The minutes of AGMS are recorded here once approved either at the next AGM or by those present in the meeting.
PAA UK & IRELAND AGM 2023
Held via zoom at 1030am, Saturday 21st January 2023.
Dan Earthquake, Alan Milne, Stanley Hamilton, Rab Nicholl, Adam Kmet, Reuben Hughes, Davy Gibson.
Scott Barratt, Chris Cooper, Nick Hall, Dafydd Lewis, Mike Britchfield, Alex Hamilton, Cormac English, Matthew Harvey.
Point of order.
“As a non profit organisation we are required by our constitution to hold this meeting. Under the constitution associate members are welcome to attend, with full members having voting rights. In 2022 there were 43 members, 41 of whom were associates. Dan Earthquake, Stanley Hamilton paid the extra ten for full membership, having been paid up members under the previous constitution the year before. There being no resignations or proposals to add to the committee the existing positions remain. This meeting is therefore confined to reports & discussion of agenda items with an opportunity to raise other matters in Any Other Business at the end.”
Last years AGM minutes & the treasurers spreadsheet & copy of the current bank statement were shared on the screen during the matters arising, presidents & treasurers reports. No queries were raised & they were accepted as read.
Matters arising from last AGM:
Drug testing feasibilty.
Dan produced a detailed report for the board after contacting independent drug testing providers & UKAD. Dan is happy to provide a copy of this to any PAA UK & IRELAND member who is interested in the findings. In summary: One independent test costs £440. UKAD requires a salaried staff member to report to them, overrule us & change our constitution. In short, neither is workable at the size we are.
Scorers & referees
More have been recruited & retained by treating them better. We had a large team of referees at both Nationals & they had some breaks & fuel expenses.
Dan built one from scratch after finding no suitable offline solution. He is still improving it & it is more efficient than what we were working with this time last year.
Table draw & Regions order.
Dan found the table order the most stressful thing of 2022. After paying the money no acknowledgement came for some weeks & Levan advertised for King of the Table gave suspicion that Mazurenko may have gone bankrupt - the advertised shipping fees were higher & an agent had to be engaged to import the goods at a further fee due to Brexit paperwork. Additionally we had to pay import tax of 20% on top of the cost of goods & shipping.
Kath, Josh & I attended IFA training. More planned.
Some available on our website now direct from supplier.
This was provided by Alan, used every PAA tournament with a witness at random to show the scales are correct.
REPORTS & 2023 AGENDA ITEMS
Alan reported a current balance of £562.92. At the start of the 2022 we spent most of our capital on the risers, tables & shipping them to the UK. The tournaments of the year built that surplus back up. We have invested in enough medals for all the regional & national tournaments & bought certificates in bulk - each tournament will have less costs compared to last year. Rab reported that he has found a sponsor who is willing to pay for the medals production & would be making details available shortly. Dan thanked Rab for his efforts & Alan for his work during the year.
"I feel I survived the first half of the year. The second half felt more settled as I got a grip of things. I get enquiries most days. Most of the requested information is available on the website, but there are a lot of new enquiries. Armwrestling is growing. I estimate that we would have a third more participants if the cost of living hadn't increased significantly. I suspended the extra £10 to enter another class so that if people have managed to get to us they have extra chances to armwrestle for the same money. We are non profit making - surpluses have bought risers, competition tables, trophies, prizes, refs shirts, venue hire. By investing in the structure of the tournaments We had teams at the IFA Euros & Worlds & bought home more medals & World Champions than ever before in our history. Euros in Finland & Worlds in Malaysia are already on the calendars for many of our pullers. Armgods & Armwars have put our top Pros in front of the gaze of international audiences.
I've have a calendar of 4 regional events & both nationals already booked. My intention is to provide tournament opportunities & progression in the regionals & solid national events to establish credible champions. We have growth in individual particiation & some new clubs have formed. There are more events than ever in the UK - supermatch promotions seem especially popular. We're doing the sorting for them - teaching them the rules, giving competition experience, providing a structure to give an indication of standards, establishing champions. I believe that the UK scene will grow further. There will be more tournaments & the choices for pullers will dilute some of our regionals in the short term. When some of the new promoters realise the time & resource cost of running a successful tournament I think they'll embrace supermatches. The resulting interest they generate for our nationals & future regionals will increase. I think this will take three to five years for this to play out. Our challenge is to keep going & provide a stable structure to build the champions with.
