finals and Final Game. A presentation ceremony was held at the conclusion of the finals with trophies and medals distributed to the winners and runner-up.
Caribbean Alliance Insurance 30 overs League 2008
Division I Champion Primis Co-operation Hatton Starz
1st Runner up All Stars
Asot’s Arcade Lion Hill (28)
United Stars (25)
CFCCU Old Road (25)
Heritage Sports Cracker Jack (20)
Joe Mikes (18)
Nickal Pond Potters (0)
Division II Champion Bryson Shipping & Insurance Bullets (68)
1st Runner Up FDICIC Strictly Business (60)
Work Force Island Boys (40)
Dredge Bay (32)
Pacers Power Pack (20)
Johnson’s Shot Gun (-2)
St John’s Co-operative Credit Union 20 Overs League 2008
Division I Champion Quality Boat Works Enforcers (55)
1st Runner up Heritage Sports Targets (43)
CFCCU Old Road (40)
Brysons Shipping & Insurance Bullets (36)
FDICIC Strictly Business (20)
Golden Grove Clippers (20)
Nature Girls (-12)
Division II Champion Antigua Sail Female Flyers (48)
1st Runner up Primis Co-operation Hatton Starz (28)
Golden Nuts (28)
Pacers Power Pack (26)
Dredge Bay (-4)
Thirteen Plus Disqualified
20/20 League Male
Division I Champion Hadeed Motors United Stars
1st Runner up Asot’s Arcade Lion Hill
All Stars (40)
Primis Co-operation Hatton Stars (40)
Brysons Shipping & Insurance Bullets (30)
CFCCU Old Road (20)
FDICIC Strictly Business (20)
Cracker Jack (10)
Division II Champion Finance & Development Dredgers
1st Runner up Dredge Bay
Nickal Pond Potters (40)
Work Force Island Boys (30)
Pacers Power Pack (20)
Joe Mikes (10)
Johnson Shot Guns (0)
20/20 League Female
Division I Champion Brysons Shipping & Insurance Bullets
1st Runner-up CFCCU Old Road
Quality Boat Works Enforcers (50)
Heritage Sports Targets (50)
Antigua Sail Female Flyers (10)
FDICIC Strictly Business (10)
Nature Girls (0)
Golden Grove Clippers (0)
Division II Champion Primis Co-operation Hatton Starz
1st Runner-up Pacers Power Pack
Dredge Bay (no-show)
Thirteen Plus (no-show)
10 Over League
Male Div Champion All Stars
1st Runner-up CFCCU Old Road
Female Div Champion Quality Boat Works Enforcers
1st Runner-up CFCCU Old
Whit Monday Five (5) Alive Tournament
Umpiring proved to be one of the most challenging issues faced by the Executive in 2008. The un-availability and lack of commitment by some umpires caused a few disturbances to some schedule games. Quite a few games had to be played with one (1) umpire, which is not the standard that we want to maintain. Credit must go to the teams who played along with one (1) umpire, ensuring that disturbances were limited to the schedule. A more proactive and decisive approach must be taken in reference to the umpiring situation. An intense drive has to be undertaken, not only by the Executive but by each Club/Team to recruit and train umpires to a standard which is satisfactory to all its members.
- Increase umpire stipend from EC$25 per game to EC$35 per game
- Provide Insurance Coverage for all umpires free of charge
- Mandatory attendance at monthly umpire training sessions
All members must understand that the umpires are in total control of all games and must give the level of respect to all umpires and likewise all umpires must respect the teams & members. It is the Executive’s view that we must work hand in hand to improve the umpiring challenges that we face.
There were quite a few meetings with the General Membership, although attendance were not at it’s best for majority of the meetings. The Executive made special effort to advance notices as early as possible, even used the media houses to disseminate information as much as possible, however we did not feel as if we were able to capture as much attention of the clubs/teams and members. Clubs/Teams and members must recognize that they are the engine of the association and without their involvement and rapport, progress within the association is limited. The challenge is set forth for each member to recognize the important role they play in ensuring our association solidifies itself as the premier sporting institution in Antigua & Barbuda.
