Update to all members

Dear Members,

We are open and rowing again and all is looking great, and the club is moving forward.

Just to make sure that there are no misunderstandings, people who were members of the club before we closed are still members unless they have specifically requested to have their membership cancelled by emailing club.membership@clsarc.org

Nobody’s membership has been cancelled.

Many members have already updated and signed their membership forms as requested; we hope that many more will do so soon. Signed, updated membership forms are a requirement for all members to ensure that we have up to date information, and we can demonstrate good governance.

For clarity, the only reason the club asked members to cancel standing orders was to allow us to adopt a direct debit system which will make it easier to administer and collect fees. This will be implemented once we have updated membership details.

All official internal communication from the club is via Stack TeamApp.

When we re-opened the Trustees gave some explanations as to what has happened to us and the reasons why.

For those who missed the session on Monday 15th August, the following statement was read out to the members by Gordon Clark Director/Trustee.

It great to see you here tonight, so thank you!

As we move the club forward, our new coaching team have produced comprehensive timetables, and training plans for every member, to ensure that everybody will be looked after and have the fullest training opportunities in line with BR guidelines of ‘how much how often.’

Sadly whilst we had the forced closure of the club, and our subsequent temporary ‘suspension of affiliation’ by British Rowing, we are now in a position to reassure members that the club is going to be alright following meetings and conversations with BR- an email today is utterly positive and they, BR, assure the club of their support re a timely re-affiliation and they seem happy with our changes in governance – hence our request for you to complete the new membership form providing up to date details etc. along with a refreshed Club Code of Conduct. This is very good news indeed after what we have had to endure as a Club.

We recognise a lot of things have been said and stated which has again, been difficult for us as a Club given the fact that we had to maintain a dignified silence to ensure we had the full picture regarding the situation that was brought to us as a Club – be assured we certainly did not seek this out. It is so sad on many levels.

The club officials can say the following:
• Please accept the assurance that the decisions that have been taken were made in the best interest of the club albeit extremely difficult for club officials.
• Sadly, the Club appears to have been the subject of a long term ‘take over plan’ – the same plan appears to have been implemented to take over football, Rugby, Athletics, Swimming, and Netball Clubs in Chester le street.
• Durham County Council are aware of the situation, and we as a Club, have been in constant discussion with them. We are very grateful for their continued support, their time, and their wisdom, and some of those councillors are here tonight.
• Unfortunately, there are still outstanding matters that we are unable to discuss openly due to ongoing conversations.
• What we can share is: the reason that we had our ‘affiliation suspended’ was because of the volume of complaints that BR received following our announcement on TeamApp about three weeks ago now, from a concerted minority group.
• British Rowing are supporting us to get our suspension lifted as soon as possible.

We know this has been an uncertain time for us all, so the trustees Lindsey, Chris, Garry, and I, and possibly some of the Councillors will be around and for the next few sessions to answer, if we can, any questions that you may have.