I'm introducing two Pro open competitions this year at Woodthorpe Warzone & Monsters of Motherwell. This is instead of formal weight classes. This will be king of the table first two pullers to 10 pins get into a supermatch final. Something new for the pros to play for & generate some new battles.
All this doesn't happen by accident. Paul Maiden had a lot of vision to get the PAA going & there is a dedicated team that keep it going. Without refs & scorers we have no shows so they are very important. Don't mess with them under any circumstances. My vice presidents, treasurer, Head referee & ambassador do more than is realised & I take this opportunity to thank them for their continued support."
Vice President report
Stanley felt the year had gone well with a strong performance at Worlds & a lot of activity. A question was asked about membership fees & incentives to encourage more take up
which was deferred to later.
Discussion of IFA question.
Dan reported "a number of people asked why we weren't a member nation of the IFA before & after the Worlds. This may be a product of desiring a simpler registration process, perhaps I am cynical. In December I put the question to consider on our website & asked for opinions before 1st Jan 2023. I received three verbal replies. Stanley felt we shouldn't rush into it. Rab broadly said the same thing. Andy Thorn was concerned we didn't get swallowed up or distracted by it. I am certain that we would be welcomed into the organisation & in turn there would be jobs for me to do on top of what I am currently doing. That is both seductive & repellent depending on my mood. In any case it should not be down to me to decide such a thing, nor would it proper - it will need a majority vote when there are a good number of paid up full members to discuss & vote on. There were no submissions of enthusiasm."
Davy agreed with Rab & Stanley about not rushing into joining as we were still developing our domestic structures. Adam said we should take small steps to improve. The consensus was that we should not pursue membership at this time & wait until there is a bigger proportion of the active pullers involved to discuss & decide further, which was carried by vote of Dan & Stanley.
Adam had to leave the meeting at this point due to a prior commitment.
Discussion of Fees.
Dan reported "Cost of living affects everyone. Our costs have increased as well. We put fees down last year by not charging for extra categories. Unless there is great resistance from those who are present, my proposal is to keep all the tournament entry fees to £30 for those who pay an associate or full membership fee which will remain the same - £30 & £40. Tournament fees for day members will increase to £40. I've had no feedback on this at all."
The meeting was asked to comment. Rab suggested that the gap in entry fees between those paying a membership fee & those not was too small - there was not enough incentive with only about 7% of the active armwrestlers supporting the PAA. He felt that £50 entry fee would be more appropriate to non members & that clubs should also be charged a fee. Dan felt that £50 might exclude some from attending & there followed a discussion of different values - putting up fees too much could exclude some from coming pointed out Stanley. Dan agreed. Davy suggested reducing the entry fee for members to £25 but keep the increased non member fee at £40. Reuben asked if there were plans for the intermediate class to be revived, as this could help gain more members. Dan stated there was not, for reasons of logistics. Reuben felt the jump from Novice exit to Pro division was considerable - Stanley replied that there had been a lot of novices promoted in 2022 so he would not be alone. Reuben also asked if were feasible for membership fees to be paid half yearly. Stanley said that a puller paying a membership entering just two tournaments would have paid the same as if they hadn't so it was worth doing & they could save more if they were in other tournaments. Reuben, Rab & Alan had no objections to this idea. Dan & Stanley voted to adopt a membership fee of £30 for associate members, £40 for full voting members with entry fees being increased to £40 for non members. Those who paid membership pay £25. There would be no extra charge to pull in more than one category.
The question of a members prize was discussed. Should we have one & what should it be? Davy asked what the history of giving a prize was. Dan stated that it was one of Paul's objectives to give the pullers coming up a chance to experience what he had done travelling to an international competition that he felt had stopped. With Covid preventing that from happening the Mazurenko prize table was offered. "Does it have to be a Mazurenko table?" asked Rab "as other ones are available." Dan replied it was included as the price for the region tables was better if 10 were ordered - PAA paid for 8, Dan, Dave Kelly & Gary Brown paid for their own. Armgods via Paul has fulfilled the ambition to provide travelling opportunities & Worlds bought people along too (with some shirt sponsors paying for accommodation for some who wouldn't have otherwise gone). Davy suggested a selection of handles as a prize. Stanley pointed out that not everyone used them & some would already have what they wanted. Alan suggested some money for accommodation for a weekend away at a comp. Davy then suggested a full years PAA event entry which would be universally valuable & easy for us to administer. This was acceptable to all, Dan & Stanley voted it in.
