NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Lee Marchant on Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:27 am

Sam Armstrong wrote:
Genuine question, how will you monitor the ages of the Forum's members if when registering no age/date of birth data is required? How many members already registered are U16? Even if you do have to enter a date of birth how will you go about verifying their age?

Whilst respecting the child protection fears I think it may be impossible or extremely costly to actually police and implement.

You also say that "Of course, the 'grown ups' who run the teams and who have vetted interests are more than welcome to post on here" but, if they are active in Youth & Junior rugby, where do they go to post whilst a decision is made on the "final layout" regarding their age-groups?

So far only Open Age categories have been accomodated ... and even a business ad section has been created before our age-groups ... surely the inclusion of youth and junior age-groups should have been at least equally catered for when the site was launched, and if not, as many believe, a priority over the business ads, certainly on what is intended as an AMATEUR RUGBY forum not seemingly as a bit of an afterthought!

There is no point in having a check box or date of birth entry, as anyone underage who has a usable email address will just lie anyway, it's clearly stated in the terms and conditions (when you complete the registration process), that anyone under the age of 14 who wishes to post should do so under adult supervision. You have to accept this agreement when you join.

As you well know, if any youngsters have an email address and are not supervised whilst on the internet, there is little that can be done to stop them from posting

In my experience in such matters, it is better just to set up the message-board in a manner which will discourage under age posting.

As for ignoring the youth/junior set up, the welfare of the kids is clearly of paramount importance, and this is why it was deemed not suitable to have under age posters on this forum (which has a private messaging system). I'd have thought that someone in your responsible position, would commend that approach?

The forum is only 3 days, and I'm altering the structure today to include a general BARLA chat zone, where you can start new topics about anything you so wish, so the News section can be simply that, and not a free for all.

If there are enough requests for a dedicated area on youth and junior over time, then we can look at implementing one, but lets walk before we start running...
For now, there are plenty of area on here where matters relating to such things can be discussed.

As for the affinity group, (or business pages as you called them) These companies are committed to supporting the clubs, we've already had one kit sponsor offer, and also a commitment of £500 to go into the pockets of two clubs (golf day) and I know for a fact that there is a lot more of this to follow.

Surely by helping the clubs financially , this in turn benefits the youth teams at those clubs?
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Lee Marchant on Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:47 am

pandasdad wrote:

It seems odd to me that nobody from the Board of Management has taken the opportunity to respond to such a serious issue. Why does the Board of Management require questions to be posed in a particular section of the forum? Is it beneath them to read other sections of the forum and address questions where they are posed?

And what guarantee is there that if these same questions appear in this hallowed section that they are any more likely to be answered than those to which previous posters have referred?

Ultimately, forums are organised for the use and benefit of the users, not the administrators and if a huge gap appears between the aims of those parties, the administrators are left with two choices!

The idea of having an area to have questions directed at BARLA was mine when we conceived the idea of the forum, the point of this was to have an easy to read constructed area which could then be easily used in the future for reference. Not every single comment or criticism on every thread will be commented on, nor do the board of management have the time to do so.

I was assured that any reasonable question or constructed set of issues would be answered, so I created the "hallowed" area (as you put it) specifically for that purpose.

Of course, this doesn't mean that members of the Board of Management cannot post elsewhere. And I'm sure they will...

But if a response is requested, there is an area specifically for that...
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Sam Armstrong on Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:28 am

Admin wrote:As for ignoring the youth/junior set up, the welfare of the kids is clearly of paramount importance, and this is why it was deemed not suitable to have under age posters on this forum (which has a private messaging system). I'd have thought that someone in your responsible position, would commend that approach?
The point being made about the lack of somewhere to post for youth/junior issues was not per se about U16's posting (frankly they rarely do as parents/coaches use these forums and therefore it's probably perceived as uncool to post) but about those of us adults involved in these age groups. If, as I believe your concern is for child welfare and, as you say, you cannot determine who's who or what age users are then why not simply, by default, disable the pm feature except to pm the admin. Users would then need to approach yourselves before it is fully authorised for use and the authorisation could then be discretionary on your own criteria ... not being able to pm would certainly immediately remove the risk of grooming pm's.

