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Cambridge University Canoe Club

Constitution – Feb 2020

The constitution can be found online at:

  1. The name of the society will be the ‘Cambridge University Canoe Club’, hereafter referred to as “the Club”.
  1. The Club’s aims will be

(1) To promote the sport of canoeing in a responsible and enjoyable way

(2) To cater for all ability ranges to the best of its ability

(3) To make as many canoeing disciplines as possible available to its members

(4) To represent Cambridge University in competition.

(5) To promote safe practice across all paddlesport activities.

The aims and objects set out above will be directed primarily for the benefit of undergraduate and postgraduate student members (Student Members) of the University, but may additionally benefit other members of the University and/or residents of Cambridge and the surrounding area where the Executive Committee is satisfied that to do so would be conducive or incidental to the benefit of Student Members of the University.

  1. Membership

(1) Membership of the Club will be extended to all members of the University and any others at the Committee’s discretion. For occasional participants, the use of Club facilities is at the discretion of the President, or their designated representative.

(2) Memberships available:

- Cambridge student for one or four years

- Cambridge staff, ARU student or NRC member for one or four years

- Other

- Honorary membership

(3) The Committee will have the right to offer honorary membership and annual membership (by academic year). Other classes of membership may be offered at the Committee’s discretion.

(4) The membership fee and the method of collection will be at the discretion of the Committee. The membership fee will be determined and reviewed at the AGM each year.

(5) The Committee will not refuse an application for membership on the grounds of race, sex, sexuality, religion, or political views. All members will have full voting rights at AGMs and EGMs.

(6) All members will be subject to the regulations of the constitution and by joining the Club will be deemed to accept these regulations, as well as any rules/codes of practice that the Club has adopted. See

  1. The Club advocates equality of opportunity.

(1) The Club is committed in its pursuit of sporting participation, to equality of opportunity and to a proactive and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity.

(2) The Club is committed to everyone having the right to enjoy their sport in an environment free from threat of intimidation, harassment and abuse.

(3) The Club has a responsibility to oppose discriminatory behaviour and promote equality of opportunity.

(4) The Club will deal with any incidence of discriminatory behaviour seriously, according to club disciplinary procedures.

  1. The executive committee

 (1) The day-to-day management of the Club’s affairs shall be conducted by the Executive Committee, which shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), with the exception of the Senior Treasurer who shall be appointed by the Executive Committee, subject to the approval of the Sports Club Registration Sub-Committee.

(2) The Executive Committee shall consist of:


Role description


The President will chair all CCMs, EGMs, and AGMs, or delegate this task to the Committee member of their choice. In any Club voting situation (whether CCM, EGM, or AGM) the President has the casting vote. The President is responsible for the day to day running of the Club and in doing so, is responsible for the Committee. The President must ensure that the Constitution is adhered to.


The Secretary will have overall responsibility for handling the Club’s correspondence and will ensure that minutes are taken at Club meetings and distributed accordingly. The Secretary has responsibility for ensuring that copies of the Constitution are freely available to members of the Club.

Junior Treasurer

The Junior Treasurer will be responsible for keeping the Club’s books and producing the accounts. Any member of the Committee may request production of the Club’s books and a statement of the Club’s accounts for the next Committee meeting. The Junior Treasurer must prepare annual accounts for each AGM in accordance with the University’s requirements. The Junior Treasurer is responsible for the collection and banking of all debts owed to the Club. The Junior Treasurer is also responsible for the preparation and updating of the membership and assets lists (production of which may be requested in the same fashion as for the Club’s books).

Coaching & Safety Officer

The Coaching & Safety Officer will have responsibility for coaching within the Club and for promoting safe practice across all club activities. They will keep the Club safety documents up to date and available to all members and apply new regulations as appropriate. The Coaching and Safety Officer will also be responsible for ensuring the Club meets welfare requirements.


The Captain will have overall responsibility for the selection, training and competition of all Club teams, although they may delegate captaincy of any team (or teams) to another individual. In particular, the Captain is responsible for the Club’s participation in Varsity and BUCS events. Every other year, the Captain will organise the Varsity competition. The Captain is responsible for all matters concerning ‘blues’ and ‘half-blues’ and will represent the Club (or appoint a representative of their choice) in matters concerning competition.