Rab had to leave the meeting at this point due to a prior commitment.
Any other business.
Davy asked if the PAA would support the Armagh show as it did last year. Dan replied that it was already advertised on the Events calendar & that he had booked flight & accommodation to attend. He would also promote it on the bulletin in the lead up to the event. Dan took the opportunity to ask if anyone was on any sort of social media to please provide a link to the weekly bulletin so that information on the website could be seen by as many as possible.
Reuben asked if there could be consideration to run an event in North Wales next year. Dan replied it was his intention to hold regional tournaments in different places & had two new locations backed by local pullers in mind for 2024. Dan is keen put one on in North Wales & said he will make the necessary arrangements with Reuben over the coming months.
Dan thanked those present for their input & the meeting closed at 1157.
Minutes made by Dan Earthquake. Approved as a true record by Reuben Hughes, Rab Nicholl, Alan Milne, Stanley Hamilton, Adam Kmet & David Gibson.
Minutes of The PAA UK & IRELAND 2022 AGM
Held on Sunday 9th January 2022 at 1030 AM via ZOOM.
Present – Dan Earthquake, Stanley Hamilton, Alan Milne, Paul Maiden, Tom Atherton.
Apologies – Joe Sirichas, Agy Gorzynska, Dave Kelly, Kath Whittaker
The PAA now as a bank account with Lloyds & the paypal account has been linked to it. Alan shared the spreadsheet detailing income & expenditure from formation to present. The Association currently has £4999.88. Dan has a further £151.00 from Udezumou UK collected last week to pay in. £460.00 is owing from 27-3-19 payable from when Anthony Biggs was Secretary. When Kelly took over she had said it would be repaid as it was in a joint account. This has never been recovered.
Dan stated his intention to protect the vision Paul had we started the PAA & noted the enthusiasm & commitment that had held it together through lockdowns & uncertainties. He also wished to develop a firm base for his successor, whoever that may be. He reported that he had gained Public Liability Insurance for the Association, written a safety statement, opened a Bank Account for the PAA & drafted a new constitution to better serve the association in the future.
Paul stated he enjoyed listening for a change & wished for the association to continue in a positive direction.
Proposal to adopt a new constitution.
The circulated proposed constitution (see below) was discussed with a few alterations (highlighted yellow) that were suggested by Alan Milne. A vote was taken to adopt it unanimously.
Set membership fees for 2022
Suggestion is £40 for full members with voting rights, £30 for associates giving £10 off Nationals entry. This was agreed.
Appointment of committee for 2022.
The existing committee was dissolved & elections were held for the new posts.
Dave Kelly & Kath Whittaker were re-elected in their absence upon assumption of acceptance. Dan asked Tom & Stanley if they would agree to stand as Vice Presidents to assist with decision making & represent PAA in his absence.
The following people were voted in to their positions:
President – Dan Earthquake
Treasurer – Alan Milne
Vice President – Dave Kelly
Head Referee – Kath Whittaker
Paul to be PAA Ambassador.
Vice President – Tom Atherton
Vice President - Stanley Hamilton
Any other business
Tom suggested formalising what expenses should be paid to those who are heavily involved in making the competitions happen. He stated that currently the momentum of the organisation is with the pullers & there needed to be focus on recruiting referees & scorers to accommodate the growth. Paul broadly agreed & outlined the necessity of maintaining the goodwill given by the “ever presents” who lose money to help keep the association running & that even though the amount given was not full reimbursement of costs, it was a gesture of thanks. Stanley added that it was important to invest into referees & the organisational structure. was made especially of the contributions made by Kath Whittaker, Dean Bolt & Dan Hanlon. Paul proposed £50 expenses be paid for the scorers & referees who did all day. Dan suggested refs who do all but their own weight class should be reimbursed their entry fee. This was agreed unanimously.
Tables / Draw.
