Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
In working towards the Voluntary Code of Good Governance for the Sport & Recreation Sector, BPA has commissioned an independent report from Amanda Bennett, a leading national expert on sports governance. Council is publishing the BPA Governance Consultation Report to start a conversation with members about how to assure the governance of our Association meets the demands of the 21st century. This will help to build a stronger sport for the future. BPA Council is establishing a governance working party and views from members are welcome. Click on the red 'more' tab for the background.
Good governance - it's in the wind
There’s something in the wind. It’s been coming for a while. Now it’s gaining traction. It’s called ‘good governance’.
What’s it all about? It’s about making sure organisations are well run for the benefit of all their stakeholders, and that they are socially responsible. Good governance benefits everyone. But it doesn’t just happen by chance. Over time, clear principles have emerged.
Organisations vary hugely in size and purpose. Some are commercial, others are for public service, and still others - such as the BPA - are not-for-profit membership bodies, in our case to pursue a passion for the sport of skydiving.
The principles of good governance apply to every type of organisation, but it’s not a case of one size fits all. The principles have to be applied according to each organisation’s structure and purpose. The tide of good governance has reached the sport and recreation sector and it has been codified in the Voluntary Code of Good Governance, promoted by the Sport & Recreation Alliance (of which BPA is a longstanding member). The Code is supported by government and official agencies including UK Sport and all of the home countries’ sports councils.
The seven principles
The Code is a tool to help sports governing bodies, such as the BPA, to meet the high expectations of them in the 21st century. It focuses on seven principles:
1. Integrity: Acting as guardians of the sport
2. Defining and evaluating the role of the board
3. Delivery of vision, mission and purpose
4. Objectivity: Balanced, inclusive and skilled board
5. Standards, systems and controls
6. Accountability and transparency
7. Understanding and engaging with the sporting landscape.
The Code is not prescriptive. The principles it sets out are for bodies such as the BPA to apply to their own organisational development.
Already more than 80 sports and recreation bodies have signed up to the Code. The benefits are that it:
In 2012, BPA Council announced its intention to sign up to the Code. But there was work to do before signing up. Most Council meetings last year took one of the principles per meeting to explore in more depth. Council looked at how far the BPA’s current structures and procedures met best practice. It was clear we were already well along the road.
This year, we have a remainder of probably the final 20-30 per cent of the Code to examine, but this includes the most challenging aspects to do with the structure and function of the board (which is to say, BPA’s board of directors, the Council). Council has decided to engage an external independent expert as facilitator to help to explore these most challenging aspects of governance, which is likely to include some perspectives that are new to the BPA. These are likely to feature in an important conversation within the membership over the coming months or even years.
It is a path on which BPA is not short of companion travellers, as many if not now a majority other spots national governing bodies share in the same aspirations, and some have already achieved them. Just google ‘voluntary code of good governance - sport’ to get a snapshot of the response it has triggered in the sport and recreation sector. Adoption of the Code of Good Governance is already seen as a ‘quality mark’ of national governing bodies in sport, and it’s likely to become an expectation.
Doesn't our sport deserve the best?
You could argue that the opposite to good governance is bad governance - but that would be to sensationalise the case. The opposite to good governance is, in the vast majority of cases, much more prosaic. It’s the specious sense of wellbeing that can come from a laissez-faire, ‘why change?’ attitude and simply carrying on as we always have because it’s served us well (or, at least, always got us through) in the past. The opposite to good governance is doing nothing worse than looking inwards to our own sport and backwards at custom and practice, rather than outwards to other sports and what they are doing to raise their game to meet the challenges of governance in the 21st century. Doesn’t our sport deserve the best?
Calling Full BPA Members - Could your knowledge and skills help our sport in the role of a BPA Council Member? To find out more, please study the Council Member role profile. If it sounds like a role to which you might be suited, please consider standing for BPA Council 2015. See the nomination form for the procedure to follow. Nominations must be sent to reach independent election administrators Electoral Reform Services (ERS) by noon on Tuesday 4 November 2014.
The new BPA Skydive Starter App showcases our sport to potential, first-time and new jumpers. This free interactive BPA App will appeal to today's tech-savvy world and offers essential information and advice to everyone who has ever wanted to experience a skydive. Adrian Bond, BPA Communications Chair, said: "There's a saying that there are two kinds of people – those who have experienced a skydive and those who haven't." Download the BPA Skydive Starter App App for free at: Apple Newsstand tinyurl.com/skydivestarterapple Google Play: tinyurl.com/skydivestarterandroid
Nominations from members are invited for the BPA Taz Causer Experienced Skydiver of the Year Award. The award is for a UK-based skydiver whose achievements during the calendar year deserve special recognition. Please e-mail your nominations giving the name of your nominee with reasons (no more than 250 words, please) to skydive [at] bpa.org.uk by Thursday 20 November 2014. Council will consider the nominations in December. The trophy will be presented at the Awards Ceremony at BPA Skydive the Expo in Nottingham on Saturday 24 January 2015.
