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The Bash and Pro Tournament - a letter from the Chairman

There seems to be general agreement amongst members who attended The Bash that it was a resounding success and helped raise much needed cash to help fund the Pro Tournament. The Bash also celebrated the winners of the 2017 club tournaments, as well as bringing together a wide cross section of club members to socialise in the elegant Chandelier ballroom of The Spa Hotel. I am therefore proposing that the club try to hold a similar event on an annual basis, albeit varying the format from year to year.

The Pro Tournament, run a week after The Bash and for the first time offering equal prize money for the women and the men, was also a major success. Very high standards of squash entertained all those that watched, and we even had some members volunteering to play at the last moment! With good attendance from club members there was a great atmosphere and it was very nice to have some tiered seating for the first time – courtesy of new sponsors JVIP.

To run the Pro Tournament the club needed to raise £4,000 in prize money and thankfully we had several individual club members making small contributions totalling £550, three corporate sponsors who paid a total of £1,500 for advertising boards to be displayed on the courts for a year and Harvey’s also kindly provided free beer worth a total of £500. Despite all this, just two weeks prior to the tournament there was still a shortfall of around £1,500.

We covered this shortfall by raising £1,600 at The Bash through events such as Heads and Tails and the auction of prizes donated by sponsors. We have been made aware that some members were unhappy with the level of suggested contributions on the night, so it is undecided as to whether this format will be repeated. However, members should be aware that if the Club had been forced to cover the shortfall for the Tournament it would have represented some 10% of the club’s annual cash balance and without members offering sponsorship 30% of the club’s excess annual funds would have been exposed. In fact, we managed to raise a further £425 from ticket sales at the Pro Tournament although this outcome was not known until the day of the tournament itself. Nevertheless, the combined receipts from The Bash and Pro Tournament now show an approximate gross profit of £500 and that is after offering a free dinner on the night to all the 2017 winners (at a cost to the club of £750). It could be argued that we should not offer any free tickets at all and then there would be no pressure to raise any money at the next event!

The committee would like to hear your thoughts on whether we should try to run another (similar) Pro Tournament (with or without a linked social Bash event to raise money). I believe the committee should always take the lead on issues like this and although we all agree we should have a social Bash once a year we have split views on the Pro Tournament – some think we should run one of some kind and raise some money but others are against any fund-raising at The Bash and would prefer a Pro Exhibition match with the opportunity for club players to have a game against a Pro squash player. There is clearly a risk to the club’s funds in pursuing a Pro Tournament so it is important we have your feed back.

To be clear, we do have options:

1) We can go with the same format again and have The Bash support the Pro Tournament.

2) We can just run some exhibition matches with the opportunity to challenge a Pro all for a manageable sum and no fund raising at The Bash

3) We could explore links with other outside entities to run a different type of tournament.

In the latter case we would reduce our financial exposure (so no fund raising at The Bash) but we would probably no longer be able to host a TWSRC Pro Tournament in memory of Colin Payne.

We seek and need your feedback, as it is your money at the end of the day. You can stay anonymous by noting your comments in the book at the bar or alternatively you can reply in confidence to Whatever you do please tell us your thoughts.

On a final note, I would just like to announce that Dean Newberry has been appointed Club Captain, so let's wish him every success in his new role!


Mark Groves-Gidney


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