Publicity & Fundraising Officer

The Publicity & Fundraising officer is in charge of encouraging new people to join. They organise the freshers fair and come-and-try-it afternoons. They also find money for new kit.

Welfare & Access Officer

The Welfare & Access Officer is responsible for promoting welfare centred practices within the club and acts as an initial contact for members who have any club-related welfare concerns. They also promote fair access within the club and work with the treasurer and other committee members to ensure club activities like trips and socials are accessible to all members.

General members

These members may sit on the committee as general members, having no specific role but the same rights as other committee members to vote etc. However, at the discretion of the member and the other committee members they may adopt a named role other than the ones required to form a committee. These titles may involve socials, equipment, polo, IT, trips or another new role.

(3) The Executive Committee shall also have a Senior Treasurer, who shall be a member of the Regent House, or other person approved by the Sports Club Registration Sub-Committee. The Senior Treasurer shall ensure that there is in place proper finance, administration and regulation of the Club.

(4) All Executive Committee members (except the Senior Treasurer) must be members of the Club and shall be eligible for re-election each year. If the post of any member of the Executive Committee should fall vacant after election, the Executive Committee shall have the power to fill the vacancy until the next AGM, provided that any temporary replacement for the Senior Treasurer is a member of the Regent House, or other person approved by the Sports Club Registration Sub-Committee.

(5) A majority of the members of the Executive Committee shall be full-time undergraduate or postgraduate students of the University.

(6) Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be chaired by the President, or, in their absence, the Secretary. If neither the President nor Secretary is present, the remaining members shall elect a chairperson for that meeting. The quorum for a meeting of the Executive Committee shall be three members and a written record of each meeting shall be kept. Meetings must be held at least once per academic term.

(7) The Committee will be responsible for adopting new policy and codes of practice and making rules and byelaws for the conduct of the Club’s activities and management of its affairs and must adopt such means as they think sufficient to bring these to the notice of the members. Any such policies, codes, rules and byelaws shall be binding on all members.

(8) Only Executive Committee members will have the right to vote at committee meetings. Questions arising at a meeting of the Executive Committee shall be decided by a simple majority of votes. Except for the chairperson of the meeting, who in the case of an equality of votes has a second or casting vote, every member of the Executive Committee has one vote on each issue.

(9) The Executive Committee will have powers to appoint any non-voting advisers to the Executive Committee as necessary to fulfil its business.

  1. There will be three classes of meeting. Non-members may attend meetings only at the President’s discretion.

(1) The Annual General Meeting (AGM).

  1. i) The AGM will be held in Cambridge each year during the Lent term, the exact timing being at the President’s discretion.
  2. ii) The AGM must be publicised at least eight full days in advance, and motions must be submitted in writing to the President at least three full days in advance of the meeting.

iii) Any member (and member of the Executive Committee) is entitled to attend and vote but only if current and fully paid-up. Voting will be by simple majority, except for reserved matters and changes to the constitution, subject to the provision that in the case of a draw it is the outgoing President who holds the casting vote.

  1. iv) The AGM shall be called to:
  • Approve Minutes of the previous AGM;
  • Approve Club Accounts for the preceding year;
  • Receive and review reports from Committee members;
  • Review and agree membership fees;
  • Elect the Executive Committee for the year ahead;
  • Consider any proposed changes to the Club Constitution;
  • Conduct such other business as is necessary.
  1. v) The President, or, in their absence, the Secretary shall take the Chair at any AGM. In the absence of the President and Secretary the meeting shall elect a Chairperson for that meeting. The quorum for an AGM shall be 10 members, or 20% of the membership, whichever is fewer. A written record of every AGM shall be kept.
  2. vi) At the AGM, the following members of the Executive Committee will be required to deliver a report on Club activities over the past year
  • President
  • Secretary
  • Junior treasurer
  • Captain
  • Reports from other members of the club may be requested in advance by the President

vii) The following officers of the Committee must be elected, by a ‘first past the post’ voting system. (On their election the previous Committee members automatically stand down.)

