Constitution and Rules


Version 7.0, Issued: 25th Nov 2009, Reviewed: 25th Nov 2009, Approved: 25th Nov 2009

1. Name

The Club shall be known as the Blackwater Valley Canoe Club and hereinafter known as THE CLUB.

2. Objects

The objects of the Club are to promote and provide facilities for the sport and recreation of Paddlesport.

3. Colours

The colours of the Club will be black and gold.

4. Membership

4.1 Qualification

4.1.1 Any person who undertakes to behave in the best interest of Paddlesport shall be eligible for membership regardless of sex, age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or other beliefs. However, limitation of membership according to available facilities is allowable on a non-discriminatory and fair basis.

4.1.2 The Club may have different classes of membership and subscription on a nondiscriminatory and fair basis. The Club will keep subscriptions/fees at levels that will not pose a significant obstacle to people participating.

4.1.3 Membership of the Club is dependant on the member abiding by the Club operating procedures and codes of conduct.

4.1.4 The Management Committee may refuse membership, or remove it, only for good cause such as conduct or character likely to bring the Club or sport into disrepute. Appeal against refusal or removal may be made to the members.

4.2 Classes of Membership

4.2.1 Full Adult Members

  • Members over the age of 18 at the beginning of the membership year.

4.2.2 Family Members

  • Parents/adults and all their children/wards under the age of 18 at the beginning of the membership year or in full time education.

4.2.3 Youth Members

  • Members who are under the age of 18 years on the 1st July.
  • Parents retain full responsibility for their children.

4.2.4 Student Members

  • Members in full-time education, proved by production of a valid NUS card.

4.2.5 Temporary Members

  • Short-term membership extended to individuals or groups who are attending formal instruction courses
  • Temporary Membership continues for the duration of the course only, plus one day for assessment

4.2.6 Affiliated Outside Organisations

  • See section 4.9

4.2.7 Social Members

  • Open to anyone who does not want to actively participate in the sport of Paddlesport

4.2.8 Concessionary Members

  • OAP.
  • Unemployed
  • Members living beyond a reasonable distance from Aldershot and for whom regular attendance is impractical but wish to take part in weekend Paddlesport activities
  • As decided by Management Committee

4.3 Application/Election

4.3.1 Candidates for election to membership shall make written application to the Club on the membership application form provided.

4.3.2 The power of election shall rest with the Management Committee who may refuse membership only for good cause such as conduct or character likely to bring the Club or sport into disrepute. Appeal against refusal may be made to the members.

4.4 Membership Term

4.4.1 The membership year will run from 1st July until 30th June.

4.4.2 Membership lapses on 30th June. Any member who has not paid the Club subscription by 1st October will automatically cease to be a member and will have to re-apply.

4.4.3 Any new member joining during year shall pay pro-rata as per section 5.2.2.

4.5 Restriction

4.5.1 A person who has been expelled from, or refused membership of, the British Canoe Union, shall not be eligible for membership.

4.6 Acceptance

4.6.1 The Management Committee may decline to accept renewal of membership, from any person, only for good cause such as conduct or character likely to bring the Club or sport into disrepute.

4.6.2 Appeal against refusal of renewal may be made to the members.

4.7 Suspension and Expulsion

4.7.1 Any member violating the rules of the Club or being adjudged guilty of unsatisfactory conduct may be suspended or expelled by the Committee.

4.7.2 Notice shall be given in writing

4.7.3 Any member violating rules or regulations of the Club or being adjudged guilty of conduct deemed to have brought the Club or the sport of Paddlesport generally into disrepute may, by resolution of the Management Committee, be suspended or expelled

4.7.4 Any member so suspended or expelled may appeal at an Extraordinary General Meeting.

4.8 Voting Rights

4.8.1 At General Meetings each fully paid up individual member (Adult or Youth) shall have 1 vote.

4.8.2 Family Membership shall be represented by a maximum of 2 attending voting members.

4.8.3 Temporary Members have no voting rights.

4.9 Affiliations

4.9.1 Under conditions and terms negotiated by the Committee, outside organisations such as Scout Groups, Boys Brigade etc. may be affiliated to the Club.

4.9.2 Affiliation fees and voting rights shall be decided by the Committee.

4.10 Temporary Membership

4.10.1 Temporary membership shall be available under terms and conditions decided by the Committee.

4.10.2 Temporary Members have no voting rights

4.11 Cessation of Membership

4.11.1 Any member may resign giving one month’s clear notice in writing to the Secretary.

4.11.2 Any member whose annual subscription is unpaid on 30th September shall be deemed to have resigned from the Club.

4.11.3 A member shall be deemed to have resigned from the Club if, after due notice in writing, he/she has not paid the annual subscription which became due on 1st July that year. He/she may, however, rejoin at any time during that year without payment of any entrance fee, subject to the provision of 4.3 or 5.2.

