Minutes of the 2014 Annual General Meeting of the Tokyo gaijin RFC

Date: 2nd February, 2014

Location: Belamie Bar & Restaurant, Yanokuchi

Chair: Joffa Harris

Minutes: Joffa Harris

1. Election of Team Officials for 2014

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.

1.1.2 Outcome

Yamagen & Natsu will continue in their roles. 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.

1.2.2 Outcome

Yamagen & Natsu will continue in the role.

 

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 desire to step down to get new blood into the organization and a fresh direction. Andy Tindall nominated Phillip Ferreira to step up and do the job. Joffa, seconded it.

1.3.2 Outcome - Phillip Ferreira

Phillip Ferreira, who was absent on the night, had apparently been in discussions with Joffa about the role and had expressed and interest in it and ultimately the desire to have a shot at it. He was voted into the position unanimously. Others expressed a desire for Joffa to pass on his assistance to the new management team as they learn the ropes and he offered to help out whenever necessary.

 

1.4 Assistant Manager (prev. Blake Walker)

1.4.1 Discussion & Candidacy

Blake Walker said that he would also like to step down as his young son was nearing the age where he wanted to play rugby and Blake was not sure he could give the position the time it deserved. Andy Tindall and Ryo Takahashi were nominated to take on the role.

1.4.2 Outcome - Ryo Takahashi

After it became obvious that Andy Tindall could not commit for the whole year, as he is leaving Japan in October, Ryo became the only candidate and was enthusiastically voted into the position.

 

1.5 Club Treasurer (prev. Blake Walker)

1.5.1 Discussion & Candidacy

Blake was non-commital at first but after encouragement from Joffa Harris and others said that he was happy to continue with the role.

1.5.2 Outcome - Blake Walker

No other nominees were put  forward and Blake retained the position with no discussion or opposition.

 

1.6 Team Captain (prev. Richard O'Shea)

1.6.1 Discussion & Candidacy

Richard expressed wishes to step down from the role he has held over the past year whilst offering to still do everything he can for the team. He said that with the upcoming birth of his first child he would be missing some games during Tokyo Cup and would not be able to commit to games as much as he did this year.

Richard was thanked for his excellent leadership throughout 2013.

Nominees to take over the captaincy in 2014 were Hitoshi Chihara, Lachlan Ainley, Tomo Setoguchi, Mosese Rarasea & Toshi Miyano.

Basics of each speech:

Hitoshi (Absent) : Blake Walker spoke on his behalf and said that Hitoshi was keen to be captain of the team and had held the position of vice-captain before. He had also filled in as captain when needed and rarely missed games and training. he also often led the backs training runs.

Lachlan : I am not good with words but I will lead from the front and do my best to make 2014 a successful year for the Gaijin. (These words carried a lot of weight considering he was MVP for 2013) He also said his aim was to make sure everyone enjoys playing rugby.

 Tomohiro : I am honoured to be nominated for the position of captain and vice captain but I have only been with the team for less than a year and would like to concentrate on playing rugby for now and get more experience with the team. I will support whoever becomes the captains whole-heartedly.

Mosese : I don't think I am good enough to be captain and think there are better candidates (so don't nomiante me Bati!)

Toshi : I have been with the team for 4 or 5 years now and have a lot of experience playing and coaching rugby. I am in a central position in the backs and am also a senior player in the backline. My Japanese ability will also help me & the team communicate witth referees.

1.6.2 Outcome - Lachlan Ainley

Lachlan Ainley, who already is a team leader in many respects, won the voting quite easily.

 

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 two nominees for captain in Hitoshi Chihara & Toshi Miyano (with Tomohiro & Mosese having withdrawn their candidancy).

1.7.2 Outcome - Toshi Miyano

 Toshi Miyano narrowly won the vote.

 

1.8 Website Administration (prev. Mauro Sauco)

1.8.1 Discussion and Candidacy

Mauro, now living in Singapore, offered assistance from abroad to continue with website administration. Some of the Manila tourists offered to touch base with Mauro to discuss further administartion issues. Other issues discussed: Article writing. Joffa Harris, who does the vast majority of the articles requested help in writing articles.

