Lower Thames Rowing Club Constitution
1. Name of the Club
The club shall be known as the Lower Thames Rowing club, herein after known as the club.
2. Objective of the Club
The objectives of the club are to further the sport of rowing both recreational and for competition in coastal boats and to provide facilities both practical and social for the membership.
There are Five classes of membership:
- Adult members – Any adult who has paid the annual fee
- Junior members – Under the age of 18. Junior members aged over 16 can row on scheduled club rows with a DBS checked Duty Officer as part of the crew. Those aged between 13 and 16 can row on scheduled junior rows or on scheduled club rows at the discretion of the Duty Officer. They must have a DBS checked Duty Officer in their crew and parental consent needs to be given in advance. Junior members below the age of 13 must be the child of a member. This member must accompany their child on the junior row along with a DBS checked Duty Officer unless, at the discretion of the Duty Officer, the parent is not required.
- Affiliated Member – A current member of another recognised British Rowing affiliated club. Applications for Affiliated membership must be considered and approved in advance by the Club Chair and Membership Secretary who will consider the applicant’s rowing and general suitability.
- Life Member – A nomination for life membership will be considered by the Committee if an application is received giving evidence that the nominee:
- has had LTRC Adult membership for at least ten years
- has given exceptional support to the club. This is likely to be (but not exclusively so) through holding office as part of committee membership AND working voluntarily on behalf of the club to an exceptional extent. New nominations will not be considered while the number of current life members exceeds 5% of the number of paying Adult members.
- The application needs to proposed and seconded by Two Adult members of the club (and approved by a committee vote.).
- Touring Rowing Membership – An adult who wishes to participate in a “Adventure or Touring Row”. This membership type can only row on an “Adventure or Touring Row” subject to receipt of membership application form and payment of the appropriate “Subscription”
Candidates for election to membership shall make written application to the club secretary on the form provided. The power of election shall rest with the committee who may refuse to elect to membership any application without assigning a reason for so doing.
A person who has been expelled from or refused membership of the British Rowing shall not be eligible for membership.
6. Equal Opportunities Policy:
The Club will ensure that the talents and resources of all members are utilised to the full and that no member receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, disability, marital status, creed, social class, ethnicity, age or sexual orientation.
7. Child Protection Procedures:
The club accepts the policy and procedures relating to child protection, set out by the BR and requires members to accept them as a condition of membership. To read these please follow this link: http://www.britishrowing.org/sites/default/files/pages/22685/SPCG%20Policy%20Feb%202013_1.pdf
The subscription year will commence from 1st February.
The rates of subscription shall be set by the committee by 31st December of the previous year and advised to all members. A statement from the committee will accompany the advice to justify, as needed, any change. If an increase is in excess of 10%, then an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called to approve the increase.
Juniors – Membership Fee will set by the committee by 31st December of the previous year and advised to all members. A statement from the committee will accompany the advice to justify, as needed, any change. If an increase is in excess of 10%, then an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called to approve the increase.
Affiliated members – No membership fee applicable but payment of race or adventure row fees applicable to full members also apply to affiliated members.
Life members, No membership fee applicable.
Touring Rowing Membership – The rates of subscription shall be set by the committee by 31st December of the previous year and advised to all members. A statement from the committee will accompany the advice to justify, as needed, any change. If an increase is in excess of 10%, then an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called to approve the increase.
All Members must have paid their membership fee at least 10 days prior to the AGM if they have not they will not be eligible to vote. Any member that has not paid their membership fee by the date of the AGM will no longer be entitled to row.
Members who join after 1st October will receive a 50% reduction in that year’s membership fee.
9. Cessation of Membership:
Any member may resign by giving notice in writing to the secretary. Any member violating any of the rules or regulations of the club or being adjudged guilty of unsatisfactory conduct may, by resolution of the committee, be suspended or expelled. Any member suspended or expelled may appeal to a special general meeting if such an appeal is sponsored in writing and signed by not less than 12 full members.
A member shall be deemed to have resigned from the club if, after due notice in writing he/she has not paid by the June meeting the annual subscription which became due at the AGM.
10. Disqualification from holding office:
Only full members entitled to vote are eligible to hold office. Any member under the age of 18 shall not be eligible for election to the committee of the club.
11. The Committee:
The committee shall conduct the affairs of the club as a whole and shall consist of a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and other officers as deemed necessary, with up to 7 ordinary members. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt further members but they shall not have the right to vote at committee meetings. Nominations for the position of all officers shall be put forward annually in the form of a ballot. The term of office shall be for one year and members shall be eligible for re-election. Flag Officers i.e. Chairman and Vice Chairman shall serve a maximum tenure of three years.
12. Duties of Committee:
Chairman — The Chairman will preside at all general meetings of the club and at all meetings of the committee. He or she shall be responsible for guiding the activities of the club in accordance with its general policy as expressed by the majority of its members. The Chairman shall represent or arrange for the representation of the club at BR regional level and at meetings of other organisations. He/she shall ex officio be a member of any other committee of the club.
The Race Captain/s — The Race Captain shall be responsible for representation of the club in competitions.
In the event of the fleet being established in other parts of the estuary the committee shall have the power to elect more captains to represent those areas.
Secretary — The secretary will be responsible for the organisation of meetings of the committee of the club, the recording of minutes relating to such meetings and all correspondence relating to the general business of the club.