admin wrote:If there are enough requests for a dedicated area on youth and junior over time, then we can look at implementing one, but lets walk before we start running...
For now, there are plenty of area on here where matters relating to such things can be discussed.
But why should the youth/junior game with the largest number of players etc have to post in open-age sections and not, like everyone else, have their own area? Are these other areas not equally "learning to walk"???
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Lee Marchant on Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:17 am

Sam Armstrong wrote: The point being made about the lack of somewhere to post for youth/junior issues was not per se about U16's posting (frankly they rarely do as parents/coaches use these forums and therefore it's probably perceived as uncool to post) but about those of us adults involved in these age groups. If, as I believe your concern is for child welfare and, as you say, you cannot determine who's who or what age users are then why not simply, by default, disable the pm feature except to pm the admin. Users would then need to approach yourselves before it is fully authorised for use and the authorisation could then be discretionary on your own criteria ... not being able to pm would certainly immediately remove the risk of grooming pm's.

The pm feature is a very useful tool if used properly, and I would be very reluctant to remove the use of it. More to the point, forums which do not have a pm system always degenerate into "FAO's" and threads which are nothing more than a conversation between two people. I have a lot of experience at running forums such as this, and it was for this reason that I was asked to set this up on behalf of BARLA,

now, what is new for me, is not having free reign to run the message-board as I see fit, as the structure and content of it has to be acceptable to BARLA, the board of management and the members, and I have to bear that in mind before I make any major changes to the set up.

As I said, I will restructure the main index today, to make it clearer where each subject matter should go, and I intend to include a general BARLA discussion area, where threads can then be moved to more appropriate areas, once they have become less active.

It is a new site, and I have included a suggestions area, as I'll always try to give the forum members what they want. However, If I decide something is not a good idea, it is probably down to the fact that I have tried it on other forums and found problems with that particular concept. You'll just have to accept my decision on such matters.



Sam Armstrong wrote:But why should the youth/junior game with the largest number of players etc have to post in open-age sections and not, like everyone else, have their own area? Are these other areas not equally "learning to walk"???

You may have noticed that the open age leagues, and club pages have not had any interest as yet, and that is why I only set up the club pages for the NCL as I thought this may be the case, and didn't want to waste time creating untold club forums if they were not going to be used. It may be that I delete all of the individual club pages altogether and just have a general league area, alternatively we could have a club a-z where each club has their own sub-forum(if they ask for it) and this could include all teams that represent that club.

The forum is a couple of days old, give me a little time to set my moderator and administrator team up properly and see how the forum develops.

I envisage that we can create a structure that is satisfactory to everyone(well most! Wink ) .

I don't see the point of people jumping down my throat about the forum structure, and who is and isn't included until we have time to adapt to our userbase.

I would like to think that the whole idea of this website should be greated as a step forward, and to encourage open debate and transparancy with BARLA, (one of the criticisms that I believe have been directed towards it.)

But if people are not willing to participate in the spirit that the forum was set up in, then sadly the concept will fail, and that won't be BARLA's fault.
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by pandasdad on Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:03 am

Lee, you and Sam have gone down a very detailed path regarding the forum. However, as you mention above transparency is an issue, as is the apparent lack interest by BARLA in the Youth and Junior game. It isn't an intention to criticise you, personally, for the structure of the forum, but that a structure that includes slots for Open Age but none for Youth and Junior is symptomatic of the apathy which appears to exist for that large part of amateur rugby league.

And still I see no comment from any member of the Board, regarding these fundamental issues, so where then is transparency?

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Sam Armstrong on Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:52 am

Admin wrote:The forum is a couple of days old, give me a little time to set my moderator and administrator team up properly and see how the forum develops.

I envisage that we can create a structure that is satisfactory to everyone(well most! Wink ) .

I don't see the point of people jumping down my throat about the forum structure, and who is and isn't included until we have time to adapt to our userbase.

Lee,

Next time you see him get your doctor to prescribe you a big bottle of these!!!!
They help the days pass easier when you're a forum admin .... trust me!! drunken
lol!
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Lee Marchant on Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:04 am

Sam Armstrong wrote:]

Lee,

Next time you see him get your doctor to prescribe you a big bottle of these!!!!
They help the days pass easier when you're a forum admin .... trust me!! drunken
lol!