1.8.2 Outcome

Mauro will continue to trouble-shoot and keep the website maintained. Andy Tindall, Lachlan Ainley, & Blake Walker offered to write some articles for the website.

 

2 Matters Arising

 

2.1 Treasury

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 offered a once off 1,000 yen discount for fees paid on the night.

 

2.2 Washing of Jerseys

Players were encouraged to step up and have a turn at washing the jerseys. A list would be drawn up and everyone was expected to have a turn at washing them,

 

2.3 Punctuality

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 be on time. 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. Something needs to be done to discourage lateness. Penalties were discussed for people that are late without notice.

Late to training : 3 minute prone bridge. Every second short of three minutes becomes a burpee. So if you do a 2 minute prone bridge then you have to do 60 burpees. Sounds tough? Don't be late!

Late to games: Every ten minutes of lateness means 100 yen into the Man of the Match beer kitty. Washing of jerseys may also be added to this.

 

2.4 Medical

Every team must have registered medical staff for Tokyo Cup. This was not fully discussed and will need further discussion. Shino Iwasaki & Yoshihiro Sato are current members with Medical cards. If the team is desperate we can hire medical staff on Tokyo Cup games. This will cost around 3, 000 to 4, 000 yen per game.

Yoshihiro Sato has been responsible for the medical kit for the last year. He was absent from the meeting but it is hoped that he will continue to fill this role. Other Japanese members said that they would get the kit off him on weekends when he has to work.

 

2.5 Training

Senior members invited other members to bring ideas for drills to training and also invited anyone with new ideas to run elements of training or even a full session. Apisai Bati requested permission to run the fitness section of training when he could make it and all members agreed to this proposition.

 

2.6 Running Group

A hardy group of guys gets together every Friday evening at Oda Field in Yoyogi Park. Sessions, which have been going since the beginning of last year. Sessions averaged about 5 or 6 people earlier in the year but have fizzled down to an average of 3 and it is usually the same 3 or 4 - Andy Tindall, Joffa Harris, Eamonn Murphy & Gorka Gerediaga. So if you want to get fitter, which can only benefit your own play, and ultimately the team benefits, then get along to 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 Rugby Tours

Current Tours & Organizers

Manila 10's - Phillip Ferreira & Tomohiro Setoguchi

Sugadaira - Natsu Kunitomo, Jo Iwasaki & Ikuo Fukuda

Yamanashi - Watau Sato

All current organizers, except Ikuo who has moved to Osaka, have expressed an interest in continuing in their roles.

Joffa Harrris questioned those present on whether there were too many tours but everyone expressed interest so Joffa pleaded for everyone to support the guys doing all the work to organize these trips.

 

2.8 Gear Stewards

Joffa Harris expressed a desire to share out some of the training balls now that he was no longer manager. Balls were given to Tomohiro Setoguchi, Ryo Takahashi & Andy Tindall to bring along to training each week.

 

2.9 Sponsorship

The team is still happy to wear the jerseys sponsored by Oakwood Serviced Apartments however original team captain and owner of Shin hi no Moto (aka. Andy's Bar), Andy Lunt has offered to buy the team a set of jerseys. Designs are welcome and the team will move forward with this over the next month.

 

2.10 Recruitment

A few of the Japanese players in the team, namely Tomohiro Setoguchi & Yamagen, expressed the mood that the team had too many Japanese players and we had to recruit more foreigners as the team name was Tokyo 'Gaijin' RFC. Players were encouraged to bring friends and talk to people at their local gyms etc. Further brain-storming on this will be carried out by the new team management.

(Editor's Note: Personally, I think Japanese players are the core of the team as a lot of foreign players move on so this is not a major problem. Afterall, this is Japan. But it is also important to have a good mix and the Gaijin traditionally have been more 'Gaijin' prominent in the past than the last few years. Maybe there are less Gaijin in Japan? Maybe it's the currrent financial climate).