C O N S T I T U T I O N
(Adopted the AGM on the 15th February 2014.)
NAME PURPOSE & MEMBERSHIP
1. This Association shall be known as Irish Master Athletes Association (IMAA) (hereinafter referred to as “the Association”).
2. The purpose of the Association is to foster and promote athletics amongst master athletes nationally and internationally and to at all times endeavour to act in the best interest of its members and to express and seek acceptance of their views by any athletic body or association to which the Association is affiliated or with which it is associated.
3. The Association recognises the Athletic Association of Ireland Limited(hereinafter referred to as AAI) as the governing body of athletics in Ireland and the Association and its members agree to recognise, accept, observe and apply the principles and rules of the governing body as set down in its Memorandum and Articles of Association and the Rules and Regulations as lawfully passed by the governing body from time to time, subject to the overriding general laws and regulations of the International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF).
4. Membership of the Association shall be open to all persons over the age of 35 years and who are members of AAI or Athletics Northern Ireland (being an affiliate of AAI) and who are desirous of participating in or assisting with or promoting masters athletics in Ireland, and subject to the membership requirements herein.
5. Membership will be subject to acceptance by the Executive Committee of a fully completed valid membership form and payment of the annual membership fee (to be determined from year to year by the Executive Committee)except such persons as may be exempt from payment of a membership fee by the Rules of the Association.
6. All paid up members shall be entitled to vote at all general meetings of the Association including the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and to participate in all events organised or supported by the Association and any other athletics body to which the Association is affiliated or associated.
AFFILIATIONS & ASSOCIATIONS
7. The Association shall be affiliated to AAI and to World Masters Athletics Association (WMA) and to European Veterans Athletics Association (EVAA) and shall observe and comply with the article, rules and regulations of the said associations. The Association agrees to comply with the provisions of the AAI in relation to affiliation procedures and forms as may be specified by the Board of AAI from time to time.
8. The Association may associate and collaborate with the British Masters Athletic Federation for the purpose of organising and holding athletic events involving the joint participation of master athletes from Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
9. The Association may from time to time enter into arrangements and collaborate with Masters Associations of other countries for the purpose of organising and holding athletic events involving the joint participation of master athletes from the countries involved. These arrangements shall be supplemental to and in addition to but in accordance with the rules of the normal WMAA & EVAA championships.
10. The Annual General Meeting shall be held each year during the months of January or February and shall be conducted by the President or in the Presidents absence by another member of the Executive Committee to be nominated by the Executive Committee.
11. Twenty one day’s notice in writing (or electronically) of the AGM shall be given to each member by the National Secretary. Motions to be discussed at the AGM shall be given to the National Secretary in writing (or electronically) at least seven days prior to the AGM.
12. The AGM shall elect the following Executive Committee which Committee shall be responsible for the running of the affairs of the Association until the end of the next AGM. The Executive Committee shall consist of the following positions.-
(a) President may serve for two years and may be re-elected for a second term of two years. To be eligible for election as president a person shall have served for at least two years on the Executive Committee. The President shall not have a vote except a casting vote in case of a tie at Committee meetings. The President may also hold another office (except that of Treasurer) and may vote in that capacity.
(b) National Secretary.
(c ) International Secretary.
(d) Treasurer. .
(e) Public Relations Officer
(f) Records Officer
(g) Ordinary committee members to be not more than five and not less than two.
13. A quorum for a Committee meeting shall be five which must include the President or Treasurer or one of the Secretaries.
14. Ordinary Association members are not entitled to attend Committee meetings except on the prior invitation of the President.
15. The Executive Committee may appoint sub-committees for specific purposes or to deal with specific events which sub-committees may consist of Executive Committee members and other persons with appropriate expert knowledge in the relevant area. All sub-committees shall be presided over by the President or other Executive Committee duly nominated by the President. Non- Executive Committee members shall not have any voting rights.
16. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be held to decide a specific matter or matters at the request of two thirds of the Executive Committee or three quarters of the members of the Association and Twenty One days written Notice (or electronic notice) of such meeting shall be given by the secretary to all members.
17. This Constitution may be amended or added to by the AGM or an EGM on the vote of two thirds of the members attending. Such vote shall be by secret ballot. Motions to amend the Constitution shall be given in writing (or electronically) and signed by the proposer and seconder to the National Secretary at least seven days before the AGM or EGM.
18. The Executive-Committee shall have power of co-option to fill any vacancies that may occur in their number. They may also seek specialists advice where deemed necessary for the orderly conduct of their business and such advice may be obtained from Association members or non-members. Only the President and the PRO shall be entitled to talk or issue statements to the press or media on behalf of the Association subject to the right of the President to delegate this function to another member of the Executive Committee in the absence of the PRO.