4.12 Membership Cards

Membership cards will be issued to all fully paid up members by the Management Committee.

4.13 Data Protection

The Club shall comply with relevant data protection legislation.

5. Fees

5.1 Joining Fee

Each applicant for membership shall, if his/her application be accepted, pay a one off joining fee, the amount of which shall be determined by the members in General Meeting.

5.2 Subscription Fees

5.2.1 The rates of subscription shall be determined by the members in General Meeting and shall be due on election and, thereafter, on 1st July each year.

5.2.2 The subscription during the first year of membership shall be reduced pro-rata according to the date of membership and shall be determined by the following table:

Date of (membership) Joining Subscription Reduction
1st October – 31 st December 25%
1st January – 31st March 50%
1st April – 30th June 75%

5.3 Paddling Fees

The paddling fees will be determined by the members in General Meeting as follows

  • Paddling fees whilst on the Lido will be applicable to all paddlers
  • An additional fee per session will be charged for any item/items of Club equipment borrowed
  • Coaches shall be exempt from all paddling fees when participating in the running of Club courses
  • A Coach is a person who holds the appropriate qualification or a person who coaches for the Club

5.4 Course Fees

  • As determined by the Management Committee
  • Course fees will be based upon the hours and level of instruction required
  • Include temporary membership where required
  • Discounted for Club members
  • Where necessary can be paid in instalments at the discretion of the Management Committee

6. Sections

6.1 The Club may organise various sections to cover the various activities of Paddlesport.

6.2 The affairs of each section shall be conducted by a sub-Committee of a number of members as deemed necessary for that section, the Chairperson (or his/her deputy) of the sub-committee shall be eligible to attend Club Management Committee Meetings.

7. Disqualification from Holding Office

7.1 Only members entitled to vote are eligible to hold office

7.2 Non-voting members are not eligible to hold office

7.3 Any member who is under the age of 18 years on the 1st July shall not be eligible for election to the Management Committee of the Club, except that a Junior Section Chairperson may be elected by the junior members of the Club, and be entitled to vote at Management Committee meetings

7.4 Any member whose main income is derived from the sale or manufacture of canoes and/or accessories, or who is disqualified as an amateur under the rules of the British Canoe Union, will not be eligible for election to the Management Committee of the Club, but such a person may be co-opted without voting rights

8. Management Committee

8.1 Committee Positions

8.1.1 The Management Committee shall conduct the affairs of the Club as a whole and shall consist of a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and other officers as deemed necessary.

8.1.2 The Management Committee has the power to co-opt additional voting members as required.

8.1.3 Nominations for the position of Chairperson, Hon Secretary, Hon Treasurer and other officers shall be put forward in the form of a motion under the terms of Rule 11.3.2.

8.1.4 The Management Committee shall elect a Vice-Chairperson from among its number.

8.1.5 Committee members or those taking on duties of the Committee shall be given a copy of the constitution at the first Committee meeting that they attend. By accepting the role the member confirms their understanding and awareness of the constitution.

8.2 Election and Term

8.2.1 The Committee shall be elected at the AGM by a show of hands and will serve for one year.

8.2.2 Persons who have served continuously on the Committee as officers for three years may only stand for election if there are no other nominations for that post.

8.3 Management Committee Meetings

8.3.1 Frequency of Meetings The Management Committee will meet as required but at least once a quarter Regular Meetings of the Management Committee shall be called by the Honorary Secretary on instruction from the Chairperson or not fewer than three Management Committee members Attendance at Management Committee Meetings shall be open to all members of the Club Notice of impending Management Committee Meetings shall be announced by the Secretary, giving at least 6 days notice

8.4 Quorum

8.4.1 A quorum shall consist of not less than 51% of the voting Management Committee members and not less than 25% of members in the case of the Section Committees

8.4.2 If a Management Committee meeting remains inquorate 15 minutes after the scheduled start time the meeting will be postponed and a subsequent Management Committee meeting shall be convened to start at the same time within 14 days.” 8.4.3 “The subsequent Management Committee meeting shall proceed at the latest 15 minutes after the stated time and shall be deemed quorate and shall have the power of resolution of any issue laid before it regardless of the actual numbers present

8.5 Vacancies

8.5.1 In the case of a vacancy among the Committee occurring during the year the Committee shall appoint another eligible member to act until the next AGM. If possible the Committee should try to fill any vacancy within 3 months