Dan stated his intention to pursue a trip abroad in the future by members draw as originally envisioned by Paul but felt that the current travel situation & uncertainty is not the right time to do it. He suggested instead that some custom Mazurenko tables with the PAA logo be bought along with a set of banners & risers for Northern Ireland. A discussion followed as to where the tables should be placed & how many would be bought. One will be for the members draw to be held at the Pro Nationals & presented in November. Some discussion was raised as to whether it should be set up & used for the finals but it was agreed that it would remain wrapped & presented as new to the winner. Those who receive a table to use will be asked to make it available for PAA championships & it will be placed with clubs likely to do this. It was decided that 6 tables will be purchased (one for the draw) with 4 spread around the country with the President retaining one to travel with that could be temporarily placed depending on need.
Agy Gorzynska has suggested buying some team kit for the PAA & offered to liaise with Marcin (Martin) of Mazurenko equipment who she has a good relationship with. Paul commented that the quality was very good but the sizing was on the small size & some of the larger pullers would need 6XL to fit them. Perhaps it would be better to wait for the international competition trip before pursuing? Sussex has recently bought shirts on a deal where the supplier gets the artwork & sells directly to the puller – this negates the need for the association to be outlaying capital, handling stock & taking orders. This will be investigated further by Dan & Paul. Dan will ask Agy to gain a price for 6 tables & a set of risers.
Dan mentioned Dave Kelly has stated an intention of making a referee training video in the near future which was welcomed by all.
Dan started a discussion about the tournament bracket programme – Challonge - currently being used. It requires a wifi connection at the venue & has adverts that block the screen on the free version. The ad free version is about £80 for a years use. Amanda Brown said it was the best of those tried – an offline version did not work properly when tried. Dave Kelly had also discussed the need for an offline programme to use. Paul stated that Mazurenko has software that is offline & can link to a projector to show the next puller as well as scoring. It might be expensive in it’s fullest version. Tom thought this idea particularly valuable. Dan questioned whether the additional logistics of storing screens & projectors was viable. Tom suggested that any standard television could be used & it would only take the right lead from the computer. It was agreed that this will be investigated further by Dan.
Stanley raised the question of drug testing. He has been asked if there is any intention of the PAA to introduce it. There are a number of considerations: with drug testing then there is potential for sponsorship – something that has been explored by both Paul & Stanley. Sponsors approached unwilling to back the PAA without it being drug tested. Paul feels passionate that drug testing will allow the sport to be taken more seriously & that it should be implemented even at high cost. Alan broadly agreed. Dan has had experience of similar discussions with the Channel Swimming Association (as a board member in 2007-2010) & as part of an event overseen by the International Ultra Triathlon Association. Last September Dan contacted the company – Extreme Medics - that did the drug testing at the IUTA event to enquire about costs. Extreme Medics no longer does it as licensing requirements have changed & they felt it was not something they wished to pursue. An enquiry was made further at the time by Extreme Medics to another provider for costs. No reply was forthcoming – Extreme Medics said at the time that lab testing capacity in the UK was largely preoccupied with Covid. Dan felt that the logistics & cost of doing drug testing would likely be too high & that there is a possible risk of litigation if a test carried out improperly was challenged by a puller suing for a damaged reputation. He also felt that testing is a long way behind the users & that it is a waste of resources. Tom felt that the attendance at events would dramatically decrease if drug testing was introduced. Stanley felt that new young pullers wanting to get stronger were easily lured into drug taking if they saw there is no testing. Dan will make new attempts to ascertain a cost of testing & bring it back to the committee for consideration.
Stanley asked about weigh ins – some pullers have asked that they be allowed to weigh themselves on their own scales & send video evidence as proof of weight class – what is our official position? Dan stated that weigh ins must take place under scrutiny of the organiser, committee or other recognised responsible person. Tom noted that some calibration of scales was needed. Alan has some experience of scale calibrations though his work & suggested that a calibrated weight could be obtained that be used to test the scales for each competition. Tom pointed out these would need to be mechanical as digital scales can have a significant variation due to temperature. Alan will investigate a cost of this & report back.
Dan thanked those gathered for their efforts.
Meeting ended 1155.
Note- below is the new constitution of the PAA UK & IRELAND.
PAA UK & IRE CONSTITUTION
The Professional Arm-wrestling Association UK & Ireland (which may also be known as PAA &/or PAA UK&IRE) is a non profit organisation operated for the benefit of the members. All profits & surpluses will be used to maintain, improve or develop the associations facilities or to carry the aims & objectives.
