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THE MOTE SQUASH CLUB AGM: CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

THE MOTE SQUASH CLUB

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2017


It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as your club chairman for the past year.

I would like to thank everyone on the club management committee for their hard work throughout the year, in addition to numerous others who have given their time freely and willingly to help the club function as smoothly as possible.

We have faced numerous challenges, some of them from unexpected quarters, but the goodwill and hard work of so many members has created a huge buzz around the club as we look forward to the future with some degree of confidence.

To see the appearance of the club totally transformed by the recent decorating project has given everyone a lift and I want to thank all those responsible.

A number of new volunteers stepped forward to help out during the Kent Open and, during a reception to thank them all for their hard work contributing to another successful tournament, it was obvious that there was an abundance of energy to tackle other key projects.

It was agreed that the overwhelming priority was to overhaul the appearance of the club. In the space of three weeks the bar, conservatory, stairs and entrance hall were cleaned and decorated and a new carpet laid to give the club a clean, modern and contemporary feel. Further essential work is ongoing both indoors and outdoors.

Special thanks go to Frances Casey, Lee Ball, Russell Mason and my wife Gay for all their hard work and for taking time off work to complete the job. Thanks also to Alam Soliman for the huge amount of prep work and cleaning, and to Ryan Avison for pitching in to help with the painting.

With Russell Mason now in place as Bar Manager, and also standing for nomination as Social Secretary at the AGM, we can look forward to hosting numerous social events at the club.

We are confident that the new-look surroundings will encourage members and non-members alike to hire the club for family parties and other functions.

We are discussing plans to extend the conservatory and sponsorship is already in place to undertake this next step of the project. Our thanks go to a new member of the club, Lazare Morel of Veblen Wines, for this extremely generous gesture.


CLUB FINANCES

As always, it requires a lot of hard work to keep the club on track financially.

Our major revenue streams continue to be from membership, court bookings and bar takings.

Hopefully we will soon see an increase in revenues from venue hire and functions, plus entry fees from new tournaments, to augment the above.

Our major outgoing is the monthly rent payable to our landlords, The Mote Cricket Club. I have formally requested a reduction in our rent and negotiations with our landlords are ongoing.


CLUB TOURNAMENTS

Your management team is committed to arranging as many tournaments as possible to cater for all playing standards. This applies to those who want fun, social squash as well as those who aspire to the more serious and demanding standards required to play competitive team squash and enter tournaments.

We arrange more than 100 Club Nights per year on Fridays and Sundays, we have junior and adult team squash, internal box leagues for squash and racketball, we arrange Club Championships in both squash and racketball, we host an annual graded tournament and the World Squash Day Champagne Doubles.

With the addition of our table tennis facilities, we are looking at adding a Racketlon tournament, which will include squash, racketball and table tennis.

Members are fortunate to have John Burbridge and Callum Macdougall running the internal leagues, Jason and Claire Goodayle organising the Mid-Kent Junior League, Joe Skinner and Judith Sloan arranging the Club Nights, plus Jason as club captain and the various team captains arranging league matches.

I am happy to continue arranging the Kent Open, the Racketball Championship and the World Squash Day events.

Our grateful thanks go to Sharon Evans for leading the Friday Club Nights for many years and we wish her well in her new home in the west country.

The biggest growth in playing patterns over the past 12 months has been the increase in the number of enthusiastic members taking up racketball. More racketball tournaments are on the horizon, plus friendly matches against other clubs.

JUNIOR REPORT

Junior coaching runs every Saturday morning from 10am to 12 noon and Monday evenings from 4pm to 6.30pm. Coaching is taken by Ben Goodayle, who has recently completed his England Squash Level 2 coaching award.

Two junior squads competed in the Kent Junior League. Thanks to Chris Cox and Lorraine Mount for running them this year. The Division One team came third and the Division Three squad finished second. We are looking to run three teams this winter, including an under-12 development team.

The Mid-Kent Junior League has just completed its third year at the club, held over 10 Saturdays throughout the year. Thanks to Richard Coward for sponsoring the prizes and to the volunteers in the kitchen and bar throughout the day. This event raises around £1,200 for Kent Junior Squash and roughly £1,000 to the club each year.

Junior Club Championships:
Winner Ben Goodayle. Runner Up Joe Casey
Plate Winner Luke Mount. Runner Up Matt McLaughlin

CLUB CAPTAIN’S REPORT

We ran three winter teams and three summer teams this year.

Winter Leagues:
1st team got to the final of the Cornwallis Cup held at Thanet and lost to a strong Canterbury team on the night.
1st team - Div 1 runners up Outer Kent League
2nd team - Div 2 runners up Priory League
3rd team - competed in Div 6 Priory League

Summer Leagues:
1st team- 3rd in Div 2 Priory
2nd team - 2nd in Div 1 Outer Kent
3rd team - 3rd in Div 3 Outer Kent

Thanks to all players and team captains.

