ISKA Committee Meet & Email

Posts by the ISKA committee for discussion by members and posts by members for the attention of ISKA committee
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ISKA Committee Meet & Email

Post by conorsmith » Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:00 pm

Following up on the member email everyone will have received over the weekend, I would like to extend my thanks and support to the Committee for the work they do on our behalf. It is very much appreciated and if you want to give something back, perhaps more will consider putting their names forward for the next election.

I hope Jon has a speedy recovery. The Chair will be in very safe hands with Mary and again, I am sorry to see Trish stepping down. She has has been a real asset and her replacement will have big shoes to fill.

I see insurance is raising it's ugly head once again. I purposely use the word ugly as it causes more argument than any other item we have had to deal with over the years. If there is a reasonably priced insurance that will give protection without imposing new rules and guidelines, I am all in favour of it. Insurance however is a business, with profit its only goal and to realize this there must be guides and restriction.

It can be difficult to get Leaders without having to call on the same people over and over. If we go down the insurance route, I expect it will insist Leaders must be certified. We can no longer rely on those without certificates, despite that fact that some who do not hold an official piece of paper are very competent and occasionally better. It also puts a big target on Leader's backs if there is a mishap, because insurance will insist they must be in charge and there is now someone to point the finger at.

Will we also have ratios, 6, possibly 7, maybe 8 paddlers to 1 Leader? Other than the symposium, we rarely if ever know in advance how many will turn up to a meet. Will we have to insist you must commit in advance? What do we do if the ratios are wrong? Do we turn people away and if they paddle anyhow and something happens, is there liability? There are so many questions, without clear answers and only a lawyer in a court of law can decipher.

ISKA is more than 20 years old, continually evolving and a fantastic Association. It works well, very well. All I want to do is paddle in an environment that has been fostered over the years, with everyone looking out for one another, sharing their knowledge and experience, offering support to new entrants.

If it is not broken, what are we trying to fix?

Chris McDaid
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Re: ISKA Committee Meet & Email

Post by Chris McDaid » Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:26 am

I can only echo the sentiments of Conor Smith. I suspect that if insurance is introduced, the meets that have been so successful over the years will cease to exist as we currently know them. Insurance will impose restrictions on what we do and it's highly unlikely that any insurance company will cover our activities as they stand. If it's not broken, don't fix it

At the behest of one of the committee members I was tasked to find out what the Scottish paddling community (SSKEG - Scottish Sea Kayaking E Group, the closest comparison to ISKA on these islands) do as regards insurance. The necessary info has been forwarded to the committee for consideration. SSKEG do not have insurance and operate a policy of self cerification. I wont go into to much detail here, other than that it would involve a more robust way of making sure people who turn up at meets are current members and have self certified. I'm sure the committee will make all the necessary details available in due course. There is a credible alternative to insurance. Either way, I trust that the committee will make all options available to the membership at large before any decision is taken.

ISKA is in many ways a unique organisation, with an ethos of looking out for each other while on the water and this should continue, without imposing restrictions on those who attend meets and more importantly, organise them.

I would also like to extend a massive thank you to Trish Carraher for the outstanding contribution she has made to ISKA over the years, and I also hope Jon makes a full recovery and is back and active on the water soon

Last edited by Chris McDaid on Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ISKA Committee Meet & Email

Post by DaveWalsh » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:20 pm

The king is dead, long live the queen! Congratulations MTB on being (surely) the first ever to return to the poisoned chalice for a swig. Enjoy !
Sorry to hear about Jon, and Trish.
I write in as views are being requested, and I have the elder lemon – jaded - view of things. I’ve seen it all and heard it all before. Wasn’t it though Lee Marvin that said “I may be a has-been, but sonny, at least I been”.
In case there is anyone out therethat doesn’t know it, probably newcomers to our sport (i.e. in it less that ten years or so), I am very cynical about democracy and I virulently hate insurance.
Democracy involves administration “of the people, by the people, for the people”. You can’t achieve the all-important middle bit without a number of factors, one essential being a critical mass, and a couple of hundred folks spread about the nation doesn’t allow for it. You can fiddle with the trappings, the voting system, the visible external signs of democracy, but in the end you always fall short. Personal attendance at the AGM to vote, electronic voting, combinations, you’ll never achieve the 50% or 60% valid poll needed for genuine representation. You will always get left with the job being done by the first hand to go up as willing to do the job. Democracy is a lovely idea but it isn’t achievable under most such conditions. Not with most small voluntary organisations anyway. It would be nice if ISKA were the exception, and good luck to those who may try to make it work, but …………
What’s the difference between a discussion about getting insurance for an adventure club and a rainbow ? There’s something at the end of a rainbow. The problem with discussing getting insurance for an adventure club is that the discussion is eternal. Nothing ever happens. The discussions is quiet most of the time, then it flares up, and everyone gets all worked up for a while and eventually it quietens down again. It’s the same discussion all the time, just more and less active. Every now and then some individual comes along all convinced it’s a great idea and people are at each other’s throats for a while. It’s the pointlessness of it that I hate. Truth is that achieving anything better than ICU or BCU have to offer is commercially improbable, and even the officially available package comes at a price in terms of a rulebook that rules out a lot of the occurrences where it might be a comfort. But it’s the mindset around insurance I dislike the most. Once you let yourself think like that it is a straitjacket, a damper on everything. Climbers, hillwakers, it’s the same problem for everyone.
I am glad that for my time running ISKA I was answerable to nobody and though insurance got mentioned the odd time I slapped it down, successfully. Couldn’t hold back the pro-democracy surge though, and it got its foot in the door on my watch. Can’t win ‘em all …………..
DWalsh (ISKA chief bottle washer 1994 – 2003)