  • President
  • Junior Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Captain
  • Coaching and Safety Officer
  • Publicity and Fundraising Officer
  • Welfare and Access Officer
  • General Member
  • General Member
  • General Member

viii) Prior to the opening of nominations, the Committee may decide to allocate titles and responsibilities to one or more of the General Member positions. The issues of members standing for more than one post and the order of election will be decided by the Committee and published with the notice of the AGM. Nominations to any of the above positions must be received in writing by the President three full days before the AGM (not including the day of the AGM). This notice to the President must contain the following:

  • The name of the position for which the nominee is standing
  • The name of the nominee (and a signed statement from that person consenting to their nomination)
  • Signed statements from two members of the Club, nominating and seconding that candidate. These notices must be read out at the AGM. Members of the Committee must be members of the Club.
  1. ix) The duration of office shall be no longer than thirteen months from the date of election. (This will not prevent a person from being re-elected.)
  2. v) Members may vote by proxy if they are unable to attend the AGM, providing they notify the President of their decision before the AGM commences.

(2) Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs).

  1. i) EGMs must be publicised eight full days in advance and may be demanded in writing by six members of the Club, ten days in advance. The proposing members are under an obligation to find a venue for the meeting but it must be in Cambridge.
  2. ii) EGMs, demands for EGMs and notices of EGMs must take place during Full Term. Motions must be submitted in writing to the President three days in advance of the meeting.

iii) This class of meeting is valid for any amendment to the Constitution (as is an AGM) and any change requires a two thirds majority of those attending. Voting otherwise than for Constitutional amendments will be by simple majority.

  1. iv) An EGM is required to elect a Club member to fill a vacant post on the Committee, if there is more than one nominee for the vacant post.
  2. v) An AGM may be held concurrently with an EGM, providing the EGM is scheduled at a time in the Lent term deemed appropriate by the President.

(3) Club Committee Meetings (CCMs).

  1. i) Any member is entitled to attend, subject to the President (or a two thirds majority of the Committee) being able to exclude non-Committee members.
  2. ii) Only members of the Committee will be entitled to vote at CCMs.
  3. iv) Any Club member may enquire when meetings are scheduled to be held.
  4. v) Notice of the meetings to Committee members will either be by agreement and announcement at the previous meeting or by individual notice to Committee members (after the time and date have been decided by the President).
  1. 7. Financial & Liability matters

(1) The Club shall maintain a banking account in the name of the Club with a suitable Bank or Building Society to hold the Club’s funds.

(2) It shall be the responsibility of the Junior Treasurer to ensure that monies received are properly accounted for, and that the Club’s financial records are kept in good order. In particular, the Junior Treasurer shall ensure continuity of Cambridge resident signatories for any bank accounts held by the Club.

(3) The Senior Treasurer shall make arrangements for the Club’s Accounts to be properly audited on an annual basis, either by themselves, or by some other person approved under University Ordinances.

(4) For so long as the Club shall be registered with the University Sports Service, it shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to ensure that the Club complies with the requirements for registration as a University Sports Club.

(5) The Executive Committee (acting by its members) is authorised to enter into contractual arrangements with third parties for and on behalf of all members, but only to the extent reasonably necessary for the proper performance of its duties pursuant to the constitution and acting always in the best interests of the Club and its members. Non-Executive Committee members are not entitled to enter into contractual arrangements for and on behalf of other members unless expressly authorised in writing by the Executive Committee.

(6) When entering into contractual arrangements pursuant to clause 7(5), the Executive Committee shall endeavour to agree a contractual limit on the members’ liability which does not exceed the assets of the Club from time to time, or, if not possible, a reasonable limit of liability taking into account the nature of the contract and the circumstances.

(7) All monies drawn against Club funds should be authorised by at least two members of the Executive Committee (including the Junior Treasurer), either by signature, or access to online banking facilities.

(8) The assets of the Club shall be held on trust by the members of the Executive Committee as trustees for the benefit of the Club and its members.

(9) As an unincorporated association, all members are liable for any debts and obligations properly incurred by one or more members on behalf of the Club. In the event that members individually or collectively suffer a claim, penalty or other financial loss or liability on behalf of the Club (whether in negligence, contract or otherwise) which is not covered by insurance, then provided the relevant members have acted in good faith and in accordance with the constitution and have taken all reasonable steps to mitigate their loss, they shall be entitled to an indemnity from the Club’s realisable assets up to the value of the assets from time to time, such indemnity to be administered by the Executive Committee, subject to the following exclusions: claims, penalties or other financial loss or liability incurred by a member or members:

(i) as a result of criminal offences committed by such members; and/or

(ii) in connection with the use of motor vehicles by such members; and/or

(iii) which would have been covered by insurance but which due to the acts or omissions of such members (including but not limited to failure to obtain insurance required by law or failure to comply with the terms and conditions of insurance), is not so covered.