19. All records, documents, books, accounts, memoranda or other written material and all material held electronically relating to the affairs of the Association shall be the property of the Association and shall be held by the officers and members of the Association on behalf of and in trust for the Association. On the election of new officers or the co-option of new officers between AGMs the outgoing Officer shall transfer over to the incoming Officer all such records and other written material (including electronically held material) dealing with the affairs of the Association within one month of ceasing to hold office. It shall be deemed a breach of this Constitution for any person to knowingly hold on to, or refuse or neglect to hand over to the incoming Officer or the President or National Secretary all records, documents, books, accounts, memoranda or other written material including all material electronically held relating to the affairs of the Association. Such records and material shall include any records or material held on computers, laptops, phones and any other electronic device capable of holding such records or material. If any records or other material is lost, misplaced or its whereabouts is unknown the officer or member, in whose custody same was trusted, that Officer or member shall make a written statement as to the circumstances whereby same was lost or misplaced and give an undertaking to hand same over to the Association should same subsequently come into the custody of that Officer or member.
20. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the management of the finances of the Association and shall keep true and accurate accounts and operate a Bank Account with a reputable Bank to which all monies received and paid out on behalf of the Association shall be credited and debited. The Treasurer shall sign all cheques which shall be countersigned by the President or Secretary or another nominated Officers. The Treasurer shall present an up to date account of all monies received and paid out and bank balances to each Committee meeting and an audited Income and Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet to the AGM. The Accounts shall be audited prior to the AGM by an independent Certified Auditor who shall not be a member of the Executive Committee or related to any member or be the partner (business or personal) of any member of the Executive Committee.
The Association agrees that if it receives funding from or through AAI in a financial year, it will report to the AAI AGM on, and account to the Board of the AAI for, its activities in sufficient time for such funding to be reflected properly in the AAI’s audited accounts.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
21. The Executive Committee shall have power to establish and publish rules and regulations for the orderly conduct of the affairs of the Association and to amend same and provide for new or additional rules and regulations as and when deemed necessary. Provided always that such rules and regulations are in accordance with this Constitution.
22. This Association is committed to preserving and protecting the wellbeing of all members equally. Each individual member is expected to at all times show respect and understanding for fellow members and to consider the safety and welfare of fellow members and to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects these principles.
23. Members by virtue of their membership undertake to behave at all times in a manner consistent with membership of a masters athletic association and to observe, uphold and comply with the constitution, rules, regulations and procedures of the Association and not to do anything to damage the good name of the Association or to bring it into disrepute and to give assistance and co-operate in the running of events run by or for the benefit of Association members.
24. The Association shall encourage and assist with the provision of dispute resolution procedures to resolve differences that may arise between members.
25. The Association shall have the power to discipline any member when it is satisfied that there has been any breach of the Constitution or the Rules or Regulations of the Association or where any member has been guilty of conduct unbecoming of a member of this Association or has brought the good name of the Association into disrepute. The Association may withdraw or suspend membership or impose a fine or direct payment of compensation to any person suffering loss as a result of the actions of a member or remove recognition of achievements not fairly achieved or caution or censure any member. Membership may be suspended pending the outcome of an investigative process. All powers under this article shall be exercised in accordance with the principles of fairness and natural justice.
26. The Executive Committee may delegate the exercise of its disciplinary functions to a sub-committee or ad hoc committee which committee may consist of executive-committee members and non-members but shall be presided over by the President or his nominee or where there may be a conflict of interest for the President then by another member of the executive committee nominated by the executive committee.
27. In cases where doping is alleged or suspected or is or may be an issue the Association accepts the right of IAAF, the Irish Sports Council, Sports Northern Ireland, the Olympic Council of Ireland, or duly authorised representatives of such bodies, to dope test, in accordance with law, any members of the Association both in-competition and out of competition (i.e. unannounced testing).
28. The Association shall establish a Code of Disciplinary Procedures to which all members shall be subject and all disagreements and disputes shall be dealt with under these procedures where alternative dispute resolution procedures are not availed of or do not apply. Members by virtue of their membership are deemed to be bound by the Disciplinary Procedures and decisions of the Association.
ANTI DOPING MATTERS
29. The Association shall be bound by the Irish Anti- Doping Rules as published by the Irish Sports Council and as amended from time to time by the Irish Sports Council and the equivalent rules as published by Sports Northern Ireland and as amended from time to time and as applicable. Members taking part in international competitions shall be likewise subject to the Anti- Doping Rules of the international anti-doping Authorities and in particular while taking part in competitions conducted by WMAA and EVAA.
30. It shall be a fundamental condition of membership that all members shall submit to and comply with any dope testing by the appropriate authorities and any member evading, avoiding, neglecting, omitting or refusing to comply with dope testing requirements shall be subject to disciplinary action and/or expulsion from the Association in accordance with the decisions of any lawful anti-doping Authority as specified at Article 27 herein. It is hereby recognised that only the said lawful Authorities have the right to carry out dope testing and decision making (including the imposition of penalties) and this Association will endeavour, as so far as it is reasonably possible to do so, to ensure that none of its members behave in a manner which might unlawfully interfere with such testing or be in breach of any decision of a lawful anti–doping Authority.
31. The Association shall be bound by the Child Protection Guidelines and the Code of Ethics in so far as any member may have any involvement with a child or children in that member’s capacity as a member of the Association.
