Minutes of the 2013 Annual General Meeting of the Tokyo gaijin RFC
Date: 3rd February, 2013
Location: Oxtongue Ookini Bar & Restaurant (run by ex-Tentomushi player Kubo-san)
Chair: Blake Walker
Minutes: Joffa Harris
1. Election of Team Officials for 2013
1.1 Team Administrator for Tokyo Cup Competition (prev. Yamagen & Natsu Kunitomo)
1.1.1 Discussion & Candidacy
Yamagen & Natsu said they were happy to continue to attend meeting and work with the Tokyo Cup Committee but that they desired help on days that both were unable to attend meetings.Someone with good Japanese skills would be prefered.
Yamagen & Natsu will continue in their roles. Takashi Muto (having just returned from 6 years in the USA) said he would be happy to help out where possible. Others said they would do it if the neccessity arose.
1.2 Team Administrator for Shuto League Competition (Prev. Yamagen & Natsu Kunitomo)
1.2.1 Discussion & Candidacy
Yamagen & Natsu said they would be happy to continue in the role but once again expressed a desire for help on occassions.
Yamagen & Natsu will continue in the role with the assistance of Takashi Muto.
1.3 Team Manager (prev. Joffa Harris)
1.3.1 Discussion and candidacy
Joffa Harris, who has done the job for over 10 years, expressed the feeling that maybe it was time for a change and opned up the position for any potential or willing takers.
There was no response and Joffasaid that he would thus continue in the role. He thanked those that had helped throughout the year: Yamagen, Natsu, Blake Walker & Ikuo Fukuda. he also thanked the team for better responses to e-mails than in the past and expressed a desire for that to continue.
1.4 Assistant Manager (prev. Blake Walker)
1.4.1 Discussion & Candidacy
Blake Walker said that he was happy to continue in the role.
Blake retained the position with no discussion or opposition.
1.5 Club Treasurer (prev. Blake Walker)
1.5.1 Discussion & Candidacy
Blake Walker said that he was happy to continue with the role.
No other nominees were put forward and Blake retained the position with no discussion or opposition.
1.6 Team Captain (prev. Alaister Nimmo)
1.6.1 Discussion & Candidacy
Alaister expressed wishes to step down from the role he has held over the past two years and for a two year period from 2007 - 2008 whilst offering to still do everything he can for the team. He said he believed it was time for a change and to give some other young person the chance to lead the team just like he had back in 2007 when he was just 22. Alaister also expressed the desire to have a strong Japanese speaker & a foreigner as the captain and vice-captain in 2013 - in no particular order.
Alaister was thanked for his excellent leadership which coincided with the Tokyo Gaijin RFC's two most successful years since their creation back in 1991.
Nominees to take over the captaincy in 2013 were Shinichiro Nakayama, Lachlan Ainley, John Herger & Richard O'Shea. Each nominee gave a speech on what he had to offer the team.
Basics of each speech:
Shinchiro: I have experience as vice-captain in 2012 and often stepped into the role of captain when Alaister was away on business. I will try to replicate the job Alaister Nimmo did.
John: I will support any candidate as the language barrier may be against me and I am not always available. My allegiance is to the Gaijin and I will fulfil the role whole-heartedly and to the best of my ability.
Lachlan: I won't change the way I play and will continue to lead from the front. My aim is just to make sure everyone enjoys playing rugby.
Richard: I have had experience as the team vice-captain before (2011) and sometimes fill in as captain when the current captain & vice-captain are absent. I want the team to be more switched on, more punctual and more responsible. We must work like a proper rugby team if we are to beat the best of the Tokyo Cup teams.
Joffa Harris also spoke up and expressed concerns that Shinchiro's lack of punctuality of late was a concern.
Richard O'Shea, working on a platform of self-responsibility & punctuality, won the vote and will be Captain for 2013.
1.7 Team Vice-captain (prev. Shinchiro Nakayama)
1.7.1 Discussion and Candidacy
With no fresh nominees the vote for vice-captain was put to the floor from the previous three nominees for captain in Shinichiro Nakayama, Lachlan Ainley & John Herger..
Shinchiro Nakayama won the vote and will continue as Vice Captain.
1.8 Website Administration (prev. Mauro Sauco)
1.8.1 Discussion and Candidacy
Mauro offered assistance from abroad to continue with website administration. Issues discussed: Article writing. Joffa Harris, who does the vast majority of the articles requested help in writing articles.
Mauro will continue to trouble-shoot and keep the website maintained. Blake Walker, Gareth Palmer, John Herger & Lachlan Ainley offered to help writing articles.