Aims and Objectives
- To promote the sport of arm wrestling in a safe & fair manner to all.
- Provide structure for pullers to achieve their potential via coaching & competition.
- Produce a team to contest & win international competitions.
Membership is open to anyone over the age of 18 interested in promoting, coaching, supporting, volunteering or participating in arm-wrestling. Any person seeking to join shall apply to the Executive Committee. No membership will be refused without reasonable grounds.
Members participate at their own risk & agree to assess their individual capability against the possibility of injury occurring due to the physicality of the sport.
There are three classes of membership: Day members, Associates & Full members. Paying entry to a PAA event constitutes a day membership to fulfil participation requirements. Paying an associate membership gives a discount for PAA nationals, PAA training events & entry into the members draw which may be organised from time to time. Full members qualify after a year of associate membership subject to approval of the Committee & additionally are entitled to vote at the AGM. Membership fees will be set by the committee at an AGM.
The Association is managed by a Committee elected at an AGM consisting of President, Vice President, Treasurer, & at least two other officers or members who may be titled as required.
- All committee members must be members of the association.
- The term of office shall be for one year, and members shall be eligible for re-election.
- If the post of any Committee member should fall vacant after election, the Committee shall have the power to fill the vacancy until the succeeding AGM or to appoint any advisers to the Committee as necessary to fulfil its business.
-The Committee will be responsible for adopting new policy, codes of practice and rules that affect the organisation of the association.
- The Committee will determine the day to day details of competition & events.
-The Committee will have powers to appoint any advisers to the Committee as necessary to fulfil its business.
-The Committee will be responsible for disciplinary hearings of members who infringe the association rules/regulations/constitution & for taking any action of suspension, discipline or expulsion following such hearings.
-The Club Treasurer will be responsible for the finances of the association with the financial year running from January 1st and ending on December 31st.
- The association monies will be banked in an account held in the name of the association.
-Annual accounts will be presented by the treasurer at the Annual General Meeting.
-Any cheques drawn against association funds should hold the signature of the treasurer plus up to two other officers.
The association shall hold the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the month of January to:
-Approve the minutes of the previous year’s AGM.
-Receive reports from the Officers & approve the Annual Accounts.
-Elect the officers on the committee.
-Agree the membership fees for the following year.
-Consider any proposed changes to the Constitution.
-Deal with other relevant business.
28 days notice of the AGM will be given by the committee to all members.
Nominations for officers & proposed changes to the constitution must be sent to the committee 14 days prior to the AGM, who shall circulate them at least 7 days before the meeting. Only full members have the right to vote at the AGM.
The quorum for all meetings will be 3.
The President of the association shall hold a deliberative as well as a casting vote at general and committee meetings.
An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) can be called by an application in writing to the committee supported by at least 40% of the members of the association. The committee shall also have the power to call an EGM by decision of a simple majority of the committee members.
All procedures shall follow those outlined above for AGMs.
-The Committee meetings will be convened by the President of the association and be held at such a time as appropriate.
-Only the posts determined each year at the AGM will have the right to vote at committee meetings.
Meetings may be held using technology such as zoom or other similar technology due to distances involved between members of the committee.
Amendments to the constitution
The constitution will only be changed through agreement by majority vote at an AGM or EGM.
Discipline and appeals
All concerns, allegations or reports of poor practice/abuse relating to the welfare of children and young people will be recorded and responded to swiftly and appropriately. The President is the lead contact for all members in the event of any child protection concerns.
All complaints regarding the behaviour of members should be presented and submitted in writing to the Committee. The Committee will meet to hear complaints within 14 days of receipt. The committee has the power to take appropriate disciplinary action including the termination of membership. Both parties will be notified of the decision. An appeal must be submitted within 14 days to be reconsidered, after which the matter will be deemed closed.
A resolution to dissolve The Club can only be passed at an AGM or Committee Meeting through a unanimous vote of the members. In the event of dissolution, all debts should be cleared with any of The Associations funds. Any assets of The Association that remain following this will be transferred to (an)other non profit making organisation(s) of similar objectives as determined by resolution at the dissolving meeting.
This constitution was adopted on 9th January 2022 at the AGM.