Northam and Stafford step up to SJA plate

A new Treasurer and new-look SJA committee were the principle outcomes of the 2009 annual meeting, hosted courtesy of one of our sponsors, UK Sport, in central London yesterday.

The meeting effectively wrapped up official business on probably the most momentous, and busy, year in the Association’s 60 years.

Tributes were paid by SJA chairman Barry Newcombe, to the work of Jon Ryan, who stood down from the committee, and to Neil Wilson, after he had fulfilled his promised two years as Treasurer, a job he described as much more demanding than he had ever anticipated, “though I do know now how to read a spreadsheet”.

Randall Northam, the former Daily Express athletics writer and now running his own sports books publishing business – imaginatively called SportsBooks – from Cheltenham, takes over the management of the Association’s finances, as Sir Michael Parkinson (president for a second term), Newcombe, Stuart Robinson (vice chairman) and Steven Downes (secretary) were all returned unanimously as officers.

Chairman Newcombe also made a presentation of a framed, original Kevin Macey cartoon to Peter Wilson, in acknowledgement of his three years’ service in editing – and transforming – the SJA’s quarterly Bulletin, which is sent to all the Association’s 700-plus members, a record membership figure. Keir Radnedge takes over the Bulletin editorship from the summer issue.

In the committee election, all existing committee members – Philip Barker, Ian Cole, Mary Fitzhenry, Leo Mason, Jim Munro, David Walker and David Welch – were returned, with Ian Stafford, the Mail on Sunday feature writer and now a budding interweb entrepreuneur, voted into the place vacated by Ryan.

The committee’s motion to re-draft a clause in the SJA constitution, to merge the requirement for chairman’s and secretary’s reports at future annual meetings into a single report on behalf of the committee, was also accepted unanimously.

At the meeting, there was a moment’s silence for those friends, colleagues and members who had passed in the last year, including former chairman Reg Gutteridge, John Rodda, David Vine, Bill Frindall, Norman Dixon and Peter Jay. The Association also expressed its regret for any distress caused by some of the comments on the SJA website following the death of Peter Jay.

Chairman’s report – click here

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