The 2015 AGM was conducted by Skype on Saturday 5 December and we had the biggest turn out to date! Year on year our membership grows as does the support you all show us so thank you.
2015 was an exciting one for British Freediving. It would be difficult and near impossible to mention everything so a summary of the highlights will have to do! The year started with the announcement of the BFA’s annual UK Freediving National Champions Liv Philip and Michael Board, both top athletes and wonderful ambassadors of our sport. We were treated to multi-national record holder Georgina Miller holding her breath live, for five whole minutes on the BBC1 the One Show, prime-time TV, coached by her partner Daan Verhoeven; the show also featured top British freediving athlete Ian Donaldson. Samphire Amps shared her imaginative insights and experiences as a freediver with Jarvis Cocker for a special edition of Wireless Nights at the Proms. Over the last twelve months we have seen 6 national records set by the following athletes: John Moorcroft (DNF 176m), Georgina Miller (STA 06:33), Alice Hickson (DNF 153m & 174m, STA 06:58) and Michael Board (FIM 97m). And I think it is fair to say that one of the biggest highlights has to be Alice Hickson coming home a World Champion Freediver with not only a gold medal for her massive dynamic no fins swim of 174m, but also a bronze for her equally impressive static breath hold, two seconds shy of seven minutes at Freediving World Championships in Serbia!
Freediving has continued to make appearances across the press, in print, online, on the Radio, on TV and even in the form of a hugely successful exhibition in the centre of London. And we are continuing to appear on Redbull Adventure’s website and Facebook page courtesy of top freediving videographer Daan Verhoeven (www.daanverhoeven.com).
Finally and last but not at all least, a massive thank is owed to our wonderful sponsors Divesangha (www.divesangha.com), Elios Sub (www.eliossub.com), Bounce (www.bouncefoods.com) and Saltfree (www.saltfree.biz) for their generous support of our British Freediving Team in 2015.
From all of us at the BFA, we wish you all wonderful and safe dives for 2016!
Minutes from the Meeting
Present: Adam Drzazga, Andy Jardine, Bart Lubecki, Beci Ryan, Deborah Gaskell, Georgina Miller, James Cluskey, Jean- Fabrice Detard, Liv Philip, Matt le clerc, Rebecca Coales, Tim Money.
Apologies: David Tranfield & Martyn Jones
1) Thanks were given to Martyn Jones for his time on the committee as Treasurer. We are pleased to announce that Julian Jansen van Rensburg has stepped up to take on the role of Secretary.
2) Notification of Committee Members for 2015/16 were announced:Chairman: Adam Dzraga
Clubs Officer: George Miller
Competitions Officer: Bart Lubecki
E Media Officer: Tim Money
Membership Officer: Rebecca Coales
Press Officer: Rebecca Coales with support from Beci Ryan
Records & AIDA Liaison Officer: David Tranfield
Secretary: Julian Jansen van Rensburg
Sponsorship Officer: Jay Cluskey
Training & Safety Officer: Liv Philip
Treasurer: care taken by Liv Philip & Tim Money
3) Constitution & New Committee Applicants:
a. Working Groups & Volunteers: There have been a number of people expressing an interest in volunteering their time but are unable commit to a full role. It was decided that we should invite volunteers to help with projects that arise throughout the coming year. It was suggested we send an e-newsletter via Mail Chimp to invite volunteers from our database of contacts (a note could be included in the renewal for membership and a list kept on the BFA Drop Box folder).
a. References: It was suggested that any committee applications must be supported with a reference from someone within the freediving community. This proposal was voted in favour and it was agreed that a paragraph should be written into the constitution to reflect this.
b. Statement on role integrity: It was suggested that committee members should be sign a statement on role integrity and again this was voted for in favour. Georgina Miller volunteered to write this up.
4) Treasurer Role: As there were no applications for the role of Treasurer, Liv Phlip and Tim Money volunteered to stand in. Tim will contact Martyn Jones and find out what the state of accounts is.
It was suggested that the Treasurer give regular updates to the rest of committee on the state of accounts; an outline of what this might be is to be drawn up.
