AGM Notes June 2019

Pictou County Mariners Annual General Meeting 2018-2019

6:30pm Wednesday June 19, 2019
MEC Wellington St. Pictou


Present: Jennifer Scott, Jenn Chabassol, Janice Currie, Adeline Hewey, Dawn Burke, Meredith Sheehan, Glenn Hicks, Graham MacLeod, Annette Whitehead, Ed Stewart, Kim MacLean, Sueann Syms, Jennifer Sim


Meeting Opened


President’s Report

The 2018-2019 swim season has been very successful and exciting for Pictou County Mariners. We feel that the team has experienced much positive growth and success - both in the pool and out.


We would like to begin this report by expressing our thanks to previous co-president, Janice Hicks, who has been an invaluable source of advice and experience as  we were both came to the role of co-presidents as new members of the executive - there was much for us to learn. Other members of the executive, including Jenn Scott, Glen Hicks, Meredith Sheehan, Jenn Chabassol and Annette Whitehead, have also been more than generous to offer clarification and advice on our ideas and activities. We are grateful for all of their support.  We know that we stepped into our roles after they did the challenging work of rebuilding the team - financially and emotionally - after the unfortunate theft discovered in 2016. We acknowledge that they continue to carry an emotional burden with this, as the situation is yet to be fully resolved. We thank them for the strength and commitment to seeing things returned to right, and perhaps even better than they were.


We would also like to acknowledge our coaches:  Ed Stewart, Kristie Stewart and Graham MacLeod. Their dedication to our team, and commitment to the overall athletic and personal development of our individual swimmers, is beyond measure. Our team would not be where it is without the expertise and passion of these three individuals.


Our season started strong with 15 new Nova Tech swimmer. Of those new swimmers, 12 carried on participating for the entire season. We had 3 non -competitive NT swimmers, 24 competitive NT swimmers and 24 register at the age group level, for a total of 55 swimmers. We were also happy to have two students studying in Canada with the Nova Scotia International Student Program swim with us this year – these two European swimmers brought a unique cultural element to the pool, and were a great asset to our community. This was a year that saw a great gelling of the kids in the pool - the morale and spirit was high, and many friendships have formed as these kids continue to build community.


At the beginning of the season we hosted our very first Family Fun Meet, which saw parents and siblings of all abilities engaging in friendly swim races. This was a great activity for team-building and encouraged families to interact with one another in a fun way. We also hosted a Holiday Swim Party which brought all the swimmers together for fun and treats again.


In February we hosted the Nova Tech Meet #4. Again, we are grateful to the many families and executive members who volunteered to help make this day a success. Sueann Syms took on the role of Meet Manager for the first time, and with the guidance of the very experienced Alan Day, was able to ensure things ran smoothly. We had several swimmers and parents take a timer’s course with Brian MacKinnon before the meet started. We were able to gain significant sponsorship from local businesses, and it was very helpful for the team to be on the receiving end of such community support. (Sponsors included Pictou Advocate, Pharmasave (Pictou & Trenton), Pharmacy First, King Freight Lines, Pictou Lodge Beach Resort, Northern Pulp, Stones RV,  Rotary International, Michelin, Sobeys, Fulton Trucking, Subway, PharmaChoice, HiTEch Communications, LeeWay Marine, Eagles Funeral Home, Shiretown  Home & Auto, and the Aberdeen Walk-In Clinic.)


In March ten of the Mariner’s Age Group swimmers joined forces with swimmers from across the province to represent Nova Scotia, in a Maine Development Meet. This was a fantastic opportunity for the team to gel with each other, and with the swimmers who they often see at the meets.


In an effort to communicate team pride and increase visibility we received permission from the Town of Pictou to make a couple of additions to the pool entrance. In the fall we installed a Smart TV in the pool foyer that plays a slideshow of our swimmer bios, sponsorship ads and pool information. Additionally, in May we had a "Home of the Pictou County Mariners" decal with our logo installed on a window at the entrance of the Pictou Fisheries Pool. These were both well received by our swimmers and families. The team was promoted and swimmers recognized through radio station "Shout-Outs", newspaper articles and social media accounts.


Other purchases for the team this year included dry-land training equipment, a projector for training videos, and customized Fast -n-Furious Swim Meet caps. A significant purchase, made possible by a donation from Pharmasave, was a timing system, which is very beneficial for hosting meets, as well as training. In addition to our pool time, the Age Group swimmers were able to do dry-land training at a local school on most Saturday mornings (non-meet weekends), and yoga training once a week at the pool.


At the beginning of the season, it was decided to replace fundraising efforts with a "Volunteer Fee" to be paid with registration. This $100.00 fee absolved all swimmers from fundraising obligations, with the exception of helping out at our annual Parking Lot Fundraiser at the Pictou Exhibition (which has been our largest fundraiser for many years) and contributing time and donations to our home NT meet. The previous executive emphasised how difficult it was to have fundraising equally spread amongst the swimmers. In previous years, it had become very clear that a small number of people were carrying the fundraising load for the entire team. After much discussion it was decided that it would be more a more fair approach to charge families the volunteer fee, and this has reduced much of the fundraising stress that the executive had experienced in the past.