I thought I had some, but they were blue, and they kept me up all night.
Cool
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Sam Armstrong on Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:07 am

Admin wrote:I thought I had some, but they were blue, and they kept me up all night.Cool
Aren't times hard enough already? scratch
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by once a ref on Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:19 am

Admin, you started this thread by posting a letter from Hilary Steel in order to promote debate on a reasonably serious subject. Before the debate was very old you deflected it into a discussion on the content and development of the Forum. You also seem to be taking on the role of Spokesperson for BARLA where given the seriousness of this "hot potato" (your phrase) I would have thought someone in authority would have joined in to debate the original subject. Unless of course someone is a ventriloquist.

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Lee Marchant on Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:31 am

once a ref wrote:Admin, you started this thread by posting a letter from Hilary Steel in order to promote debate on a reasonably serious subject. Before the debate was very old you deflected it into a discussion on the content and development of the Forum. You also seem to be taking on the role of Spokesperson for BARLA where given the seriousness of this "hot potato" (your phrase) I would have thought someone in authority would have joined in to debate the original subject. Unless of course someone is a ventriloquist.

You may wish to re-read the thread, the point came up as to why the structure of the forum didn't include youth/junior pages, and I could answer those points, as I was involved in those discussions.

I have been very careful to steer clear of making any comments of BARLA procedures or comments (apart from posting up received letters/emails) as that is beyond my remit, I'm just here to ensure the smooth running of the forum and to take care of the technical aspects.

I've explained fully who I am in the "welcome to the forum" thread, and can assure you I have no part in BARLA decision making, and I'm certainly not their spokesperson!

Lee,

Shocked
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by pandasdad on Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:48 pm

And having had Hilary's letter posted on here, what is the Management Board's response?

Or is this the response of which Hilary got so tired before finally giving up hope of any?

To be honest if the likes of Mick Doyle, Sam Armstrong, Margaret Byrne and Hilary Steel couldn't get formal responses to formal requests, I see precious little chance of the Board of Management giving answers to this forum.

This forum, I would suggest, is "smoke and mirrors". It is an attempt to give the impression of being interested in the grass roots without actually doing anything.

They are welcome to prove me wrong. And it may be the saviour of their organisation!!

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Sam Armstrong on Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:21 am

pandasdad wrote:To be honest if the likes of Mick Doyle, Sam Armstrong, Margaret Byrne and Hilary Steel couldn't get formal responses to formal requests, I see precious little chance of the Board of Management giving answers to this forum.
You never know Panda but I have to warn you that our problem with global warming is drastically reducing the chances of this happening ...

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Why is it?

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:28 am

What I don;t understand is why NWC have such apparently huge issues with BARLA when other regional leagues get on fine with both BARLA and RLS.

Is there historical clashes of personality at work here which will never go away whilst those people are involved?

If it is, then that's not in the best interest of the players who afterall we are all here to support - well at least we should be.

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by clowesey on Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:53 am

stivey wrote:What I don;t understand is why NWC have such apparently huge issues with BARLA when other regional leagues get on fine with both BARLA and RLS.

Do they? Are you sure? I'm not.

stivey wrote:Is there historical clashes of personality at work here which will never go away whilst those people are involved?
So many clashes? So many different leagues? I'd hardly call my involvement historical, 5 years isn't that long in my book.

stivey wrote:If it is, then that's not in the best interest of the players who afterall we are all here to support - well at least we should be.
Which is what we are all interested in.

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by mick doyle on Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:55 am

stivey wrote:What I don;t understand is why NWC have such apparently huge issues with BARLA when other regional leagues get on fine with both BARLA and RLS.

Is there historical clashes of personality at work here which will never go away whilst those people are involved?

If it is, then that's not in the best interest of the players who afterall we are all here to support - well at least we should be.


Its not just the NWC ,YORKSHIRE juniors also have issues with Barla as do the West Riding and Cumbria and I am led to believe the national Conference also have major issues.NO one from the Board appears to have the strength of conviction to take the bull by the horns and try and solve all our concerns .Indeed the Boards response was to change the constitution and stop associate members from attending and speaking at BARLA meetings speaks volumes dont you think ?