2 Matters Arising
Thanks to current club membership, overall finances are stable. The club still has a confortable bank balance and is in a good position for this time of year.
A problem arises when people who do not pay fees, play in the Tokyo Cup. The Tokyo Cup costs around 400, 000 yen which includes compulsory player registration with the Tokyo Rugby Union and insurance coverage. When players don't pay fees it costs the club a lot of excess bills that cuts into team savings. It was requested that players pay, at the very least, for insurance before the Tokyo cup.
Team fees for the year are 20,000 yen. If you only play half a year, for example the spring season from say January to July, then you only have to pay 10,000 yen. Fees are very important for the club to survive. Fees cover things like player registration, player insurance, ground fees, referee fees, farewell gifts, end of year awards for players and helpers and other sundry expenses eg. after-match beers for Man of Match and Goat of Game etc.
Treasurer Blake Walker has offered a once off 1,000 yen discount if fees are paid on or before February 17th. So if you pay by that date your fees for the year will only be 19,000 yen.
2.2 Washing of Jerseys
Players who washed the jerseys in 2012 were thanked. Players were also encouraged to step up and have a turn at washing the jerseys. The Management would like everyone to have a turn at washing the jerseys. Yamagen took personal responsibility for ensuring that everyone will have a turn this year by promising to keep a list.
John Herger also offered to wash the jerseys on extra occassions as he has access to communal washing machines out at his base.
It was brought up that recently more and more players are becoming tardy and getting to games and training late. It was emphasized that if we are to succeed as a team we need to 'get our shit in order' (to quote Mr. O'Shea). You don't turn up to work late....so don't turn up to rugby late. Firstly, it's rude. Secondly, other people are relying on you. We spend far too much time waiting at stations for late people. Penalties were discussed for people that are late. Things such as doing 'punishment' exercises at the end of training for those that are late. On game days 'punishments' discussed were buying the aftermatch beers for the MVP and Goat, or washing the jerseys. A decision will be reached by the management shortly.
Every team must have registered medical staff. With the recent departure of Lucie Ballard to Finland that leaves us one option short. A few other people that were previously registered now have expired cards. After a call for volunteers Shino Iwasaki, Ryogo Takemura and Gaz dalrymple offered to do the course. Joffa Harris also offered to do the course again if the course timing does not clash with the Manila 10's tour, as it usually does.
2.5 Assistant Referees (Linesmen)
Every team must have some registered linesmen for the Tokyo Cup. Some players expressed interest in doing the course but as dates are not yet known nobody could fully commit. We need more people to commit to this.
2.6 Running Group
Nic Pavesic has started a runnning group for those that want to get fitter on Wednesday and Friday nights at Oda Field in Yoyogi Park. Sessions, which have been going since the beginning of the year, have averaged about 5 or 6 people. So if you want to get fitter, which can only benefit your own play, and ultimately the team benefits, then get along to either or both sessions in Yoyogi Park. Be at the track at 7pm. A few lagers are often imbibed after each session. Far more forwards have been attending than backs thus far!!
2.7 Manila 10's Rugby Tour 2013
Tour organiser Richard O'Shea explained that the Tour to the Manila 10's still had vacancies. If you want to be part of what will most probably be the last Manila 10's for the Gaijin then contact him ASAP. If you've never been on a rugby tour then you haven't lived....and Manila is one of the best and certainly one of the cheapest tours out there. You'll have a fantastic time without trying too hard. The event is on over the weekend of 16th and 17th of March. More players are needed!
Yamagen exhorted players and supporters to take it easy on referees. Many of us are very harsh on the referees, whether it be players or supporters. The referees don't get paid much to referee a game and basically do it for the love of the game. We are getting a bad name amongst referees and it is getting harder to get referees to willingly referee our 'friendly' games. Referees never change their decisions so there is not point standing there arguing or abusing them. If you have a valid complaint go through the captain. He should be the only one talking to the referee.
Dave Kelver also added that we need to have more self-discipline and hold ourselves more accountable.
Blake Walker, Joffa Harris, Yamagen, Richard O'Shea, Jesse Takahashi, Alaister Nimmo, Gorka Gerediaga, Takashi Muto, Nic Pavesic, John Herger, Lachlan Ainley, Gaz Dalrymple, Natsu Kunitomo, Jo Iwasaki, Shinichiro Nakayama, Mosese Rarasea, Ian Munk, Tomoya, Motoki Mitsuyori, Dave Kelver, Ryogo Takemura, Takeshi Ochiai, Gareth Palmer, Hitomi O'Shea, Shino Iwaski