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Committee Update

by Pete Blenkinsop on August 24, 2015

Here is where the committee is at present. 

We are updating the constitution and are keen to make sure it is correct and should have this posted on the website very soon.

The original list of committee members and your country reps from pantin will be re-displayed again. 

We are updating the website to eventually have more information displayed with easier access for people. 

We will be looking very soon at sorting out the new chairman and will be posting details in the next couple of weeks. 

Now we have got communication back within the committee and country reps and as soon as we have our new chairman, we will be able to start heading forward and sorting out the other improvements required, voteing for our secretary, etc.

Thanks for being patient, 

Pete

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WSKA Official News – Current Situation

by admin on August 19, 2015

The situation now:

  1. The past 6 weeks have damaged the WSKA, and have taken considerable time for all volunteers involved, with no progress for surf kayaking.
  1. From 1 to 5 August, a vote of no-confidence in the Chairman was brought. The proposal was carried by both Committee members and by Country Representatives, with a clear majority in both cases, and with no votes against. As a result, Javier Diaz is no longer Chairman of WSKA.   http://www.wska.org/committee-news/
  1. The Chairman role has reverted temporarily to Pete Blenkinsop. This is to provide stability, re-establish communication and procedure, and elect a new Chairman.
  1. The new Chairman, when appointed, will work with the committee and country reps and make changes where there can be improvements

——————-

To avoid any confusion:

Despite saying that he recognizes the Country Reps as having the voting powers and control of the WSKA, and that these rules are on www.wska.org , it appears Javier Diaz is choosing not to respect this decision.  He is inviting selected individuals to join a new organization with the same name. This would be potentially damaging to world surf kayaking and to each country, and we ask that anyone invited declines.  Please contact the WSKA committee if you have any questions or would like to discuss it further.  http://www.wska.org/contact/ or via a committee member.

——————

The WSKA would like to elaborate on the past 6 weeks:

  1. Javier was elected Chairman of the WSKA which exists with a structure of country reps and a committee of willing and experienced volunteers who enable the World Championships to happen every 2 years. He was not elected with license to act entirely independently
  1. While at Pantin, Javier individually selected a Working Group of Country Reps (ignoring the current Country Reps list). In the month following the Worlds, this new group received one message only from the Chairman, and posted the same message on www.wska.orgon 12 July titled “WSKA with new leadership”, in which he published the new list. There has been no further correspondence or work with this group.
  1. The Committee had one meeting held by the new Chairman at Pantin, and have received 2 messages collectively from the Chairman in the past 6 weeks. At no time were the committee or Country Reps consulted about potential new changes that Javier chose to announce.

* 19 July, and posted to www.wska.org as “Communication 1”. Implying the Chairman was selecting new people and dismissing the current committee, but with no direct explanation to the committee or Country Reps.

* 1st August, and posted on www.wska.org titled “WSKA. New main goals”. For the first time, he announced each country could nominate their own Country Rep.

*Between these dates, there were many messages from many committee members asking the Chairman for clarification, advising of the WSKA structure and workings, and offering to help with communication and progress.

*Replies from the Chairman were rare and generally uncooperative. On the last evening of a vote of no-confidence in the Chairman, he responded to a specific question asked repeatedly over the previous weeks, and confirmed explicitly for the first time that he did not recognize the WSKA committee.

  1. Javier says he doesrecognize the Country Reps as having the control and voting powers of the WSKA. Voting powers are stated in the rules onwww.wska.org .  We regret that Javier’s recent post after his removal as Chairman indicates that he might not recognize their decision on this occasion.
  1. Dismissing the committee and Country Reps while appointing his own set of Country Reps is not in the powers of the Chairman. It is for this unwillingness and/or inability to follow WSKA policy, and work with the worldwide community of WSKA volunteers that the decision to remove Javier as Chairman was made.  It is quite possible that Javier has good ideas on how the WSKA could improve and he is welcome to share his ideas as a continued member of the committee.

——————

To reply to the specific points in Javier’s recent post:

  1. “For Henrique and me was a great responsibility to be elected president and vice-president and from the beginning, we wanted to understand and respect the rules.”