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Re: ISKA Committee Meet & Email

Post by brianmacmahon » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:10 pm

I'd like to reiterate what the lads have said regarding their gratitude towards the committee.
I think we have a golden opportunity to put the whole "insurance" issue to bed once and for all. This issue has reared its ugly head once too often. It's causing strife amongst the membership and it needs to be resolved.
I had a look at the Scottish Sea Kayaking Associations solution and its elegant in its simplicity. I would urge the committee to examine their system and give it due consideration.

Irish Sea kayaking Association is a unique organisation because it unites us all in our love of sea kayaking. We all get different things from it. Insurance is just another name for regulation. Regulation breeds bureaucracy and health and safety statements, operating guidelines the list goes on. The result is policies of exclusion. Instead of embracing all who want to sea kayak it will inevitably lead to them being excluded due to lack of appropriate certification or because of a lack of leaders willing to step up.
We have always looked out for each other on the water. I see no reason why that ethos cannot continue.

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Re: ISKA Committee Meet & Email

Post by conorsmith » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:52 pm

Another item I hope can be discussed with a solution is ISKA funds. Cash on deposit should never be allowed to increase above a predefined sum. Twice annual income was a figure Martin and I thought was reasonable during out tenure.

Ideas were certainly discussed but agreement could not be reached. A easy solution could be to subsidise the Symposium (not the individuals but the event itself and it does not have to be a precedent). Once the bank account is at a reasonable level, we can ease the flow. Simple and uncomplicated.

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Re: ISKA Committee Meet & Email

Post by evi » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:56 pm

I'm one of the newbies, who are going through this discussion for the first time. In a way I'm relieved to hear that all the other times nothing came out of it.. but even more reason to put the topic to rest for good!
I love the meetings and ISKA the way it is-where common sense rules and not rules and regulations. Where people look out for each other and dont wait for a leader to sort things out. Theres too much of it in all our lives allready.
If some one is not willing to take responsibility on him/herself they probabaly shouldnt be in a kajak in the first place.
Anyhow, if an insurance would be willing to take ISKA on the way it is now, I'm all for it, but i very much doubt thats going to happen...
hopefully see you on the water!

chris ted
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Re: ISKA Committee Meet & Email

Post by chris ted » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:10 am

Great to hear both sides,, but insurance I think is not such a good idea..I will vote for no insurance as iska has and is working fine with out it,,many thanks committee past and present for their time and efforts ,regards Chris

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Re: ISKA Committee Meet & Email

Post by iskaadmin » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:02 am

I have moved this topic to this new forum.

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Re: ISKA Committee Meet & Email

Post by conorhilliard » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:35 pm

As a member of former committee that discussed this and decided not to pursue I would not recommend it.
At that time, the requirements to achieve cover were not clear and you could not tell if you would be covered by the insurance or not when leading in anything above a F2.
Based on discussions from the last time and discussions with people since then has the committee done any research into whether it will effect the ability of getting leaders for trips from people that have lead over the last couple of years.
Finding trip leaders is already difficult enough and this might make it more difficult. Unless the insurance T&C are a lot different from what they were before, I personally would not lead a trip.

Conor H.

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Re: ISKA Committee Meet & Email

Post by Lucyb » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:13 pm

As a member of the Association, I have enjoyed the camaraderie of like minded individuals. The issue of insurance is raising its head again and I personally do not see a need for it. Life is too regimented, why regiment your leisure time?


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