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Chairman Brent Isbister confident of being retained by SCRFU

Stu Piddington/Fairfax NZ BULLISH: Incumbent chairman Brent Isbister is confident of being retained at the South Canterbury Rugby Union’s AGM.

Chairman Brent Isbister’s job is on the line at the South Canterbury Rugby Union’s annual general meeting on Monday night but he is confident of being retained.

Four nominations have been received for the board with three spots available.

Incumbents Isbister (Pleasant Point) and Grant Norton (Geraldine) are being challenged by Ray Teahen (Temuka) and Don Garland (Timaru Boys’ High School).

Late last year there appeared to be a mood for change at the top with some clubs but that may have subsided somewhat with the appointment of new Heartland coach Barry Matthews and the arrival new chief executive Wayne Hart.

Hart’s arrival will ease the burden on the new board and especially the chairman, as Isbister has had to act in both roles and carry a big workload.

Isbister is confident however he will be retained because of his past efforts and the need for continuity going forward.

“I am sure the stakeholders will make good decisions.

“I am confident that I have skills and experience that will add value to rugby in South Canterbury and that is why I am seeking re-election.”

Isbister said as far as the chairman’s role went he would be guided by what the new board thought.

Each of the four nominees has had their profiles circulated around the clubs.

Challengers Teahen and Garland have focused on the need for improvement in the Heartland team while Isbister and Norton have highlighted the work they have done on their time on the board.

The board consists of seven members – two voted in by the council of clubs, two independent directors and three voted in at the annual meeting.

Once elected the board members then decide on their own chairman.

There has been one change already with Jeremy Sutherland voted in as the chairman of the council of clubs, replacing Roy Chapman, with Vaughan O’Shaughnessy retaining his spot.

In the past few years, the number of candidates has usually matched the vacancies at the annual meeting, so a vote is somewhat unusual.

The last person to miss out was Murray Roberts in 2010 when Norton was elected.

Roberts has publicly backed the return of the incumbents.

“I sincerely trust that all clubs have instructed their delegates to vote in the best interests of South Canterbury rugby, minus all the emotive issues that have been aired over the last few months.

“In particular, I hope that there is continuity in the election of board members.”

The two independents on the board are accountant Stephen McFarlane and lawyer Craig O’Connor.

Each independent director is on a two-year appointment cycle, usually around August.

The South Canterbury president also attends the board meetings and can speak but has no voting rights.

Teahen is the president but will stand down at the annual meeting, with vice-president Russell Leech taking over the role as he is the only nomination.

Roberts has been nominated as vice president and Pat Scott as patron and both will be elected as the only nominations.

In total there are 26 votes in the secret ballot.

The president, vice president, Maori Rugby, referees, JAB and Pareora Rugby Club each get one.

The eight major clubs all get two each along with Roncalli College and Timaru Boys’ High School.

The 126th annual meeting is being held at Alpine Energy Stadium on Monday starting at 7.30pm.

STU PIDDINGTON – The Timaru Herald

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