BPA Skydive the Expo 2015 celebrates everything to do with skydiving. It's at EMCC, Nottingham, on Saturday 24 January 2015. Attendance is free of charge for BPA Members and other visitors. The Expo compirises an exhibition, seminars & presentations, prizes & surprises, and a great night of partying and entertainment including an optional Gala Dinner (for which a charge applies). The BPA AGM 2015 is on the morning of the Expo. Pre-register and you could win a prize at the Grand Prize Draw. You can book overnight accommodation online, if required. See the Expo website for more.
For results of the BPA British Open Nationals 2014 in 4-way and 8-way FS, VFS, Artistics and Speed Skydiving that have recently taken place at Skydive Hibaldstow, see skydivingchampionships.com Next up, from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 September, it's the turn of CF, Classics (Style & Accuracy) and 8-way Speed at UK Parachuting, Sibson near Peterborough. See the BPA Nationals page for links to the rules and entry form.
Major-General Dare Wilson CBE MC DL (pictured on the occasion of BPA's 50th Anniversary in 2011), BPA Chairman from 1962-66, has died aged 95. After a distinguished military career during WWII, Dare Wilson was a legendary name in the BPA's early days. He was a subscriber to the Memorandum & Articles of Association that incorporated BPA, which had been founded in 1961, as a company limited by guarantee in 1966. The family association with BPA continues, with one of his sons Alex serving on BPA Council from 2007-9. For more on Dare Wilson's life story, see his obituary in The Daily Telegraph.
Congratulations to GB team Kaizen who have taken Bronze in the 4-way Female Formation Skydiving event at the World Parachuting Championships in Prostějov, Czech Republic. Awesome job! The Official event website is wpc2014.com For results & scores see Omniskore
The BPA British Open Nationals 2014 in 4-way and 8-way FS, VFS, Artistics and Speed Skydiving all take place in September at Skydive Hibaldstow in North Lincolnshire. Later in September, it's the turn of CF, Classics (Style & Accuracy) and 8-way Speed at UK Parachuting, Sibson near Peterborough. See the BPA Nationals page for dates and rules of all this year's BPA British Open Nationals. For the Nationals taking place at Hib, there's a dedicated website skydivingchampionships.com
BPA Member Dane Kenny has been involved in the Cloud Lab project, in which a group of scientists travel coast to coast across the US in an airship to explore the Earth's atmosphere. As part of the expedition, parachute jumps were made over Flordia and Arizona. Photo shows Dane Kenny preparing for a test jump with scientific equipment from 12,500 ft. For the full story see 'Operation Cloud Lab: Secrets of the Skies', a two-part documentary series that was shown on BBC2 on Wednesdays 16 & 23 July at 2000 but you can still catch it on BBC iPlayer for a limited number of days after transmission. Click on red tab below for more.
Dane says "For the first jumps in Florida we we're trying to reveal how convection currents keep clouds afloat. The idea being that once under canopy (big, docile), the skydiver steers under the cloud, releases smoke and this is measured by observing scientists and devices carried by the skydiver."
"The second jumps in Arizona were to be High Altitude, High Opening (HAHO) jumps to be done from 26,000 ft, to be able the skydiver to carry petrie dishes on his clothing and equipment that will sample air and the presence of bacterial life at different altitudes."
"Now the hard part: the BBC were hoping that one of their presenters, Andy Torbet (A licence), 26 jumps and not jumped for three years would be able to do this and would it be possible for me to get him to the required level? If this was impossible - would I do it? The other issue was getting all the equipment together in such a tight timeframe, making sure it was capable of the task in hand, that it was safe, user friendly and finally conducting test jumps?"
"For those of you who have worked on production projects before you will know there is always a time constraint."
"The initial training/re-training took place at Netheravon and the Bedford wind tunnel, we then spent a few days in Eloy and DeLand prior to the shoot starting."
"Without giving away the outcome - I'll let you all watch the documentary - it was emotional..."
This was the comment made by the Executive Producer, BBC Science to those involved: "Cloud Lab was the most ambitious TV production in which I've been involved. It was editorially complex and logistically challenging and it placed huge demands on all of you. I am very proud of what you achieved. The finished films are visually stunning, the on camera performances are tremendous, the stories feel fresh and it has a look and tone different to anything I've seen before. I hope the audience like it, but I will continue to believe those things regardless of the viewing figures."
Updated 17 May 2012