In recent years DSD has experienced robust attendance at its Annual General Meetings, such is the interest members have for their Club and their sport. It was no different last night when, instead of hiring a room in the Talbot Hotel on the Stillorgan Road, we hosted the DSD AGM on Zoom with up to 82 members in attendance at one point.
The AGM was preceded by Dave Gowan giving members a live webcam view of the DSD Events Office where Declan Ryan and Stephen Judge were based in the boardroom – two metres apart – with Cynthia O’Neill (host of the Zoom meeting) in the main office.
DSD Chair, Declan Ryan, introduced the meeting and gave an overview of the year, with positive news concerning specific advances the St Thomas Multisport Campus project has made since last year, thanked the many volunteers whose efforts make this Club the best, but also how Covid-19 has changed our lives in the Club; the Women’s Mini Marathon was postponed, and Club training ceased at one point, though it is now returning on a phased basis with strict safety protocols in place.
DSD Treasurer, Fiona Clinton, brought members through the finances for the year end 31 August 2019 with an engaging and reassuring presentation. Covid-19 has hurt us, but the Club’s finances are still in a healthy position. She kept the sweetener for the last slide by announcing a Board decision that all existing members will not need to renew their subscriptions until January 2021, in effect getting four months of free membership! This is because the Club has decided to move its financial year end to 31 December as this will simplify many processes within the Club, not least because Athletics Ireland’s Financial year is also the calendar year.
Head Coach’s Report
DSD Head Coach, Donal Hennigan, reminded us what this Club is really about: the members, the volunteers (a big shout out for Brian O’Donoghue and his family), the coaches, and the athletes who put in the hard work and try to do their Club proud. Donal presented us with an impressive list of notable performances during this very short year, having been cut short by Covid-19. Among other things, DSD fielded strong teams in the December 2019 National Cross-Country Championship, DSD women’s team won (again!) the Track & Field National League Title, and ten DSD athletes gained international selection in the last year. Finally, he referred to the many virtual interviews with Club greats that Meghan Ryan has carried out during lock-down, all of which are available on the dsdac.com website. This was Donal’s last presentation as Head Coach, having announced his wish to step down to focus on endurance coaching. The Club is extremely grateful for the professionalism and dedication that Donal has demonstrated in his years as Head Coach, and we are delighted he is staying on as a coach within the Club.
DSD Secretary, Stephen Judge, who gives so much of his time to the Club (where does he get the time?!) reminded us that we need to keep an eye on membership numbers. He therefore encouraged us to capitalise on the fact that many people out there have taken up running during the pandemic.
Phased return to training
Damien Moran, Head of Athletic Operations, reassured parents that DSD is keen to have everyone back training as soon as possible, but that the Club is following AAI safety guidelines in this matter. DSD’s Covid-19 Team (comprising Declan Ryan, Stephen Judge, Damien Moran and Donal Hennigan) is keeping a close eye on the AAI guidelines.
Election to Club positions
At every AGM there are many positions that need to be filled. This year it was no exception. Following standard Club procedures, the following were elected:
President: Lucy Moore
Chairperson: Declan Ryan
Secretary: Stephen Judge
Ordinary Director: Terri Carthy
Club Head Coach: Ed Carthy
Captain: Ladies’ Cross-Country & Endurance: Meghan Ryan
Captain: Men’s Cross-Country & Endurance: Rob Corbally
Captain: Ladies’ Track & Field: Emer Finlay
Captain: Men’s Track & Field: Jamie Martin Grace
Captain: Masters Track & Field: Ronan Gately
Captain: Masters Endurance: Camilla Tuffy
Club PRO: Eddie McDonagh
Club Registrar - Seniors: Paul O’Donnell
Club Registrar - Juveniles: Sharon Wilson
Congratulations to all who have been elected! And special congratulations and best wishes to Ed Carthy as he takes up the Head Coach position.
Cynthia O’Neill, host of the Zoom meeting, was kept busy throughout forwarding comments and questions from members in attendance to the Board. In the background, tech wizard Dave Gowan ensured that all speakers had connectivity and sound throughout the meeting.
Gerry Dunne paid tribute to the team that organised the online AGM and reiterated Declan Ryan’s positive account of the developments concerning the Multisport Campus, with real and definite progress being made this last year.
Declan wrapped up the meeting thanking members for their attendance, once again thanking Club volunteers for their commitment, and wishing everyone a safe return to training.