SOUK Sports Officials UK


At the recent SOUK AGM, The Chairman reported:

“In the past year SOUK has continued to become more widely known; not with the rapidity which we would have welcomed, but in important areas we have become accepted as the generic voice of sports officiating.  Members who were present at the Committee meeting held at the Royal Life Saving Society’s beautifully located offices heard from Katie Couchman of SkillsActive  about a multi-million pound project to provide bursaries nationwide for the development of coaching and officiating.  In the proposal presented to the Sports Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, SOUK was identified as the key partner for officiating.  In the present economic climate this project is on the back burner, but it is still cooking.

We gave some further consideration to our Development Plan; the document remains undeveloped and although it has been circulated with the papers for this meeting it is only intended to indicate possible future development.  Careful reading will show that parts of it as circulated are uplifted from an FA document, which the Officers feel shows the type of development which our plan should include.  It will be recalled that it was considered to be important that we tailor our document to reflect the needs of whichever funding agency might be persuaded to support us, and this is why we have not had a great deal of movement in the past year.  Despite our Hon. Treasurer’s extensive contacts, we have found it very difficult to arrange formal meetings with the “movers and shakers”, although Pat continues to keep our profile high when his path crosses with theirs.  We did have a very amicable meeting with Tim Lamb at CCPR; at the time he was unable to tell us in detail since discussions were still ongoing, but he did point us towards a possibility of which you will now have heard.  The trial run of BingoLotto proved to be successful, and it has now been taken up by Tesco for a nationwide launch next month.  The proceeds week by week will be allocated to distribution companies with specific remits, and some of these companies have direct relevance to sports officiating.  SOUK has applied to become one of the beneficiaries and we have indicated the companies to whom we shall be applying.  We shall now be required to detail our needs from each of these companies, and our percentage of the take for each one will then be decided.  It is clearly Tim Lamb’s estimation that we shall be sufficiently well funded to be able to employ someone to undertake the administration of SOUK.  As we have suggested in the past, this will enable us to make great strides in our development and should help us to meet those high aspirations which we have outlined in earlier documents.  We are very grateful to CCPR for the support and help which they have given us to date, and we hope that this will continue with financial additions.

Some of the detail of our association’s work will be developed in the Hon. Secretary’s report.  As Chairman, I would like to pay tribute to my fellow officers; Pat as Hon Treasurer has a background of experience in sport which is of great value to us, and his contacts seem to extend widely.  Casual comment such as “When I spoke to the Duke of Edinburgh yesterday . . . “ ensure that I remain feeling very insignificant, but Pat backs this up by working very hard on behalf of SOUK in many ways including administratively.  Indeed, he does much of the work which a Hon. Secretary might be expected to do, and I know that Janie appreciates the unstinting support which Pat provides.  Janie’s own workload is such that the FA cannot spare her the time which she would offer to SOUK, particularly since her latest promotion.  However, her understanding of the generic issues of officiating and her awareness of how things may be achieved make her invaluable to SOUK.  On your behalf as well as my own I thank Pat and Janie for all that they have done in the past year.” 

David Pegg was re-elected as Chairman.  Also re-elected were Janie Frampton as Hon. Secretary and Pat Smith MBE as Hon. Treasurer. 

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