Farnham Park Management Committee gets underway

Wed 6 Feb 2013

BSUK has formed a Management Farnham ParkCommittee, made up of BSUK staff and community members, to oversee operation of the new purpose-built baseball and softball facilities at Farnham Park, with some members of the Committee still to be appointed.  But the group held a productive first meeting on January 24.
 

First meeting

Those who attended the first meeting of the partial Farnham Park Management Committee agreed on a number of actions that need to be carried out in the near future, including recruitment of further members to the Committee, setting up admin systems for the group and setting rates for different sorts of facility use. 

Approaches will be made shortly to other sports clubs at Farnham Park, and to South Bucks District Council, to identify how many other softball fields can be marked out on the ground and how arrangements can be made for large tournament use, when more than just the dedicated fields controlled by BSUK (essentially one main baseball field and up to three fields for slowpitch, fastpitch or youth baseball use) will be required.

Organisers of existing tournaments and leagues that play near Farnham Park will be approached about moving some or all of their play to the new facilities, and discussions will be held with the BBF and BSF Boards about staging National Championships at the site.

The Committee will also be looking at ways to raise funds for the site, and to create an event around Opening Day, whenever that occurs.

Although most of the construction work on the site has been done, a date when play can begin will depend on the weather over the next few months and how well the grass on the pitches beds in.  With new facilities, it's important not to use them prematurely, which could cause more delay and expense.
 

Site values

The Committee members who met on January 24 also agreed on some key values for the site:

Development work should be included as a requirement for clubs or leagues that are regular users at Farnham Park.

Where possible, the three formats of baseball, slowpitch and fastpitch should be showcased to each other through site programming.

Development programming – including that generated by BSUK and/or local groups – should contribute use fees to the site.
 

Responsibilities

The Management Committee will meet at least once a month through the end of the 2013 season.  Its purpose is to take management responsibility for the facilities at Farnham Park, handling day-to-day operational decisions as well as proposing structures and systems for management and maintaining relationships with site users and stakeholders.

The Committee will be responsible for encouraging and scheduling baseball and softball activity on the site, ranging from community programmes through league and tournament play and national team training and competition.  It will look to balance day-to-day actions with a strategic approach to the development and maintenance of the site.Early Construction
 

Committee make-up

When fully constituted, the Farnham Park Management Committee will consist of:
 

  • A Chair, to be appointed by BSUK's Development Strategy Committee (DSC).
  • BSUK's Joint CEO and Head of Development (or a delegated BSUK staff member).
  • BSUK's National Development Manager for Clubs, Coaches, Facilities and Talent.
  • BSUK's Regional Development Manager of Officer for the South East.
  • A member of BSUK's Facilities Steering Group.
  • A representative of the slowpitch playing community.
  • A representative of the fastpitch playing community.
  • A representative of the baseball playing community.
  • A representative from the community surrounding Farnham Park.
  • Any additional representatives as required, to be appointed by the DSC.
     

The holder of the joint post currently funded by BSUK and the BSF – Development Officer and Softball Programmes Manager – will have some operational responsibility for the site and will attend Management Committee meetings, taking guidance from and carrying out actions for the group.

A number of Committee members, including the playing and local community members, are still to be appointed, and a Secretary will need to be identified from among the Committee's members.
 

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Farnham Park Management Committee is scheduled for Friday, February 8, with a further meeting scheduled for February 19 to make the sure Committee can begin functioning as soon as possible.

Monthly meetings will be scheduled thereafter through the end of the playing season.

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