Updated: Jul 1
Given the current climate, and having postponed our AGM from March, we took the plunge and joined the vast amount of clubs and companies hosting their AGM online, with the help of Zoom!
The well attend meeting took place on 24th June and provided a look back on what was a challenging year but with some great successes. Our chairman relayed his vision for the upcoming years to further develop the club.
A full summary of the AGM can be found below
Annual General Meeting of Blackheath Wanderers Sports Club
24th June 2020
Thank you all for joining the meeting this evening. This is the first time I have addressed the AGM as Chairman of BWSC and the first year has certainly been interesting.
As you may be aware, we were forced to postpone the AGM due to Covid19 and, like many other organisations, have opted to hold our delayed AGM on line this year.
We have made some great steps forward in the past 15 months, whilst facing some very significant challenges. We will hear about the club finances from our treasurer, Mike Johnston a little later in the meeting – but you will not be surprised to hear that BWSC was in an extremely weak position prior to CV19 and the past few months have not made things any easier.
I am delighted to report that our online tennis court booking system was up and running in time to capture the demand that resulted from the government lifting the restrictions on playing tennis, working with Playfinder.com has proven very successful and has resulted into hundreds of bookings and revenue going into the thousands.
It has also raised awareness of the club to many local people who were previously not aware of our existence. I would like to thank Jack Fraser for the huge amount of work involved getting the system up and running and it’s ongoing management and to Rob Fraser for negotiating the contract with Playfinder on our behalf.
Staying with the tennis theme, I am pleased to announce that we have appointed Amit Garg to become the club’s tennis professional. Amit will help us expand the membership and levels of activities around the tennis section in the months ahead. Amit is already planning to hold junior tennis coaching programmes and school holiday tennis camps at the club this summer – all of which we believe will generate valuable income for BWSC whilst raising the profile of the club to a new group of local families.
Sadly the cricket section was closed due to the falling number of players but could in the right circumstances be re-opened in the future. Meanwhile Dave Medhurst has secured two teams to hire the grounds.
I am delighted that we now have our very first girls football team established at the club. This is a major step forward for the club and would not have happened without the tireless energy and enthusiasm of Lourdes Heredia. A big thank you to Lourdes, all the girls and their parents for supporting this initiative!
On the challenges ahead
Reopening the clubhouse in post Covid world. We will be guided by the government advice as to when we can reopen the clubhouse for events and will do so when we are confident we can open in a safe and measured way.
We decided to use the lockdown as an opportunity to redecorate the clubhouse and in a socially distant compliant process, we have had club members and supporters redecorating for the past 3-4 weeks. I am absolutely delighted with the number of people who volunteered to help redecorate – we had 15 people who have never helped before at the club contributing.
Thank you to everyone – your involvement really helps us build a community spirit within BWSC and we believe this will put us in a position to increase the amount of income we are able to generate from the clubhouse.
It is critical that we boost the number of bookings / events at the clubhouse and I am really pleased that Ami Woolsey has agreed to help us with the events booking and management going forward. In addition to evening events - renting the clubhouse during the day for Yoga / Pilates/ slimming clubs / dance schools etc is very important for us to begin to generate a stable income stream from the clubhouse.
If anyone has contacts who you think would like to rent the venue please contact Ami Woolsey.
In addition to the redecoration of the toilets and clubhouse, another team of people have been working to redecorate the changing rooms at the club – which were in dire need of attention. My thanks to Frank Gallagher for organising this , and to Bev, Rory, Dave and Mike for all their work in renovating the changing rooms.
Football quiz night – great success with more than 90 people joining us for the event. Our thanks go to Jack and Crouch for organising the event, and we hope to repeat the quiz later this year or early next year as the Covid restrictions lift.
Girls football: Lourdes arranged a fabulous Mexican evening at the clubhouse with authentic Mexican cuisine, music and of course, tequila – the evening was a great success and our thanks go to Lourdes for the organising the evening.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold our traditional Football medals event this summer,
however, I am keen to have a club wide reopening event once the government lifts the Covid 19 restrictions and it makes sense to do so. We have kicked around the idea of a Club Day, or even weekend, a thank you to NHS workers event or an “invite the neighbours day” to deepen our contacts with local residents -
If you have any thoughts or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Ami, Rob or I.
After closing the clubhouse in March, we donated food and drinks to the NHS staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s Intensive Care, Theatres and Pharmacy departments. The donation was greatly appreciated. I am aware that a number of members, parents and supporters of the club work for the NHS and many of us on the call tonight will also have family and friends that work in the health care sector – so on behalf of the club I would like to thank them all for their dedication and service in the most difficult of circumstances.
Finally, I would like to thank the members of the BWSC General Management committee who have all worked tirelessly throughout the year to keep the club running. The challenges presented by the pandemic have meant a significant amount of additional work for everyone – but the GMC have risen to the challenge.
In particular, I would like to thank Mike Johnston, who is standing down as Treasurer this evening. Mike has done a wonderful job for BWSC as our Treasurer and has been a tireless supporter of the club and the cricket section throughout his years at BWSC. I am very pleased to report that Mike has agreed to take on a range duties at the club which allows us to retain his experience and knowledge of BWSC going forward – thanks again Mike!
That concludes my Chairman’s report for this year.
The following officers were elected:
Chairman – Ian Harjette
Secretary – Rory Allan
Treasurer – Robert Fraser
Minutes Secretary – Jack Fraser
Grounds Manager – Dave Medhurst
The new officer position of Grounds Manager was approved at the meeting to replace the defunct position of Club Manager and to underline the importance of maintaining the playing fields in good condition.
Important club improvements reported:
Creation of a new 9 a-side football pitch
Establishment of the first ever girls football team
Resurfacing of the hard court for tennis and netball
Driveway improvement and new entrance signage
Upgrade and certification of clubhouse electrics
Purchase of new roller for the cricket pitch and grass courts
Refurbishment of the changing rooms
Redecoration of the clubhouse
Appointment of a professional tennis coach with opportunities for junior programmes.
Improved social media presence and the addition of specialised apps for sports and parking hire to boost revenue.
More volunteers to help the club:
Ami Woolsey took up a new role of Events Manager. She will coordinate hall hires for parties and look to boost daytime hire by groups such as Pilates. All suggestions and leads welcome.
Volunteers have refurbished and redecorated virtually all the clubhouse – with many new helpers coming forward
Mike Johnston, retiring Treasurer, will take a new role overseeing facilities security and maintenance as well as chief cashier and assisting with bar purchases.