8.5.2 In the event that one of the officer’s posts remains vacant for 3 months the Committee shall call an EGM to fill that post

8.6 Dismissal of Officers and Committee Members

8.6.1 A Committee member may be dismissed by the unanimous vote of the Management Committee members on the grounds of either breach of the Constitution or for some other serious reason showing that he/she should no longer remain in office

8.6.2 Notice shall be given in writing

8.6.3 An explanation shall be given to all Club members without delay and to the next General Meeting

8.6.4 Any member so dismissed may appeal to the membership at an Extraordinary General Meeting

9. Duties of Committee

9.1 Chairperson

9.1.1 The Chairperson will preside at all General Meetings of the Club and at all meetings of the Management Committee.

9.1.2 He or she shall be responsible for guiding the activities of the Club in accordance with its rules and general policy as expressed by the majority of its members.

9.1.3 The Chairperson shall represent or arrange for the representation of the Club at BCU regional level and at meetings of other organisations.

9.1.4 He/she shall ex officio be a member of any other committee of the Club.

9.2 Hon Secretary

9.2.1 The Hon Secretary will be responsible for the organisation of meetings of the Management Committee and of the Club, and the recording of minutes relating to such meetings and all correspondence relating to the general business of the Club.

9.2.2 He/she shall also be responsible for transmitting to the section secretaries all correspondence relating to the particular activities of the section concerned at the earliest opportunity.

9.2.3 The Hon Secretary will receive copies of the minutes relating to the meetings of section committees.

9.2.4 The Hon Secretary has a duty to announce the date of the AGM at least 4 weeks prior. This will allow sufficient time for a member’s motion to be drafted and lodged with the Hon Secretary by 2 weeks prior to the date of the AGM for distribution with the calling papers of Annual General meeting

9.3 Hon Treasurer

9.3.1 The Hon Treasurer will be responsible for the collection of all monies including subscriptions and shall keep such books of account as required by the General Meeting.

9.3.2 He/she shall have the power to examine, after giving one week’s notice, the books of any section, and shall report any discrepancies to the Management Committee.

9.3.3 The Hon Treasurer shall audit the books of each section annually and shall produce at the AGM Income and Expenditure and Balance sheets showing the financial state of each section and of the General funds, accompanied by the Hon Auditor’s report.

9.3.4 All Cheques and other instructions to the bank, except transfers between club bank accounts shall be signed by two from the chairperson, secretary and treasurer.

9.3.5 The Treasurer must make the committee aware of any existing or potential financial or cash flow problems.

9.4 Other Committee Members / Club Officer Roles

9.4.1 Other committee members may be elected as deemed necessary by the Club

9.4.2 For details on other roles which may be required to be performed within the Club a description of this role is given in the Club’s Task Descriptions document

10. Section Committees

10.1 Establishment of Sections

The establishment of any specialist section will be encouraged; but must be endorsed by the Management Committee.

10.2 Section Rules Section

Committees may draw up rules and regulations necessary for the efficient management of the section, but such rules and regulations shall not become operative until approved by the Committee.

10.3 Section Secretary

10.3.1 The Secretary of each section shall keep minutes of all section meetings and be prepared to produce these if required at Management Committee meetings.

10.3.2 He/she shall also be responsible for the collection of all monies relating to the section and shall submit a balance sheet showing the financial state of the section at the AGM.

10.3.3 He/she shall also be prepared at all Management Committee meetings to give an account of the section’s finances.

10.4 Section Committee Members

The Section Committees shall each consist of the number of members deemed necessary and elected by the section concerned, one of whom shall be the section Chairperson and/or section secretary.

10.5 Section Committee Nominated Members

A Section Committee may nominate other members of the section to serve the Section Committee.

10.6 Section Committee Meetings

Section Committees shall meet at such intervals as are required to satisfactorily conduct the business of the Section, or upon a demand signed by not less than 25% of the members of the section committee.

11. General Meetings

11.1 Notice

Not less than 4 weeks clear notice shall be given, specifying to all members the time and business of the General Meeting. This is to allow sufficient time for members to lodge motions with the Secretary 2 weeks prior to the date of Annual General Meeting.

11.2 Quorum

11.2.1 At all General Meetings not less than 25% of the members of the Club entitled to vote shall constitute a quorum.

11.2.2 If a quorum is not present, a second meeting shall be convened approximately 4 weeks later. This meeting will proceed at the latest 15 minutes after the stated time regardless of quorum.

11.2.3 From 1st July to 30th September each year the number of voting members shall be based on the membership on 30th June in the previous year. For the remainder of the year the number of voting members shall be based on the membership on the day of that Extraordinary General Meeting.