Treasurer — The treasurer will be responsible for the collection of all monies and shall keep such books of account as required by the AGM. The treasurer will organise an annual audit and produce accounts showing the financial state of the club, accompanied by an auditor’s report, at the AGM.
Safety Officer – The primary responsibility of the Safety Officer is to set, implement and monitor safety policies in line with the BR codes of practice. This will include:
- encouraging safe practice for all club members
- advising on risk management and incident reduction
- carrying out relevant safety equipment checks, auditing and incident reporting
- advising on liability and insurance.
Welfare Officer – The welfare officer is responsible for overseeing DBS checks, ensuring the club is compliant with British Rowing welfare requirements and dealing with welfare issues raised by members.
Membership Secretary – The Membership Secretary is primarily responsible for:
- overseeing the database of members
- regularly providing new member updates to DOs and the committee
- communicating with new members
- developing club activities that help new members develop within the club.
13. Club Committee:
The committee is responsible for the general conduct of the club’s business and activities.
The committee shall meet at regular intervals during the year as required by the business to be transacted.
Special meetings of the committee shall be called by the secretary on instructions from the Chairman, of not less than three committee members.
A quorum shall consist of not less than five members.
In the case of casual vacancy among the committee the said committee shall be entitled to appoint another eligible person to act until the next AGM. If any member be absent from 3 consecutive meetings of the committee that person shall vacate their position on the committee automatically unless in the opinion of the committee their explanation is satisfactory.
14. General Meetings
An Annual General Meeting shall be held in March of each year. There shall be laid before the meeting a statement of accounts made up to the first day of the month of February immediately preceding.
An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called on the instructions of a simple majority of the committee or on a requisition signed by not less than 12 of the members of the club entitled to vote.
Not less than 21 days clear notice shall be given, specifying to all members the time and business of the General Meeting.
Motions for discussion at AGM not of origin from within the committee shall be lodged with the Secretary at least 30 days preceding the AGM and be proposed and seconded by two full members entitled to vote.
At any general meeting a resolution put to the vote of the meeting shall be decided by a show of hands, of the entitled to vote, except when more than one nomination has been received for a position on the committee, in which case voting will be by secret ballot.
At all General Meetings the Chairman will preside, or in his/her absence the voting members present will elect a Chairman for the meeting.
At all General Meetings not less than 20 members of the club entitled to vote shall constitute a quorum.
Absences of quorum — If after half an hour from the time appointed for the meeting a quorum is not present the meeting, if called at the request of the member, shall be dissolved. In any other case the meeting shall be adjourned until a time and place to be fixed by the committee. If a quorum is not present within half an hour from the time appointed for an adjourned meeting the members present shall form a quorum.
Accidental omission to give notice of a meeting to, or the non-elected notice of, a meeting by any member shall not invalidate the proceedings of a meeting.
The General committee shall manage the affairs of the club. Financial or legal liability incurred in the rightful exercise of their office shall not however be the person liability of the committee but shall be the responsibility of the club as a whole.
Only Adult and Life members over the age of 18 years are entitled to vote at all meetings.
Junior and Affiliate members have no vote at any Extraordinary General Meeting or Annual General meeting.
17. Alteration of the Constitution:
This constitution shall not be altered, amended or rescinded except by a general meeting of the club.
A resolution to give effect to a change must be passed by at least 75% of the members present at General Meeting and voting on his behalf.
The AGM will examine the accounts presented by the treasurer.
19. Distribution of Profits:
In no circumstances can any profit be distributed to members but any profits earned shall be used in furthering the objects of the club.
The club shall not terminate except by a resolution of a Special General Meeting convened for the purpose and in such an event any surplus assets shall be handed over to a body or bodies with similar objects or to a charity or charities agreed by the meeting which formally terminates the club.
21. Power of Decision:
Any matter not provided for in this constitution or any question over the interpretation of it shall be dealt with by the committee whose decision shall be final.
22. Rowing Activities:
All rowing activities must be organised and must be supervised by a club duty officer. These activities must be recorded on the club’s online rowing calendar, where possible in advance of the rowing activity taking place.
The committee shall appoint a member to act as a Safety Advisor whose duty will be to understand the guidance of water safety issued by British Rowing (BR) through the BR initiative RowSafe. The Safety Advisor shall encourage its prominent display, its observation and its implementation at all times. The committee will encourage all members to follow the Code of Practice and follow the advice given by their Safety Advisor. In addition, with Section 3.6 of the RowSafe guidance the club would request that all their members are able to swim or to wear life jackets at all times and behave responsibly on and off the water.
24. Welfare of Members:
Club members are expected to behave in a way that is respectful of all other members. Where a member is concerned that any member of the club being subjected to abuse or neglect they should report this in writing to the club welfare officer. Allegations and complaints will be dealt with in accordance with the welfare guidance and policies provided by British Rowing (https://www.britishrowing.org/about-us/safeguarding/guidance-documents/).
Specifically, these include:
• WG 1.1 – Anti-Bullying Policy
• WG 1.4 – British Rowing Code of Conduct
• WG 1.7 – Complaints and Disciplinary procedures
25. Communication and GDPR:
The committee will use email as the primary method for communicating club and committee business to members. Essential information will be sent to all members and nonessential information will be sent to those club members who have given consent to receive such communication in line with GDPR regulation. In addition, the club has a Facebook page which is open to members and non-members. As such, all club members are asked to be mindful about what they post ensuring they avoid anything that could be considered inflammatory, abusive, malicious or harmful.
Revised Rules Updated March 2020