We celebrated the end of the season with our team banquet on May 23rd.  The pizza, provided by the team, was purchased at Acropole Pizza with a 15% discount, acquired by Jim McDowell.  Each NT swimmer was presented with a certificate awarding them a "title" to match their characters or experience on the team - this was a great idea continued from last year, which the swimmers truly appreciate. Trophies were awarded to Top 11/12 swimmer, top 13/14 swimmer, top 15+ swimmer, Most Improved AG Swimmer, Nova Tech MVP (2), Rookie of the Year, Most Promising Nova Tech Swimmer, Most Improved AG Swimmer and Top Points Earner / MVP and a Spirit Award.  The swimmers enjoyed a photo booth, and everyone appreciated a slideshow of the season done by Adeline Hewey. Feedback to consider for next year would be to include a microphone, and to make a more formal recognition of our coaches.

This year also saw several of our swimmers transition into triathlon training. They are participating in the Youth Tri Clinics at the YMCA and will be participating in two local triathlons. It is great to see our athletes grow, and it is equally nice to see that our team is gaining recognition as these highly trained and skilled swimmers make an impression in the larger community. On June 16th the Mariners hosted a water-station at the Johnny Miles Running Event - it is nice to see our youth representing our team well, while volunteering of their own time to support other athletes.


As the season draws to an end, there are a few points of focus that we will be working on for the 2019-2020 season:

  1. Continued increase in team promotion with the objective to raise our registration by 5%.

  2. Improve communication of  swimmer success via media and social media (create consistency)

  3. Possibly create new roles: Fundraising Team (if necessary) &  Banquet Committee

  4. Work with coaches to support an athlete development plan our athletes (fitness, diet, mental health / focus etc.)

  5. PCM hosted Meet Date has been confirmed (Feb 22, 2020)

  6. Fee Structure will be revisited, as it is every year, in August


In conclusion, we are very proud to be of this swimming family, and we look forward to seeing the growth of our swimmers, and our team, continue in the years ahead.


Treasurer’s Report

  • See attached Financial statement
  • Projecting year end balance of $15,000

Registrar’s Report (verbal)

  • Registration for meets went smoothly with online registration through team unify
  • Glenn maintains 2 systems for registration new (TU)/old. In the event that Team Unify becomes, in the future, an expense too great for the team to maintain.
  • Glenn will resign as Registrar at the end of next swim season 2020.  

Coaches’ Report

It’s been a very good year with many highlights:

  • Our recruiting week was successful in terms of the number, ages and gender breakdown of swimmers who joined us for a week and ended up registering with the team.  

  • Hosting our NT meet in February seemed to ensure that novice swimmers were ready and we may have sensed a general reduction in stress levels by all swimmers, parents and coaches involved.  

  • We may have had our best year yet at the NT level in terms of the number of medals earned and the number of swimmers who have graduated to AG.

  • We’ve had a banner year at the AG level with great performances at the Top 16 meet in the fall, AA and AAA mid-seasons champs, the Fast and Furious and the June AA Champs. AAA qualified swimmers rose from 3 last year to 10 this year.  

  • The Executive must be recognized for their contribution to our team’s performance this year: swimmer and meet registration is smooth, finances and stable and every idea put forward is well-supported.  

  • In summary, the Mariners can hold their own at all age levels with any comparable team in the province in terms of value as well as competitive development and opportunities. Go Mariners!


Vice President’s Report (verbal)

  • Lawyer looking for financial information to move ahead with the civil case against former treasurer. Jenn C. will supply what she has.
  • Looking for funding for start lights for hearing impaired swimmers, will ask for funding for 3 approx. $580/each

Past President’s report (verbal)

  • Court case against former treasurer will resume October 22, 2019
  • Past President, Treasurer, and Coaches will likely be asked to testify


Election of Executive 2019-2020

Co-Presidents: acclamation Dawn /Adeline

Vice President: acclamation Annette

Treasurer: acclamation Jenn C. Kim MacLean will shadow with possibility of assuming the role next swim season

Secretary: acclamation Meredith

Registrar: acclamation Glenn/Jenn S. with Jenn C/Adeline. shadowing this year to take this position next swim season


New Business:

  • SNS AGM Saturday July 7th 1pm; requires 3 delegates: Jenn C., Jenn S., Adeline
  • Incentive Draw won by Graham, he returned it and won by Annette
  • Sueann look into the update progress of team’s swim officials
  • Minutes of meetings to be uploaded to TU
  • Open swim registration earlier and thus help recruit parent volunteers for Ex. Parking
  • Suggested a Monetary Incentive to get parents to attend AGM and volunteer at parking fundraiser. Volunteer fee could increase by $100 for those that do not attend/volunteer.
  • Use the second parking lot at Ex additional volunteers required, new signage for parking
  • Next swim season is the 40th Anniversary of the Mariners Swim Team


Meeting adjourned 8:15pm

Next meeting tentative dates July 31 or August 1