11.3 Annual General Meetings

11.3.1 An Annual General Meeting shall be held in the summer of each year. There shall be laid before the meeting a statement of accounts made up to the 30th day of the month of June immediately preceding.

11.3.2 Notice of Annual General meeting shall be announced by the Secretary giving 4 weeks’ notice.

11.3.3 Motions for discussion at Annual General Meetings, not of origin from within the Management Committee, shall be lodged with the Hon Secretary at least 2 weeks preceding the AGM, and be signed by two members entitled to vote.

11.3.4 At any General Meeting, a resolution put to the vote of the Meeting shall be decided by a show of hands, of those entitled to vote, except when more than one nomination has been received for a position on the Management Committee, in which case voting will be by secret ballot.

11.3.5 At all General Meetings the Chairperson will preside or, in hislher absence, a Chairperson for the meeting will be elected by the voting members present.

11.3.6 Minutes of the meeting shall be taken by the Hon. Secretary.

11.4 Extraordinary General Meetings

11.4.1 Subject to clause

11.4.2 An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called on the instructions of a simple majority of the Management Committee, or on a requisition signed by not less than 25% of the members of the Club entitled to vote.

11.4.2 Notwithstanding Clause 11.4.1, in the event that the Extraordinary General Meeting is called to hear an appeal against suspension or expulsion of a member, then the Secretary shall, at the written request of the appellant, call the Extraordinary General Meeting with 14 days clear notice.

11.5 Absences of Quorum

11.5.1 Subject to Clause 11.5.2 If after 15 minutes from the time appointed for the meeting, a quorum is not present, the Meeting, if called at the request of the members, shall be dissolved. In any other case, the Meeting shall be adjourned. If anyone is not present within 15 minutes from the time appointed for an Adjourned Meeting, the members present shall be a quorum.

11.5.2 Notwithstanding Clause 11.5.1, if the Extraordinary General Meeting has been called to hear an appellant’s case against suspension or expulsion and is inquorate, those present, fifteen minutes after the time appointed for the meeting, shall be deemed to form a quorum and shall hear the case for and against the suspension or expulsion and shall have the power to pass a resolution on the matter.

11.6 Omission

All General Meetings shall be called by the Secretary, giving due notice, by all methods at his/her disposal including but not limited to personal announcement, posting on the club website and by e-mail. Any member who fails to receive this notice due to his/her contact details being incorrect or out of date shall not invalidate the proceedings of the meeting.

12. Liability

12.1 Liability of Committee Members

The Management Committee shall manage the affairs of the Club. Financial or legal liability incurred in the rightful exercise of their office shall not, however, be the personal liability of the Committee, but shall be the responsibility of the Club as a whole.

12.2 Individual Liability

12.2.1 All members or other persons who attend Club tours, meets, or any other Club activity do so at their own risk and neither the Club nor its officers can accept any liability for any loss or injury of any kind whilst partaking in Club activities or on land owned by the Club, except where that loss is due to negligence.

12.2.2 Where an individual member is undertaking management responsibility on behalf of the Committee, for example Safety Officer, Child Protection Officer or Event Organiser, any financial or legal liability incurred in the rightful exercise of that duty shall not be the personal liability of that individual but shall be the responsibility of the Club as a whole, except where that individual has been negligent.

13. Alteration of Constitution

13.1 This constitution shall not be altered, amended, or rescinded except by a General Meeting of the Club

13.2 A resolution to give effect to a change must be passed by at least 75% of the members present at the General Meeting, and voting on this behalf

14. Financial Matters 

14.1 Subscription, Paddling & Course Fee Income

Subscription Fees, Paddling Fees & Course Fees are intended to cover the general running of the Club. Specific Club events, such as hiring of indoor/outdoor swimming pools, should in principle be self-financing.

14.2 Club Events

14.2.1 Specific Club Trips/Events should in principle be self-financing

14.2.2 If a trip/event makes a loss the Club shall fund the deficit providing a budget has been agreed in advance

14.2.3 Where events make a surplus that shall be retained by the Club and shall not be refunded to members attending

14.2.4 Members reserving spaces on Club events shall be responsible for payment in full whether or not they attend

14.2.5 If a member is unable to attend for medical, compassionate or similar reasons their contribution shall be refunded if either the event made a surplus greater than their contribution or their space is taken by another member or exceptionally at the discretion of the Management Committee

14.3 Hardship Fund

14.3.1 At its discretion the Management Committee will support members with financial assistance to progress through the BCU coaching scheme and in promoting safety training which will assist in the aims/objectives of Club.

