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Message from the Committee + notice of AGM on Friday 18th September

These are challenging times! The pandemic has had impacts far and wide but we hope that all our members and their families are safe and well. From a squash club Committee perspective, it has also been a challenging time as we have had to make decisions that have, in the first instance, closed the club, and secondly, on re-opening, has meant there are restrictions in how we can play and operate. This has all been done following the UK government guidelines, and because we are an England Squash affiliated club, also following their guidelines particularly when it comes to re-opening up and keeping members safe.

This has however not been met with universal approval and there continues to be a level of disquiet amongst a proportion of the members that are under the impression that because we are a private members club, we should ignore the sensible and considered advice of our governing body, and let everyone go back to playing however they feel like ie. match play and doubles with no due regard for social distancing.

It has come to our attention that a local club is rumoured to be allowing it’s members to play as they please, and some of our members feel we should be following suit. This club is not affiliated to England Squash, because if it was, it would not be allowed to do this and if this is actually happening, we and Kent Squash do not condone this in any way. We also believe that if we did follow this approach, our insurance would be invalidated.

The overwhelming majority of clubs in Kent and England are following exactly the same approach as we are, and as a Committee, we completely stand behind our approach as we believe this is the right thing to do for the welfare of our members, the club as a whole, and the wider community in not proliferating the virus.

We are proud to be an England Squash affiliated club. Amongst other things, this allows us to play competitive squash leagues for adults and juniors, host PSA tournaments, host graded competitions, host junior graded competitions, host junior Mid-Kent Leagues, host county training sessions, as well as receive an £8,000 Sport England grant to help us through the pandemic.

We believe our club is about supporting the needs of all our demographic, young and old alike. For our club and the sport itself to thrive in future, we need to ensure we invest in the future which is encouraging youngsters to play and take up the sport. Staying linked into our governing body for England and Kent does this, and as we are one of the largest clubs in the county, we have a wider duty to the sport to support this. We have also been an active member of the Kent adult leagues and had three teams playing in the last winter season which was unfortunately curtailed at the end of the season. And of course we want our social squash members to be able to play and use the club as much as they wish to do, as and when it is safe to do so. A lot of work has gone in behind the scenes to get us open again in the most pragmatic way. It’s not ideal but it’s a start, and it is in line with all affiliated clubs.

As a Committee, we hope that the majority of members are supportive of the approach being taken, but you are all able to have a view on this at the upcoming Annual General Meeting . Notice is hereby given that this will take place on Friday 18th September at 6:30pm . We will hold the meeting outside the back of the club on the cricket pitch and we will open the bar to allow refreshments for all.

As per our Club rules, the Committee effectively stands down and a new Committee is elected at each AGM. The current Committee is listed below and they have all indicated their willingness to stand for re-election.

Chairman: Tim Casey

Vice Chairman: Adrian Humphries

Treasurer: Bob Korten (recently co-opted into role by the Committee)

Club Secretary: Alastair Hill

Membership Secretary: Paul Adam

Club Captain: Jason Goodayle

Social Secretary: Russell Mason

Junior Secretary: Claire Goodayle

If any member wishes to also stand for election into any of the roles, please inform the Club Secretary (Alastair Hill) in writing at alastair.lesley@gmail.com by Friday 21st August at the latest, in accordance with our Club rules.

I would like to urge as many members as possible to attend the AGM so that you can have your say in whether you support the direction the current Committee is taking, or whether you want to see something different. These are exceptional times and there have also been financial implications. The Committee will also be proposing how we respond to these as well as proposals on subscription fees for 2020/21.

Thanks

The Committee

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