The Executive Committee of Irish Master Athletes Association (hereafter referred to as IMAA herein) shall be responsible for investigating all complaints and applying disciplinary sanctions and shall do so in accordance with the Constitution. The Executive Committee shall appoint from time to time a sub-committee or sub-committees to deal with complaints which shall be called a Disciplinary Committee (hereafter referred to as DC herein). The Executive Committee (hereafter referred to as the Ex. Com. herein) may appoint Ex. Com. members and general IMAA members to be members of a DC. They may also, where appropriate, appoint specialists or experts who are not IMAA members to a DC but such non- members shall only have an advisory role and shall not have any voting rights on the DC.
All allegations and complaints with regard to any breach of discipline shall be made in writing to the National Secretary, except where the allegation or complaint involves the National Secretary and in that case to the President or where the allegation involves both then to another member of the Ex. Com. who is not involved in the allegation or complaint.
The complainant will be required to satisfy the Ex. Com. that the allegation or complaint is not frivolous or spurious or vindictive and that there is substance to the allegation or complaint. If the Ex. Com. is satisfied that there is substance or a real basis for the allegation or complaint then the following procedures shall apply.
1. The complaint will be referred to the DC for investigation and adjudication.
2. The DC may seek further clarification, information, details or supporting documentation and précis of any evidence in support of the complaint to satisfy the DC of the nature and extent of the complaint.
3. When the DC is satisfied that it fully understands the extent and nature of the complaint it will issue a written notice to the accused person setting out the following.
(a) The nature and extent of the complaint.
(b) The right of the accused to submit a written defence and supporting documents.
( c) The right of the accused to make an oral presentation to the DC.
(d) The right of the accused to be represented at any meeting with the DC.
4. The DC shall provide the accused with copies of all documents to be used in dealing with the complaint and same shall be provided in sufficient time in advance of any meeting with the DC to enable the accused to consider same and to respond to same. The accused shall also be provided with a copy of the Disciplinary Procedures and the relevant provisions of the Constitution as to discipline.
5. Any written Defence and supporting documents or précis of evidence or other material to be used by the accused at any meeting with the DC should be given to the DC at least 14 days before any hearing by the DC but the DC may, at its sole discretion, reduce this period provided that in so doing the hearing is not prejudiced.
6. Where there is more than one person accused the DC may at its discretion and as it considers it fair and reasonable either deal with all defences jointly or separately.
7. The DC shall consider all evidence presented to it and by means of appropriate questioning shall seek such clarification and verification of evidence as will enable the DC make a fair assessment of the evidence and make a determination on the issues involved having due regard to the principles of fairness and natural justice and having given the accused a fair opportunity to answer all allegations and complaints made. The evidence may be in the form of correspondence, written documents, oral evidence given in person or evidence by electronic means or any combination of these means of communication or other acceptable means than can be recorded.
8. The DC shall decide the matter by simple majority and if the DC decides that the alleged offence has been proven on the balance of probabilities then it will notify the National Secretary (or other alternative person as hereinbefore provided) of the decision of the DC.
9. Where the Ex. Com. has been notified by the DC of a breach of discipline the Ex. Com. shall apply the appropriate penalty in accordance with the Constitution and having due regard to the principle of fairness and immediately after such decision the accused person shall be notified of the decision of the DC and where found guilty will also be notified of the penalty being applied by the Ex. Com. When being notified of the decision and the penalty the accused person shall be advised of the right of appeal of the decision and the procedure and time limit for making an appeal. In the case of a member of the Ex. Com. being found guilty of a breach of discipline then in addition to the penalties provided for in the Constitution for general members, membership of the Ex. Com. may be withdrawn or suspended as considered fair and reasonable.
10. Any member found guilty and penalised in accordance with these disciplinary procedures shall have the right to appeal the decision of the DC to an Appeals Committee (hereafter referred to as an AC herein) in writing within one calendar month of being notified of the decision. The appeal may be against the whole of the decision or against the penalty imposed only. The penalty to be imposed on appeal may be greater or lesser than the penalty at first instance.
11. The membership of the AC shall be nominated by the Ex. Com. and shall consist of members of the Ex. Com. or other members of IMAA but none of the members of the DC responsible for the decision under appeal shall be members of the AC. The same rules as to appointment of specialists or experts as provided for herein as to a DC shall equally apply to an AC.
12. The AC shall consider all of the evidence presented to the DC but shall only consider new or additional evidence where such evidence has only become known or made available subsequent to completion of the evidence presented to the DC. The AC will only hear the accused or their representative where the AC requires clarification on a specific issue arising out of the evidence where there is ambiguity or lack of clarity in the opinion of the AC.
13. The AC shall consider the evidence and make its decision on the balance of probabilities by simple majority and having regard to fairness and natural justice and shall report its decision to the National Secretary (or as otherwise hereinbefore provided). The decision of the AC shall be final and binding.
14. The National Secretary (or otherwise as hereinbefore provided) shall notify the appellant of the decision, and where a breach has been found the penalty being imposed, immediately after the decision has been made by the AC and imposed by the Ex. Com.