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Chairperson's Report 2019

Friday, 8th November 2019

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen
 
Welcome to our Llandudno Sports Club’s Annual General Meeting for 2019.
 
As has become my tradition over the years – and this is my 12th year as Chairperson - I always look to start off my report each year highlighting some of the headline-grabbing news of the past year.
 
2019 has served up the usual cocktail of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
 
On the local front, it’s been the usual suspects:-
- Corrupt and delinquent politicians
- The SOE debacles - Eskom, SAA SABC
- dire economics and ongoing threats of down-grades and junk status
- poor Caster Semenya’s ongoing legal disputes with IAAF
- and our once-mighty Proteas national cricket team can’t seem to buy a win
 
On the international front:-
- Trump and Boris and Brexit continue to hog the headlines (is anyone still interested?)
- More tragic mass murder shootings in the US
 
We paused, bid farewell and paid our last respects to the likes of:-
• Formula 1 great, Niki Lauda
• Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld
• Hollywood stars Doris Day, Peter Fonda and Jan-Michael Vincent (Ariwolf), 
• former French President Jacques Chirac, 
• and of course, sadly, our very own Chester Williams.
 
Can anyone remember which film for the Oscar for Best Picture…?
Bohemian Rhapsody, Blank Panther, A Star is Born….?  
No. it was Green Book.
 
And Marvel’s Avengers Endgame broke the world record for box office sales, with a staggering - $2.8bn.
 
 
2019 was also a year of spectacular highs in 2019, none more so than last Saturday.
A week on and we’re still all in a state of euphoria with the Springboks’ World Cup win.
 
And our dam levels are sitting at a healthy 85%, so water restrictions and Day Zero seem to be a distant memory…. although load-shedding threats still swirl above our heads.
 
Much closer to home, 2 months ago, our own 2017 Squash Champion, Blake Spear, got married to his beautiful bride, Michal. 
Congrats to them!
 
And lastly, we have much bragging and boasting to do with the upcoming shining stars in our club.
4 of our juniors achieved provincial colours for squash this year, representing WP at the IPT tournament.
 
Congratulations to:-
• Brody Williamson (Boys u13)
• Emma du Toit (Girls u16)
• Lochlan Williamson (Boys u16)
• William Tweddle (Boys u19)
 
Let’s give them a well-deserved round of applause.
 
And if Kenau Vith could have been wrapped up in cotton wool and kept away from motorbikes and skateboards, we would have definitely had a 5th WP star.
 
And if Kurt McDaniel had not tried some fancy Evel Knieval manoeuvre on his bike whilst riding the Argus and fracturing his collarbone, we would have had a 6th too.
 
Through all of those events and happenings  -  the good, the bad, the ugly and the sublime, our club continues to function like a slick, well-oiled machine! 
 
And that’s due to you, our loyal members, and to my hard-working Committee.
Sheena, Debs, Margie, Jerry, Tracy, Llewellyn and Kathy
 
Thank you all for your support this past year. Your contribution to our club is greatly appreciated.
 
Our Committee members have all agreed to stay on and serve for another year, if you’ll have us?
 
• Sheena – Treasurer and Maintenance
• Margie – Ladies Squash Liaison
• Llewellyn – Men’s Tennis Liaison
• Tracy – Ladies Tennis Liaison
• Jerry – Masters Squash Liaison, Online booking system and Access control system
• Kathy – our bar and catering
• Debs – golf day and social events.
• Myself – Men’s Squash Liaison, Membership and Marketing
 
 
And whilst thanking people, it would be remiss of me not to thank my wife, Lianne, and my sons, Cameron, Lochlan and Brody, for allowing me the time that I dedicate to our club, which is not insignificant. Thank you.
 
Looking at the past year in review, here are the headlines for each of the portfolios:- 
 
MEMBERSHIP:
 
Our membership base continues to grow year-on-year. 
In 2018, we broke through the 200 member mark for the first time and ended that year with 217. 
This year, we have grown even more, and are sitting on 232 members.
 
So that sends us a positive message, but we, the Committee, need to continuously remain true to our pledge of offering our members excellent value for money. 
 
We continue to be the only club in the Western Cape who doesn’t charge extra fees for squash lights, even with the annual Eskom price hikes. 
And we also don’t charge for the use of the floodlights are our lower tennis court.
 
 
I keep in contact with the chairpersons of most of the clubs in the Western Cape to continuously benchmark our fees structure against other clubs, and I can say – hand on heart – that at Llandudno, you get the best bang for your buck, and that’s not counting the value of our spectacular views on offer!
 
 
So on that note, putting my diplomatic hat on after buttering you all up with the feel-good news, I need to make an urgent appeal to those that have not yet paid your annual subs renewal fees, (which were due in September) to please do so ASAP. 
 
Our annual membership fees are the club’s largest source of income, and we are reliant on these fees to keep the club operating, and maintain and improve our facilities.
 
