The First 90 Days
Only two executive meetings under the belt, and already the first 90 days is complete. It’s time for the new executive to report on what has been happening since AGM 2014. This year’s Operational Plan provided us a compass bearing to start, and current statistics of membership renewal gave us the forecast needed to focus our efforts. Every indication is that Clubs around the country continue to suffer a decline in members numbers. What if anything can the executive do to help reverse this trend? Continuing to look at cutting costs as the past executives have done is still important to the new team. Ideally though, the current exec may be best positioned to try and take advantage of the predicted economic turnaround – that hopefully will lift the tide for all involved in our sport.
One single theme we are hearing on our slips around the country – is the difficulty for Clubs to get enough members together to economically run boats with just their own membership alone. Many clubs are already turning to guest diving to support costs. The Regional Dive Rallys have become a huge success, and in many cases the mixing of members from different Clubs on boats is a highlight of the event. It is our hope that we can use these fun shared events to positively promote our organization, and retain those divers on the fringes that may otherwise choose to leave. These events could also be a deciding factor in attracting new divers from external sources. For this reason, we are pleased to support 4 dive rallys around the country, and will continue to encourage for Clubs to think about putting more events on the dive calendar.
There is good work happening around a problem raised at the AGM; and we hope that a new procedure agreed with the medical commission will help to improve service to members. This year we received BoardMatch training for the executive, and are happy to have that training sponsored by the Irish Sports Council, who recognize its importance. Our new secretary, Gerry continued a focus on governance attending a seminar at the ISC and Denny did us proud by representing CFT at the CMAS General Assembly/EGM in Rome.
This year we are again putting out to tender the Insurance policy, which will complete the second half of this year. Some more forward planning from the executive means that its time for clubs to express interest in hosting the 2016 AGM, while we work with Lough Derg to ensure another success for 2015 in Nenagh. The first Subsea magazine for the new editor has gone to the printers for all our members to enjoy; and a new Instructor Ezine from our NDO has been produced, the goal of which is to improve the communication between our CFT instructors, the NDO, the RDO’s and the officers of the Technical Commission.
In areas of special interest, there is a number of efforts happening that will hopefully give our membership more courses and activities to keep interested in diving with CFT. Work towards an Apnoea course has begun, funding for an Underwater Hockey tournament has been approved as well as a proposal approved from the very popular Underwater Photography group for a competition. All 3 of these areas are full of divers that are both inside and outside of our organization, so again we hope to attract more of them into our family. There was a first achieved in the hosting of an Underwater Archaeology seminar, and there is continued progress with Seasearch, both with courses planned (Kenmare July 14-20) and the launch of online biodiversity recording.
Regional Snorkelling Officers are now in full swing and lots of activity around instructor development iarecoming on-stream, including an M1 crossover exam in Bray. This year the snorkelling fundamentals course fee is being waved, as it was highlighted as an obstacle to membership participation. A junior poetry contest is a creative way to promote snorkelling.
CFTs involvement in Blueway continues to be supported, and we recognize the great work achieved over the last few years to get this off the ground. The concept designed by our very own Laura Taylor, Snorkeling Development Officer, was launched last weekend in Mayo by Minister Ring. Thanks to her and other memebrs of the steering committee, the future is bright for this initiative0. We continue to spread the word about how local communities at slips along the Wild Atlantic Way can get involved in developing even more sites, hopefully ultimately feeding snorkelers into our Clubs.
While the head office team has been fundamental in many of these projects, they have also been working on a unique opportunity that arose directly out of the Dive show this year, a Dive App being developed with Infomar. There is also an important IT refresh that is happening; replacing our 2003 server and improving the efficiency in a cost effective manner.
If you meet one of the executive on a slip this Summer, be sure to give them feedback around the work being done. Hope to meet you at the next rally; Hook Peninsula for the South East, July 5, 6th.