WSKA reply:

  1. a) Henrique was not elected vice-president. He was appointed vice-president by Javier alone against WSKA policy. Nevertheless, members of the Country Reps and the Committee have received no correspondence from Henrique and we welcome his participation in the future as a member of the WSKA committee.
  2. b) Javier had been a member of the WSKA committee for over a year leading up to the 2015 Worlds. As such he knew the workings, structure and rules in practice. He also had advice and clarification of these from committee members. He chose to not respect them.
  1. “One of my biggest surprises with WSKA was it has no internal statutes.”

WSKA reply:

  1. a) WSKA rules are stated in the documents and common practice and accepted workings.
  2. b) It is true, and unfortunate, that the Constitution has been missing since a change in website some years ago, and this leaves some gaps in written procedure. To the best of our knowledge, the WSKA has continued to work to the rule and spirit of that Constitution, without challenge up to this point. At present, the Constitution is being compiled again, in the same way.
  1. “Opacity in the accounts.”

WSKA reply:

Treasurer:

  1. a) The WSKA has a Treasurer. His home is Jersey. There has been no vote or decision to change the Treasurer.
  2. b) The Treasurer brought to the new Chairman’s attention the two WSKA accounts. The $/Euro account has a balance of $2178.21 and has had no activity in the past 6 years. The £ sterling account has a balance of £289.70, and during the past 6 years has paid for the website and for a journey to Portugal to meet with the 2009 organizers. The new Chairman was provided with the account details and balances.
  3. c) The Treasurer makes no independent decision on use of funds. The Chairman directs, based on the committee decisions, he does not dictate. In this way, the Chairman has control.
  4. d) Javier was requiring direct access to the accounts and funds as Chairman. The previous Chairman did not have this power. It is not usual or good practice in a democratic voluntary organisation.
  5. e) Normal procedure at the Worlds is for the host country to collect 10 euros/dollars/pounds with the entry fee per person, and pass it on to the WSKA as membership fees.

Memberships:

  1. a) The Worlds in 2007, 2009 and 2015 were held in Europe. Consequently, they had a high number of participants – the number of competed places was 211, 233 and 232.  This enabled them to pass on the membership fees to the WSKA as planned.
  2. b) The 2011 Worlds in USA East had 150 competed places. In the few weeks before the event, a hurricane destroyed and cut off the event location. A new location was planned with local help. With low numbers (being outside Europe) but supporting the aim of promoting surf kayaking worldwide, and with extra cost of re-locating the event, the WSKA committee (with worldwide representation) made a decision to thank the town for hosting the event at short notice and supported the hurricane appeal.
  3. c) The 2013 Worlds were in Australia. Shortly before the event,the local authority / canoe association withdrew financial support. The number of participants was low, with 114 competed places, although the WSKA aim of promoting surf kayaking participation worldwide was being actively supported. The WSKA committee (with worldwide representation), made a decision to support the event and help avoid a financial loss.
  4. d) Since the 2015 Worlds at Pantin, Javier has blocked the 1150 euros memberships being paid to the WSKA account by denying the event organizer approval to do so.
  1. “Imposition of a Government”

Every president has the right to decide its own working group and this was the first time do not allow so.”

WSKA reply:

  1. a) There is an existing WSKA structure. This structure continued from the first Chairman to the second one and any changes will be done through a proposal followed by a vote of Country Reps.
  2. b) The members of the committee are individual volunteers from countries worldwide. They are asked to act on behalf of surf kayakers worldwide, not their nationality.
  3. c) There were 3 candidates for Chairman at Pantin. At the time, only one was on the WSKA committee – Javier Diaz. All 3 stood as independent candidates, none were proposed or supported by the committee.
  4. d) The majority of the committee voted for Javier, believing him to be the best candidate from what he said. The events of the past 6 weeks have been a surprise.

——————

Again, the situation now:

  1. The past 6 weeks have damaged the WSKA, and have taken considerable time for all volunteers involved, with no progress for surf kayaking.
  2. From 1 to 5 August, a vote of no-confidence in the Chairman was brought. The proposal was carried by both Committee members and by Country Representatives, with a clear majority in both cases, and with no votes against. As a result, Javier Diaz is no longer Chairman of WSKA.
  3. The Chairman role has reverted temporarily to Pete Blenkinsop. This is to provide stability, re-establish communication and procedure, and elect a new Chairman.
  4. The new Chairman will work with the committee and country reps and make changes where there can be improvements.

———

Posted by the WSKA Committee and Country Reps

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