14.3.2 The Club will provide financial support to members in these initiatives in order to the provide support to the Club infrastructure and development.

14.3.3 Where necessary at the discretion of the Management Committee financial assistance will be provided to a participant on a Club trip on a non-discriminatory and fair basis so as to not pose a significant obstacle to their participation.

14.4 Distribution of Profits

14.4.1 The Club may not make payment to members for participation in the sport which would contravene amateur status nor can any profit be distributed to members, but any profits earned shall be contributed to a General Fund for furthering the objects of the Club.

14.4.2 All surplus income or profits are re-invested in the Club.

14.4.3 No surpluses or assets will be distributed to members or third parties.

14.5 Auditor

Every Annual General Meeting shall appoint an Hon Auditor who shall at least once in every year examine the Accounts of the Club, and ascertain the correctness of the income and expenditure accounts and of the balance sheet.

14.6 Bank Accounts

14.6.1 All Club funds shall be deposited regularly into the Clubs’ bank account(s). When the Club is operating with surplus funds or money accumulating to support future developments that is likely to be for greater than one year this money should be invested in a bank account which offers some level of interest. This will typically result in two accounts — a current and a deposit account.

14.6.2 Any request by the Treasurer to change banking services, such as the provider or the type of account, shall be approved by the Committee. Where these changes are made by the bank the Treasurer shall notify the Committee of the change and where possible shall comment on the impact, if any, of this on the Club.

14.6.3 Any one Committee member should not be allowed to operate any of the banks payment services, such as but not restricted to chequebook or online payment services, alone.

14.6.4 When the Club’s bank accounts offer electronic banking the Committee may authorise the Treasurer to operate this service on his/her authority. Operate in this context shall refer to the ability to log on and check balances, payments and to be able to transfer money between the Club’s approved accounts. The Treasurer is required to seek approval of the Committee before setting up any electronic payment, such as a standing order, to pay for regular services or affiliations approved by the Committee. One off payments may be made electronically provided that the Treasurer has received prior written consent from another authorised signatory.

14.7 Financial Year

The financial year of the Club shall run from 1st July to 30th June as per the membership year.

15. Termination

15.1 Termination EGM Required The Club shall not terminate except by a resolution of an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for the purpose. If a quorum is not achieved then a second meeting shall be convened approximately four weeks later. This meeting will proceed even if a quorum is not present 15 minutes after the arranged start.

15.2 Assets Held In Trust On termination the Trustees shall dispose of Club property either by sale or transfer as appropriate. Revenue raised shall be used to repay creditors, to pay expenses reasonably incurred in terminating the Club and to repay loan guarantors such sums as the guarantors are required to pay under the terms of any guarantee.

15.3 Surplus Assets Upon dissolution of the Club any remaining assets shall be given or transferred to a registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), a registered charity or the BCU the sport’s governing body.

16. Omissions

16.1 Any matter not provided for in this constitution, or any question over the interpretation of it shall be dealt with by the Management Committee whose decision shall be final.

17. Rules

17.1 The Management Committee shall draw up rules for the safe conduct of Club organised Paddlesport activities and ensure these are available to all members.

18. Declaration 

18.1 Each member upon joining shall sign the declaration present on the membership form.

19. Affiliation 

19.1 The Club shall be affiliated to the following organisations:

  • British Canoe Union
  • Other appropriate organisations as determined by the Committee

Adopted at meeting held at Aldershot Lido on Wednesday 25th November 2009

Document History

Version No Date Status Update Amended By
(a) (b) (c) (d) (e)
1.0 08. Nov 86 Approved Orginal Club Constitution
2.0 01 Aug 95 Approved Revised Jerry Rogers
3.0 28.11.2004 Approved Tidy Up Jerry Rogers / Pete Steinhardt
4.0 2008 Draft Major Revisions for Clubmark Status Damian Edwards
5. Draft Revised layout by Pete Steinhardt Pete Steinhardt
6.0 28 Jul 2018 Draft Revised – Notice Periods for AGM, Banking updates, and membership and committee revisions from Jerry Rogers and Ian Morris Damian Edwards
6.0A 18 Aug 2009 Draft Add Document Version Table Damian Edwards
6.0B 01 October 2009 Draft Incorporate comments from Jerry Rogers Damian Edwards
6.0C 02 October 2009 Final Draft Incorporate comments after management meeting Damian Edwards
7.0 25/11/2009 Final Approved at EGM 25/11/2019 – Constitution V7.0 Damian Edwards
8.0 01/09/2018 Draft Revised – Constitution V8.0 Ann-Marie Vinnacombe