The Mote Squash Club
Willow Way • Maidstone, Kent • ME15 7RN
Tel: 01622 676 977
This year we shall be holding the AGM on the evening of 19/10 from 8.00 pm. We are also holding an EGM on the same night to ask for a change to the rules of the club; the EGM will be at 7.55 pm. In time honoured fashion, beer will be half price from 7.30 so please come along, have your say and support the bar.
It’s been the busiest year I can recall in my 30 years’ membership at the club and it’s been a pleasure to have been involved with the Committee and all the other volunteers who have put so much effort in. We also need to thank Alan Thatcher for his time as Chair and his efforts to promote the game over many years at the club. It’s good to see him back playing racquetball. My personal thanks go out to all the members of the Committee this year, those that are happy to stand for re -election, those who won’t be, including Richard Coward (after 3 very hectic years) and those who resigned during the year, including Dom O’ Connell and Martin Ball.
A special thank you to our main sponsors is also overdue: Dan Smith at DWL Windows, Jon Rowlan at SADS IT and Clive Franklin at CAF Ceramics. We will be promoting our sponsors more widely next year through our expanding rota of events and through our efforts (with our Head Coach, Steve Franks) to reach out to the wider community. There are sponsorship opportunities available should any member wish to promote local businesses. One of our projects next year will be to devote space on our web page to sponsors. If you are interested, please have a chat with any member of the Committee.
We come to the year end with around 260 members in all categories, critically including a big increase in juniors, thanks to the efforts of Jason, Claire and Steve Franks. I know the extra courts taken by the juniors has meant a little readjustment from some members utilising favourite court times. Thanks to those concerned for their forbearance, especially those who gave their views regarding Friday afternoon courts and the consequential changes to club night. As usual we have lost some younger club members to university or job changes and that underlines the importance of bringing youngsters into the game.
Simon will be distributing the treasury report as at year end, 31/3/18. He will also be happy to take any questions on the evening of the AGM. I’m very pleased to say we have a healthy bank balance today which has meant we have been able to reinvest in the club. The Committee believes we have facilities to rival any in Kent and are determined to keep the club in great condition.
I have been struck by just how much work is needed to keep the club in first class condition. This year (to name but a few) we have:
• Rehung the doors on the courts after the mishaps last year
• Replaced the thermostats with something that actually works
• Repaired the heaters on courts 2, 3 and 4
• Repaired the leaking roof above court 2
• Repaired the floor on court 3
• Maintained the plaster on all the courts
• Given the kitchen and barbeque a spring clean
• Brought up to scratch the safety requirements in the kitchen from an electrical and gas standpoint (with some work still underway under the Chris’ guidance).
We will be shortly sanding the floors on all courts but first we need to get scaffolding on the courts to change the banners on the walls and tidy up the lights. Tim and Paul Adam Snr between them have also looked after the myriad maintenance tasks that seem to arise every day. He and Paul are investigating the leak that seems to persist in the ladies’ changing rooms. Please do let Tim know if anything needs attending to.
Bar and Social
Russ has had a very busy year. He and Nicky have done great things, building on last year’s refurbishment. The change to Carlsberg now looks like an inspired choice and has been a significant factor in our improved balance sheet position. Just to remind us, Russ has put on:
• A Christmas party
• A horse racing night raising money for the Heart of Kent Hospice
• 3 quiz nights (with our Quizmaster General, Dave Ealham)
• A number of music nights with bands and our resident troubadour, Dougal
• A night to remember following the club championships
• An open mic evening featuring the vocal and instrumental talents of Rich Stanley and Fraser Burns
• 4 private party bookings
• Half price lager and BBQ nights during the world cup
Don’t forget we have the 2018 Christmas party to look forward to in December.
Jason has been every bit as busy as Russ. This year he and the team captains have:
• Managed 3 teams in the winter (Priory div 2 6th & div 6 2nd, 1 Outer Kent div 3 2nd)
• Managed 2 teams in the summer (1 priory div 2 7th, 1 Outer Kent div 3 2nd)
Thanks to team managers Ryan Avison, Callum McDougall and Alistair Hill for running them.
Many events were held, including:
• Mote Graded - January
• Kent overs 35’s – March
• Exhibition match with Richie Fallows & Ben Coleman – April
• Club Championships – finals June
Men - Ben Goodayle
Plate – Alistair Hill
Racketball – Adrian Humphries
Racketball Plate – Richard Coward
Ladies – Alice Hill
Racketball Ladies – Judith Sloan
• PSA/Graded – August (Winners Diego Gobbi r/up Brad Masters Ladies Winner Gina Kennedy R/up Alice Green)
• Racketlon – September
A Grade winner – Marcus Robson
B Grade Winner – Simon Muir
C Grade Winner – Keith Bailey
• CAF Ceramic Doubles – September 29
Many thanks to our sponsors and to Navine for running the Barn Door challenge to enable these events to take place and to Ben Ford and Joe Magor for their help in promoting several of the tournaments.
Jason plans to continue next year as he has this year. I’m sure everyone agrees The Mote only enhances its standing by these efforts.
Claire and her parental colleagues ran 4 junior teams this year and many thanks to those parents for the invaluable help.
Steve Franks joined the club as head coach in February running the junior section with Ben Goodayle & Alice Hill including after school and Saturday sessions, bringing in 6 schools to take part in the after- school sessions. This has seen the junior membership grow to 65.
Several Juniors have now gained their level 1 coaching qualifications – Tom Goodayle, Harry Morgan, Maddy Hill & Alex Pollington.
We have several juniors that have represented Kent this year.
The Mid Kent Junior league runs over 9 Saturdays throughout the year, providing an opportunity for juniors from clubs in the Maidstone area to compete against each other and to gain match experience. Food & court proceeds from this event go to the club and circa £1200 goes to Kent Junior Squash. Thank you to Richard Coward who has sponsored this event for the last 2 years by providing prizes to the box winners.
Junior Closed – June
Winner – Tom Goodayle
Plater Winner – Harrison Seal
Junior Open – July
This saw juniors coming to the club from all over the south east and the club was full all day bringing many positive comments from those that have never visited the Mote before.
Several of the older juniors have now entered the club boxes and play for the adult teams and with the increase in junior numbers we hope to see these numbers grow over the next year.
I and the Committee will be happy to take questions on this report or any other matters. Please do come armed with suggestions to make the club better next year: Richard and Tim will record them for the first meeting of the new Committee.