As club chairman and on behalf of the committee I would like to thank those members that took the time to respond to the questions posed last month about the Pro Tournament and the Bash. I am therefore writing to inform you of the overall responses and give you a sense of what the committee will be discussing next month. Once decisions for the future have been made we will inform all members through the regular channels and at that time we will also take the opportunity to pass on the results of an ongoing and thorough review of the club’s insurance policies. We are all indebted to Alan Scott-Millar (a social member and husband of Mary, a committee member) who has looked at England Squash’s policies, the club’s own insurance cover and the cover of our coaches. More on this before the end of March.
The responses numbered twenty five in total which is a reasonable percentage of our active members and our thanks go to: Arthur, Atkins, S. Ballard, Barnes, Benson, Bramwell, Colenutt, Croft, Curtis, T. Donald, Gates, Gray, Groves Gidney, R.bKent, Landais, A. Lush, Montelius, Nicholson, Ring, M. Scott Millar, Speechley, Thompson, Wadsworth, Watterson, and Chris Winning. The key messages to the committee were:
Members supportive of an annual ‘Bash’ – 71% for, 4% against. There was a keen appetite for a varied format and several ideas were proffered
Fund raising at the ‘Bash’ – 16% for, 36% against. Also 28% opined that ‘no free tickets’ should be allocated to club tournament winners
The Pro Tournament - 56% for, and also 40% in support of a “professional presence” within the club’s agenda (not always the same people as those supporting the Tournament) and in favour of having exhibition matches. 24% were against a Pro Tournament
The second bullet point above raises obvious questions about how to fund a Pro Tournament. By good fortune in the form of Jonny Powell, the committee are very pleased to inform you that his company (Select Gaming) has offered significant ongoing financial backing for us to continue the Colin Payne Memorial Tournament. The involvement of Select Gaming combined with other club sponsorship will go a considerable way to make sure the member’s wishes in this respect can be met without overstretching the club’s finances. The committee are very aware that this year’s Tournament was not perfect and we will strive to make positive changes and provide support to Dean Newberry who organises the event with such energy and enthusiasm.
As previously mentioned, the committee will in short order be making decisions across several fronts and we will inform all of the ‘go forward’ plan by the end of March. You will have already read of our changes to Friday club night, with a new Junior initiative and a more varied format for the adults. As part of this re-structuring we will shortly be running a “beginners” course and an ‘evening’ session for the club’s lady members. More details to come soon.
Mark Groves Gidney