The Board of the National Ice Skating Association have approved two key proposals to empower members with more voting rights, and introduce an Engagement Committee.
The first proposal was to lower voting age, broadening voting rights to members aged 16 and above, and incorporate a parental / guardian vote for members below 16 or without the capacity to vote.
The proposal aligns with feedback received from members as part of a survey following the AGM in August, where NISA noted the need for parents and young members to be more involved in influencing the sport.
The second proposal to be approved is the incorporation of an Engagement Committee into the organisation’s new structure.
Following the same pattern of the Technical Committees, the Engagement Committee will be composed of a cross selection of members, being designed to communicate the voice of membership.
The new committee will also support the embedding of policies and procedures, improving the organisation’s engagement strategy and better addressing concerns and needs of members.
The Board felt the new proposals would improve the organisation’s Engagement Strategy and help strengthen the listening culture which the NGB is working to establish.
The proposals were initially formed by the NISA EGM Focus Group, an ad hoc group designed to assist the board in the lead up to the EGM in December.
The role of the group is to deliver and strengthen new ideas to engage better with and support membership through the voting process.
The EGM Focus Group held its first meeting on October 12th. As well as contributing to an improved communications plan, the group also agreed upon two key proposals to be amended within the new Articles of Association.
The Board has now confirmed approval and agreed to incorporate changes to NISA Membership in the new Articles of Association which will allow parents / guardians of below 16 year olds or those without capacity to vote, and members who are over 16 to have a direct say in their sport.
If the new Articles are adopted, then parents and members over 16 will have the opportunity to become full members, and so, carry the same voting rights as current full members at all future Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings.
Margarita Sweeney Baird, EGM Focus Group member and Chair of Inclusive Skating, said: “These articles will now give our young 16 and 17 year old skaters a vote for the first time.
“Parents and guardians will also be able to vote on behalf of children and those who lack capacity - this is truly a turning point in the development of NISA and we invite the membership to vote in favour of the new Articles.”
The Terms of Reference for the Engagement Committee, along with more detail of the membership changes which empower more voters, is currently being added to the Articles of Association, which will be ready to go live by Friday the 3rd of November.
Development Director and Lead of the EGM Focus Group David Hartley said: “Last week we had official confirmation from the Board that they had listened carefully to feedback and agreed upon these two very important proposals.
“The changes mean that a huge proportion of membership will be empowered to direct and progress the sport as full members with voting rights.
“This is a big step in the right direction, and we’re excited to now have a set of Articles which don’t only make us compliant with the government’s new sports code, but also enfranchise parents and over 16s to contribute in future, as current full members do today.
“The introduction of an Engagement Committee is also a great amendment, as it will play an invaluable role in voicing the opinions, concerns and advice of NISA membership to the Board.
“We are looking forward releasing new communications which will better explain the critical changes the National Ice Skating Association is facing as a whole, but for now the approval of these proposals are an excellent start to reshaping and progressing the NGB.”
Full details of the proposals will follow. Please watch this area of the website for more news and updates.