A Special Committee was formed to look at the relationship between the Executive and the General Membership. The process started well, but due to breakdown in communication, timing of task and lack of proper execution by the Executive the mission was aborted in midstream. However the Executive will be looking at re-commissioning this committee early in the year 2009 to ensure a proper report is completed, which The Executive believes will assist in the communication channels & language between the two (2) disciplines.
The Executive made representation to have an office space to effectively and efficiently carry-on the business of the association, early in the year 2008 at a meeting with the Minister of Sports. Verbal confirmation came from the Minister at the said Meeting but to date his promise has eluded us. The Executive is still determined to find a place of its own, which would provide a more conducive environment for meetings and preparation of the associations’ affairs.
Attendance at Executive Meetings, have been generally of a decent nature, however Executive members must guard against complacency and remember that the task at hand has just begun.
All Sports Promotion out of Trinidad invited the Association to field teams in its annual Caribbean Wind ball Championship, which was schedule for Barbados, firstly in May and subsequently postponed till June then to July. The Executive decided to participate with two (2) National teams (Male & Female). The Executive then embarked on a massive fundraising drive in an effort to off set cost associated with the tour, a budget of approximately EC$50 000.00 was estimated to successfully manage the tour in its entirety. Both national teams were selected
Anon Burton (Captain) Daphne Morris (Captain)
Alva Joseph Nolia Elvin
Gregson Merrick Cheryl Williams
Egbert Phillip Christine Mills
Murphy Joseph Sharon Francis
Glen Horsford Gaynell O’Garro
Donald Tongue Pendah Thomas
Jevon Howell Troyline Payne
Wayne Constant Charnalee Lawson
Joseph Mark Sacha Michael
Kirk Douglas Monique Titus
Arthur Crogman Esther George
Jason Marshall Brantie Isaac
Chesley Browne Georgette Lawrence
Clarence Francis Jennifer Thomas
Aaron Challenger (Coach) David Knowles (Coach)
David Thomas (Manager) Veronique Benta (Manager)
Richard Dyer (Asst Manager) Julian Best (Asst Manager)
Just a week & a half before the commencement of the tournament the organizers via email informed the Association that the tournament has been cancelled due to un-availability of playing field. This news was very disheartening to the Executive & players alike, after much hard work was put in to try and make this tour a possibility. The Executive had already sent of over EC$10 000.00 as down payment on accommodation and had already deposited with LIAT over EC$12 000.00 for flight arrangement. Sad to say the reversal of these transactions have cost the association monies which it could have ill afford to loose at that time. However the Executive is of the view that the best possible returns were realized.
The Executive is keen on providing maximum exposure for its members and will be seeking to either host teams from neighboring island(s) or participate in tournament(s) across the Caribbean.
As mentioned before, due to the anticipated tour, a keen effort was made to raise funds, not only for the tournament but towards club structure development. The Executive hosted two (2) cruises aboard the Coral Ark, a Luncheon, A five-alive tournament, solicitations, a raffle and even had a mid-week lime where drinks & food were sold. A more detailed breakdown will be given in the financial presentation as to the revenue & expenditure associated with these events.
The number one challenge faced by the Executive is the belief by some Clubs/Teams/Members that they are not duty bound to assist the association in its fund raising efforts. All Clubs/Teams/Members should realize that Softball Cricket for the past four (4) years has had only two (2) sponsors, we do not benefit from any gate receipts and financial support from the Government is limited and at most time’s non-existence. If Softball Cricket is to be successful, each Club/Team/Member must contribute in the form of supporting all activities organized by the association. All monies raised by the association is directed right back into the affairs and administration of the sport. We must all be aware that no member of the Executive receives a stipend for their hours and effort in organizing the sport and events. Thus it can be very discouraging when effort is being made to raise funds or organize an event and Clubs/Teams/Members of the Association show dis-regard and little to no interest at all.
The Executive is however mindful that this is a two (2) way stream and that the Executive will need to be more informative and creative to capture the attention of most and create a profit sharing mechanism with Clubs/Teams to ensure maximum participation in all projects.
