Director’s Report 2012

September 23, 2012

Directors Report 2102

 

One of the most pleasing aspects of the past year has been the progression of a good number of scholars to the young professional ranks. Ellis Harrison, Mitch Harding, Ross Staley and Jordan Goddard have all been awarded contracts and Shaquille Hunter has also been given a squad number. The Supporters Club are proud sponsors of Youth Development and Bristol Rovers. The investment is beginning to show through. We welcome back Marcus Stewart to the Football Club and wish him well in his position as development coach.  Marcus will be looking after our young professionals, arranging football matches, developing their game and working to progress them into the first team.

The Football Association is putting in place a great deal of change over the coming year in terms of Youth Football and Bristol Rovers are well placed to implement the changes. The loss of Ken Oram to the FA is a sad one but the appointment of Alan Walsh is sound. In addition to his coaching skills Alan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the local area. We can be sure of the healthy continuation of quality recruitment to the youth programme in the coming year.

I take in as many Youth games as I can, including pre season friendlies. I have also taken in a number of visits to training over the year and will continue to do so this season. I consider this to be very important work for us. The high level of sponsorship is only made possible by the 50/50 draw ticket money. Every penny raised goes into the Youth pot. A great many thanks to you for buying the tickets and to our matchday sellers for working so hard on our behalf.

My main role on the Board continues to be that of Chairman of the Community Trust. The objective over the past year has been to grow and to widen participation. We have added to our portfolio of working mostly with schools age children and now work with older people, football for the disabled, Futsal Scholars and young people living in specific districts of Bristol. The main aim of the work in the districts is to improve social behaviour and to instil good citizenship among our young people.

The demise of the Playing for Success programme has brought about a massive challenge to the Football Club’s desire to maintain and grow the Education Centre. As with our community work, the education programme is becoming much more inclusive and we are planning to add to the work by developing an employability skills programme for the 16-23 year olds not in education, training and employment.  Another development is the recruitment of girls onto the Futsal programme. Education manager, Adam Tutton, was previously on a secondment through the Bristol Education Authority under the PfS banner but is now employed directly by the Trust. The challenge over the coming year is to develop and implement a business plan that will secure the self funding necessary to maintain employment levels and take the Trust forward. I pledge my time, experience and energy to this work.

Supporters Club Branches have grown in number over the past year. Taking the lead from Weston-s-Mare, Norton Radstock will be a main match sponsor for a first team fixture at the Mem this season. Gloster Gas is making a tremendous effort to establish their branch in North Gloucestershire and have published all of their monthly meeting dates in advance. Severn Vale (RATS) provide an excellent travel service to all away games. Our friends in London meet regularly and groups are being set up in the West and East Midlands. If you live locally to one of our branches please go along to join with them. They are welcoming, informal and all things Gas. I pledge my support and attendance over the coming year.

 

Ken Masters 

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