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS
Mens Winner: Darren Heathfield. Runner-Up Mark Steeden
Ladies Winner: Alice Hill. Runner-Up Maddy Hill
Mens Plate Winner: Andy Baker. Runner-Up Andy Bosworth
Ladie Plate Winner: Lottie Hill. Runner-Up Sandy Joyce

Thanks to players and markers throughout the event.


SELECT GAMING KENT OPEN:

The 2017 Select Gaming Kent Open was another outstanding tournament, which gave members the opportunity to watch top-class professional squash free of charge all week.

Last year’s runner-up, Welsh number one Joel Makin, came back as top seed and duly carried off the title. Josh Masters played superbly all week to reach the final but his lack of court time, due to university exams, meant he was a little tired on the big day.

Congratulations are due to Josh for subsequently being invited to compete in the recent World Games in Poland and the European Individual Championship in Nottingham, where he reached the quarter-final stage and played current world number one Gregory Gaultier.

The Kent Open is a world-ranking event on the PSA World Tour. Once again the tournament generated extensive publicity for the club worth thousands of pounds. Club members had the opportunity to compete in the pre-qualifying tournament, which was a very high calibre draw with several professionals.

The event showcases the club, which was busy eight days in a row and thanks go to the bar and kitchen staff who worked so hard during the week. Thanks also to a large team of volunteers who hung new sponsorship signs on the courts and kept the club clean and presentable during the week.

We were delighted to welcome new sponsors First Business Finance, DWL Windows and Blade Rackets to support the commitment and support from long-term sponsors Select Gaming, Shepherd Neame and Lashings.

Thanks also to those members who gave generous donations and paid to reserve seats for the semi-finals and final. Club members contributed to the funding of the tournament by supporting Quiz Nights, the Barn Door Challenge and Newvy’s Curry Night. Huge thanks go to all concerned.

Thanks also to Kim Roberts for setting up a special Kent Open website:
www.kentopensquash.co.uk

Kim has an extensive archive of photographs from the nine fascinating years of the Kent Open and we were delighted to highlight many of his favourite images from down the years in a superb mural which hangs on the stairs. Thanks to Tim Grimes for the design and production.

WORLD SQUASH DAY CHAMPAGNE DOUBLES:

This was a very popular and well-attended tournament, which is now established as an annual event on the calendar. Thanks to Richard Coward for donating a jeroboam of bubbly last year, which went to the winners Gary Clarke and Ed Henley of Rodmersham. Dave Verga and Rich Stanley were proud winners of the Cheap Plonk division. This year’s tournament takes place on October 14th so please add your names to the list.

LASHINGS ONE-DAY GRADED TOURNAMENT:

The Lashings tournament attracted close to 60 players in January and was an extremely popular addition to the club calendar. As the name suggests, the competition is open to players of all standards (A, B, C and D grades).

We will be hosting the next edition on January 13th, 2018. Numbers in each division are limited and Mote members will have a priority booking window of several days to get their entries in. Keep an eye on the club Facebook page.

Alongside racketball, one-day graded tournaments are growing significantly all over the country. Our thanks to Joe Magor for running the event so smoothly and thanks to Lashings for hosting an excellent late-night meal and party!

TEAMWORK

There will be some new faces on the management committee at the AGM. With much of our business conducted online, it makes good sense to create a new post of Technology Officer. The position of Maintenance Officer will become a voluntary post with a team of volunteers in place to assist.

Joe Wheatley is stepping down from a number of posts he has held, which include treasurer, bar manager and maintenance manager as well as running the online booking system. Our grateful thanks go to Joe for his many years of hard work on behalf of the club. The committee has decided to award Joe an honorary life membership of the club in recognition of his years of service.

Lloyd Chinsen is also standing down from the role of Membership Secretary and again we owe him our enormous thanks for a very thorough and professional job carried out over many years.

Andy Baker and Paul Adam have stood down from the committee and we thank them for their contributions during the year.

DIARY DATES:
Saturday September 30th: Mid-Kent Junior League
Saturday October 14th: World Squash Day: Open Day and Champagne Doubles.
Followed by Official Relaunch Party to celebrate our new-look club.
Live Music and Food will be provided.
Saturday November 18th: Club Racketball Championship
Saturday December 9th: Club Christmas Party and Fun Tournament
Saturday January 13th 2018: Lashings One-Day Graded Tournament

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Keep up with all the latest club news on our Twitter and Facebook pages.
Twitter: @MoteSquashClub
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/themotesquashclub/

Looking forward to seeing you all at the AGM on Friday. Happy Hour begins at 7.30pm.


ALAN THATCHER, Chairman.

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