The Executive challenges each Club/Team/Member to remember they have an extra-ordinary important role to play in the survival of Softball Cricket in Antigua & Barbuda. We must remember that unlike most other sporting disciplines, which have gate receipts, International funding from their Parent Body, and Government Financial Assistance, we are reliant on ourselves and we must participate and encourage others to participate in the survival and sustenance of Softball Cricket.
PRIZE GIVING & AWARD CEREMONY & DANCE:
This season’s award ceremony was held on December 7th 2008. A Committee once more was commissioned to oversee the planning and execution of this event. The Executive charge the committee to be innovative and creative in their thinking to ensure that the ceremony could be excited and interested to say the least. The Sponsors, Caribbean Alliance Insurance Co Ltd and the St John’s Co-operative Credit Union were in total agreement with the Executive that Cash Prizes should be an added stimulus in this years’ award. Towards this end the Executive was able to present EC$9000.00 in cash to awardees on the night, along with a wide range of trophies and medals. The Executive was very much encouraged by attendance, even with the no show of the Minister of Sports and the invited Guest Speaker the night was a grand one, and each Club/Team/Member should be proud of themselves.
There were two (2) resignations from the Executive this year and coincidentally they were both from the Treasury. The Treasurer and the Asst Treasurer both cited more responsibilities on their job, as reasons for their resignation. The Asst Treasurer’s resignation taking effect in September 2008, while the Treasurer’s resignation took effect January 13th 2009.
As mentioned before, on the receipt of the Financial Statement and other documents year ending December 31st 2007, the association was bankrupt. The Executive knew from the onset that it could not be business as usual. More prudent and systematic controls had to be put in place in the Treasury Department. A more dynamic approach towards sponsorship had to be achieved and a more diversified list of fund raising activities had to be engineered. In 2008 the Executive decided to raise the Membership Fee from EC$50 to EC$60 per player and the sale of balls from EC$25 to EC$30 per can. This was specifically geared towards improving the cash flow of the association. Tight stringent control was put in place where most expenditure had to receive Executive approval before expending. The Constitution and Rules & Regulations were enforced as much as possible to ensure all associations revenue were collected and were on time.
A Sponsorship Committee was commissioned to assist the association to formulate a sponsorship Document which would be the bench mark document to assist in the securing of sponsorship. Unfortunately this document was not completed, however credit must be given to the committee members who encouraged the Executive and also went out there on their own to secure contributions from various organizations and were always willing to help in whatever occasion they could.
The Executive was able to secure a 120% increase in the sponsorship of the St John’s Co-operative Credit Union League; this was no small feat but was a result of a committed sponsor and a passionate Executive. Caribbean Alliance Insurance Co Ltd Celebrated thirty (30) years of partnership with Softball Cricket in 2008 and the Executive must report that Caribbean Alliance Insurance has been very supportive of our efforts even coming forward with an additional EC$1000.00 to assist with the hosting of the Caribbean Alliance Insurance 30 over league Division I finals.
This year the Executive was able to build on an initiative started by the former Executive and were able to include the Ladies on the player of the week program. Both sponsors appeared impressed with the execution of the program.
Although the Executive was unable to secure any additional long term sponsorship, we are of the view that some strategic contacts have been made and there are great possibilities on developing on them.
The Executive is pleased to report that from a position of shaky grounds (bankruptcy) we are able to present a financial statement showing a total turn-around of the financial affairs with a solid base to build from. We are confident that once we continue with our prudent and organized approach we will continue to secure the association’s financial base for years to come.
2009 & BEYOND:
The Executive intends to bring a more organized and professional approach to the management of Softball Cricket in Antigua & Barbuda. It is the intention of the Executive to go into the communities to start to generate interest from the youngsters at an early age, with the staging of a Community Tournament and re-introducing the Caricom Tournament.
In order to attract more family interest we will seek to host some evening games with teams from different associations, business interest, social clubs and top teams from within the association. This medium will provide an avenue for continuous fund-raising which we anticipate will be supported by all members.
A week of activities for Softball Cricket is being looked at, but a representative from each club/team will be required to be on the committee to execute such an initiative.
The Securing of an office space will be of priority for 2009.
The building of team spirit & team work, bring everyone together with one goal, one aim, and one objective, in making Softball Cricket the number one Family Sport in Antigua & Barbuda.