5) Membership Officer: See Membership Report
Also to note, Rebecca requested that the note that members get a log book on the website be removed and it was agreed by attendees to do so:
6) E-media Officer:
a. Sponsor logos: These are now clearly displayed on the BFA website on top right hand corner as well as at the bottom of the home page. The sponsor logos directly link to the sponsor’s website.
b. Membership E-card: We have now moved away from plastic cards completely and are using e-cards, which have the added benefit of being more eco-friendly. This year there was a photo competition for members and the winning image is to be featured on the 2016 e-card.
c. Website: Google thinks website has been hacked. This needs to be sorted. Redesign might help. At present we have three options for updating the BFA website:
i. Martyn Jones has a website ready but needs to pass on instructions;
ii. Bart Lubecki has made a suggestion for a completely new website; and
iii. We have received a third option from a potential volunteer
7) Sponsorship Officer: The sponsors for the 2015 teams were Divesangha, Elios Sub, Bounce Balls and Beet-it (Pool Team only). Divesangha, Elios and Bounce Balls have expressed an interest in continuing to sponsor the team in 2016. Beci has agreed to continue her dialogue with these sponsors. Jay has been in contact with other potential sponsors.
8) Press Officer: See Press Report
9) Competitions Officer: See Competitions Report
Bart will send a reminder of the BFA Competition Grants.
10) Safety Officer: As well as offering advice to the media, Liv has been liaising with other emerging freediving agencies that have sought her out for guidance and her expertise. New AIDA material on courses will be available shortly, which is up-to-date and user-friendly. There are a number of projects Liv would like to develop for 2016 and a request was made for a training bursary fund to encourage people to go on courses – this was agreed in principal although a detailed proposal would need to be submitted and then voted on by committee.
The Affiliate Clubs Safety Agreement needs updating. It was reiterated that all affiliate clubs must sign the Safety Agreement in order to be listed on the BFA website. Georgina and Liv to look at updating and sending it out to all clubs to resign.
11) Clubs Officer: See Clubs Report
It was proposed that non-AIDA freediving agencies be allowed to become an affiliate club and listed on the BFA website. After some discussion, it was agreed that as long as the other freediving agency club agreed to sign the (updated) Affiliate Clubs Safety Agreement, then they would be allowed to become an affiliate club and be listed.
12) Team Selection for 2016 World Championships: The BFA aim to send the maximum number of athletes possible to each World Championships. Team members are chosen based on AIDA Ranked performance from 18 months prior to cut off date (with a cut off date 3 months before entry deadline).
a. AIDA Individual Pool World Championships will be hosted by the Finnish Diver’s Federation in Turku, Finland.
i. Dates: 25 June to 4 July 2016
ii. BFA Deadline for applications: 15 March 2016
iii. Registration Deadline: 30/04/16
iv. Maximum number of athletes: 4 men & 4 women, Coach and Team Captain
v. Official website: http://aidafinland.org/
b. AIDA Team World Championships will be hosted by Freedive Club Greece in Kalamata, Greece.
i. Dates: 16 – 25 September 2016
ii. BFA Deadline for applications: 16 May 2016
iii. Registration Deadline: 31 May 2016
iv. Maximum number of athletes: 3 men + a reserve, 3 women + a reserve, Coach and Team Captain.
v. Official website: TBC
An announcement of both events and call for applicants is to be written up and published on the BFA website and Social Media.
13) Membership Fees 2016: It was agreed there would be no change to Membership Fee for 2016. However, it was proposed and unanimously and enthusiastically agreed, subject to checking the accounts for 2015, that £2 per individual membership fee be donated to AIDA International for their incredible work on research into safety.
14) Announcement of 2015 UK Champions: Congratulations to Liv Philip & Tim Money. Results are calculated according to AIDA ranked points from November 2014 – November 2015 (across all 6 competitive disciplines using the website Apnearanking.se). A press release is to be written by Rebecca Coales for the BFA website, Press Contacts and Social Media.