(10) The Senior Treasurer shall not be held personally liable for any financial debt or other obligation unless they are either

(i) also a member of the club or

(ii) have acted otherwise than in accordance with the club constitution.

  1. Changes to the constitution

(1) Subject to clause 12 (Reserved Matters) the Constitution may be amended at a General Meeting (AGM/EGM), with approval of at least two thirds of those members present or voting.

(2) Proposed changes must be circulated at least fourteen days prior to a General Meeting. Any amendments are subject to approval by the University Sports Service and must be received by the Sports Service within fourteen days of the vote.

  1. Complaints processes

 (1) Any complaints must be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee in an expedient manner. Complaints should be treated confidentially and must not be distributed publicly.

(2) Complaints against a member(s) of the Executive Committee may be lodged with the Senior Treasurer, or, where a further conflict of interest arises, with the Sports Service who will advise on the appropriate procedures depending on the nature of the complaint.

(3) The Executive Committee will meet to hear any member complaints within 28 days of a complaint being lodged.

  1. Disciplinary procedures

 (1) Subject to the remainder of this clause 10, the Executive Committee shall have the authority to expel or to suspend a member or members whose actions are felt to be such as to bring the Club into disrepute, or gravely harm the interests of its members.

(2) The Executive Committee may also take other disciplinary action in respect of a member of the Club, commensurate with the seriousness of the offence. The Executive Committee may take action as a result of member behaviour within any Club-organised activities.

(3) Written notice of any investigation will be provided within seven days of a complaint/decision. In the case of serious misconduct, the Club Executive Committee, in consultation with the Senior Treasurer, may suspend a member pending the outcome of the investigation.

(4) The expulsion of a member can only be effected following a majority vote of all Executive Committee members, excluding the Senior Treasurer, and in circumstances where:

(a) the member has been given at least twenty-one days' notice in writing of the meeting of the Executive Committee at which the expulsion or suspension will be proposed and the reasons why it is to be proposed; and

(b) the member or, at the option of the member, a representative (who need not be a member of the Club) has been allowed to make representations to the meeting.

(5) In the event of an expulsion, the excluded member is required to return all equipment, documents and finances belonging to the Club within 7 days. They will not be entitled to any full or partial refund of annual subscriptions.

(6) If a member who has been excluded, suspended or subject to other disciplinary action pursuant to clause 10(2) wishes to appeal the decision, that appeal should be made to the Sports Club Registration Sub-Committee which will assess the appeal in consultation with the Club’s Senior Treasurer.

(7) University members subject to disciplinary action have the right to lodge a further formal complaint with the University.

  1. Dissolution

(1) A resolution to dissolve the Club can only be passed at a general meeting in accordance with clause 12.

(2) In the event of dissolution, all debts shall be cleared with any remaining funds of the Club. Any assets remaining after all liabilities have been met shall become the property of the University and shall be transferred to the Sports Service.

  1. Reserved Matters

The following matters (the "Reserved Matters") require approval by the Senior Treasurer and at least two thirds of the Members voting at any general meeting at which any of the following matters require approval:

(1) Any amendment to the Constitution which materially affects the position of the Members or which materially alters the relationship between the Club and the University.

(2) The dissolution of the Club.

(3) Any proposal which has a material impact on the Club, its members, its assets, and/or its finances.

(4) The application and/or use of Club/financial assets of the Club other than for the benefit of the Club.

  1. Provision of information

(1) The Executive Committee must supply annual accounts of the Club to the University, together with such other information as the University may reasonably require from time to time, whether in connection with the Club's registration as a Sports Club of the University, or in relation to the need to ensure that the Club is being administered in accordance with paragraph 28(1)(a) of Schedule 3 to the Charities Act 2011 or otherwise.

  1. Declaration

Cambridge University Canoe Club hereby adopts and accepts this constitution as its current constitution regulating the actions of members and will also comply with all University and legal requirements. Signatures are included in the PDF attached to this page