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:57 am

[quote="clowesey]Do they? Are you sure? I'm not.[/quote]

I'm sure that some do.

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:59 am

mick doyle wrote:
stivey wrote:What I don;t understand is why NWC have such apparently huge issues with BARLA when other regional leagues get on fine with both BARLA and RLS.

Is there historical clashes of personality at work here which will never go away whilst those people are involved?

If it is, then that's not in the best interest of the players who afterall we are all here to support - well at least we should be.


Its not just the NWC ,YORKSHIRE juniors also have issues with Barla as do the West Riding and Cumbria and I am led to believe the national Conference also have major issues.NO one from the Board appears to have the strength of conviction to take the bull by the horns and try and solve all our concerns .Indeed the Boards response was to change the constitution and stop associate members from attending and speaking at BARLA meetings speaks volumes dont you think ?

Any how many of those have ex-BARLA members who have fallen out and are now anti-BARLA because of it? Does anyone know if there are any?

At the youth and junior meetings currently taking place FULL members are not allowed to represent it so isn';t that just the same?

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Sam Armstrong on Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:34 am

stivey wrote:Any how many of those have ex-BARLA members who have fallen out and are now anti-BARLA because of it? Does anyone know if there are any?
No-one, contrary to reports, is anti-BARLA, indeed the 3 x NW Counties Junior Leagues have for many years been some of the Association's supporters and still believe in what it should stand for, however, there is a huge amount of frustration at the apathy from the Association at present towards our age-groups and we firmly believe that we owe it to our players to seek the support of what we consider to be a better platform for their future.

stivey wrote:At the youth and junior meetings currently taking place FULL members are not allowed to represent it so isn';t that just the same?
If this is a reference to recent meetings held at Old Trafford and next week at Huddersfield which incuded Leagues from the North West, Yorkshire, Humberside, Cumbria, the North East, London & the South, Wales & Scotland at which we ALL sat round the table and made some fantastic progress then I think you should be aware that there was at least two FULL BARLA member leagues present and only one FULL member Youth/Junior League that, although invited, did not attend. So, in a nutshell it is NOT "the same"!

This RFL initiative was the first time for many years that we involved in the youth/junior set-ups all finally had the opportunity to, truly nationally, get round the table, benchmark, share ideas, thrash out issues and generally do something pro-active for our players and work hand in hand with the developing Leagues.

It became apparent to, certainly the representatives of the North West, that remaining in BARLA where, due to blatent lies told to the BARLA Board by certain parties, we as former Full but now Associate Members no longer have this type of floor open to us. We receive no correspondence and, worst of all, to have no involvement with our current governing body in development of the game for our players was/is absolutely farcical. I repeat my earlier statement, these kids are the future of our great game and we are currently doing untold damage by not looking after them as they should be!


Last edited by Sam Armstrong on Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:44 am

But its true is it not that those two FULL members are not being allowed to represent that group unless they withdraw their membership or become associate members instead.

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Sam Armstrong on Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:59 am

stivey wrote:But its true is it not that those two FULL members are not being allowed to represent that group unless they withdraw their membership or become associate members instead.
Certainly not to the best of my knowledge. Both Cumbria and Hull & District are both FULL Members who were welcomed and actively involved at the first meeting and we anticipate that they will be on Tuesday too so why should another League be told that they have to leave and not be involved in the discussions.

What you may be getting mixed up with is those teams who decide to come under the "Other Leagues" section of the Community Board cannot vote at both this and the BARLA section of the Board. Basically, it is giving those currently without a voice or vote in the development of the youth/junior game the opportunity to do so via another section of the Community Board but not, and quite correctly, have two votes in two separate sections which is only fair to everyone at whatever age-group they represent.
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:49 am

Is it not a Youth and Junior Foum Meeting and as such includes both leagues from traditional and none traditional areas for the good of the game, does it not also include both Full BARLA members, Associate BARLA members and none BARLA members.

As such should not the person who represents that group of people come from ANY of those groups of people. Surely they are able to vote with their regional hat on (if they get such a vote) and be capable and trusted to vote differently (if necessary) with their Youth & Junior Forum hat on?

If your saying that the person being discussed on the agenda at the next meeting represents something else then why is it even being discussed at that meeting?

Incidently does each regional league get one vote, or do each league get one for youth and one for junior, or for example do they get three by splitting as NWC do and if not should they do a quick constitutional split beforehand to get the extra votes?

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Sam Armstrong on Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:37 am

stivey wrote:Is it not a Youth and Junior Foum Meeting and as such includes both leagues from traditional and none traditional areas for the good of the game, does it not also include both Full BARLA members, Associate BARLA members and none BARLA members.
Sorry we seem to be talking over two issues. Yes you are quite right the "meeting" is indeed a Youth & Junior Forum and EVERYONE involved in a Youth/Junior League is invited and would have the same voting rights .. what I was however referring to was the alternative to coming under BARLA's jurisdiction which would be to join and fall under "Other Leagues" as part of the Community Board it is here that I was talking about and where you could only be part of one or the other and therefore could vote and be represented by BARLA or come under and vote as part of the "Other Leagues" ... but not both.

stivey wrote:As such should not the person who represents that group of people come from ANY of those groups of people. Surely they are able to vote with their regional hat on (if they get such a vote) and be capable and trusted to vote differently (if necessary) with their Youth & Junior Forum hat on?
Yes, and now, realising your point, I fully agree with your statement.

stivey wrote:If your saying that the person being discussed on the agenda at the next meeting represents something else then why is it even being discussed at that meeting?
I am not aware of any individual being discussed and apologise but I don't understand what you are saying ... please explain and I'll be only too happy to answer (if I am able).

stivey wrote:Incidently does each regional league get one vote, or do each league get one for youth and one for junior
Each League represented, I assume, gets one vote, however, so far, no "votes" on anything have been proposed merely a coming together of like-minded individuals interested in Youth/Junior matters.
stivey wrote:.. or for example do they get three by splitting as NWC do and if not should they do a quick constitutional split beforehand to get the extra votes?
No-one has an issue with the various breakdowns, to the best of my knowledge, in the same way that NW Counties don't have any problems with the different Yorkshire leagues. We all have different issues whether they be by age-groups or be geography but we are all united in wanting what's best for our players.
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:18 pm

I believe the agenda item is along the lines of

Community Board Representative - agree the process

We are all united in wanting the best for our players, its just that we don';t all agree with the best way to achieve it.

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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by Sam Armstrong on Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:18 pm

stivey wrote:I believe the agenda item is along the lines of

Community Board Representative - agree the process
Ahhh, now I see what you mean, the unusual way you worded your previous statement misled me ... I was under the impression you were referring to an individual person being discussed behind their back and not a position.

Ok, clearly this person, who will possibly put themselves forward or alternatively be nominated, will, as far as I understand, be selected from those Leagues not already represented by BARLA and those parties alone will subsequently have an input as to who represents them.
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Re: NWC youth 16-18 withdraw from BARLA

Post by mick doyle on Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:31 am

STIVEY there is a fundamental difference in being invited and choosing not to go ,and not being allowed to go.
The best way to describe the current situation is BARLA DORMANT ,R.L SERVICES PRO-ACTIVE.

As a regional officer who administors the game for 48 clubs 178 teams and over 3000 kids ,surely we have the right to do whats best for who we represent.

To put you and others in the picture we have had major issues for nearly three seasons.
The Board have made little or no attempt to discuss and settle our greivences.
In my 15 years as chair only Pat Crawshaw took the time out to come and meet with us ,Pat understood our concerns and attempted to take the association forward only to be hounded off the Board for doing so.
Spen ,Carole and Steve Manning attended a meeting of the Nwc 16-18,,s and represented the association in an extreamly poor manner ,thats not just my opinion it was the opinion of 95% of delegates who where in attendance.

I am 100% committed to the ETHOS of BARLA and always will be ,what I am not behind is a Board of management who,s prime role is looking after open age issues.
With little or no knowledge or interest in the youth and junior sections of BARLA.
Given that approx 75% of the playing membership in BARLA is at youth and junior dont you think we should have an input and be afforded the courtesy of recognition ?

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