I will send out another reminder in my November Newsletter, and any members who have not paid by the end of November will unfortunately have their access keytags on booking system logins disabled.
 
 
MAINTENANCE
Maintenance is ongoing at the club and thank you to Sheena for managing this portfolio this past year. 
It also is a thankless task, so let me pause, and say to Sheena – Thank You.
 
Unfortunately the repair work we did earlier this year to the front wall of Squash Court 2 did not reap the desired result, and it remains problematic for us.
 
We have formed a Fundraising Sub-Committee (Jerry, Debs, Kathy, Tasj, Sheena) to look at a more permanent solution to our Court 2, with 1st prize being to rebuild the court along the same lines as Court 1.
But that’s an expensive project, in the region of R1m, and it will take time to raise the funds.
The Fund-raising committee already have tabled some ideas, one of which is to introduce a Building Levy to our fee structure
We will communicate more on this once we have a clear plan on what solution we will implementing, and that associated costs.
 
In the interim – we’re looking into a repair solution that does not involve fibre-glass, and aim to have the work done in mid/late January.
 
Inside the clubhouse, we gave our Ladies changing room a swanky makeover.
 
And outside, we are budgeting for further repairs to the surfaces of our two tennis courts, which is also an ongoing exercise, as we need to ensure that they are of a suitable standard to play league tennis on.
 
 
TENNIS:
 
Tennis at our club continues to grow and flourish, and I’d like to say a special thank you to Tracy Morris and Llewellyn Snyman for managing this portfolio so well.
 
We have 3 league teams playing in the WP Tennis League, captained by Tracy, Llewellyn and Bob Groeneveld. Thank you to the three of you for giving of your time to captain and administrate the teams.
 
The WP Tennis League season wraps up with the final round of fixtures tomorrow, and our Men’s 1st team is currently topping their log. A home win tomorrow against Fish Hoek will secure them the title and earn them promotion, so we wish them the best of luck.
 
Congratulations to Bob Groeneveld and Tracy Morris for winning the Men’s and Ladies titles in our annual 2018 Tennis Club Champs.
 
Our 2019 Tennis Club Champs Tournament kicks off next week, and we’ve had a record number of entries.
Our Finals Day scheduled for Sunday 8th December.
I’ll be sure to send you reminders of that closer to the time, as that is always a very festive day at our club.
 
 
SQUASH:
 
League:
2019 was another very successful year for League Squash at our club,
We entered 9 teams into the WP Squash League for the 2019 season:-
 
- Three Ladies’ teams, competing in the 2nd, 4th & 5th leagues.
- Two  Men’s teams, competing in the 5th,and 16th leagues.
- Four Masters’ teams, competing in the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th leagues
 
2 of our teams won their respective leagues:-
Our Masters 3rd League team, and our Men’s 5th league team.
 
And we came oh-so-close to having a 3rd team winning their league – to match our 3 league wins In 2018 – with our Men’s 16th league team coming 2nd in their league, just losing out to VOB in a tight finish. Hardlines!!
 
So we are definitely in the middle of a purple patch, and it was an honour to attend the WPS Annual Awards Dinner last week to collect our trophies, and see our small club outperform the likes of WPCC, Camps Bay and Fish Hoek, who are 3 or 4 times bigger than us.
 
Special mention to our top individual League performers this season in the Men’s, Ladies and Masters divisions this year. 
(Criteria is that you needed to have played a minimum of 60% of the season’s fixtures):-
 
Ladies: Janice Grant – for winning 8 of her 15 matches
 
Men: in any normal season, a winning record above 85% would be enough to give you a shout at claiming bragging rights as Top Gun, and we had half a dozen players who performed at that elite level – Geoff Dods, Rob Tweddle, Sarah Behrens, Mark Woodhouse,
 
And if you got a winning record of 93%, you’d like to think that that would be enough to secure you the honours… which is what Rory Alexander achieved, winning 12 of his 13 matches.
But alas, for Rory, that wasn’t good enough, because young Will Tweddle went through the entire league season unbeaten, winning all 13 of his matches to secure a 100% winning record.
Awesome!!
 
Masters: Notable special mentions go to Jay Rudolph (83% winning record), and Jerry Nicholas (86% winning record – normally enough to get you the Best Performance Award), but alas for Jezza, that didin’t even come close to Gary (aka “Gazza The Assassin”) Silbermann, with a 94% winning ratio, winning 15 of his 16 matches.
 
Well done to all our players this season. Thanks for representing our club with such gusto this year.
And thank you to our team captains for making sure everything ran smoothly. 
 
 
Club Champs:
 
We had a great response to our Club Championships this year, with record entries into our Men’s Ladies and Juniors Competitions. 
 
There has been excellent squash leading up to the finals, and this evening’s matches were again of the highest standard. 
 
The Prize-Giving will be coming up shortly.
 
 
UPDATE ON LSC / HBTC COLLABORATION 
 
We entered into a verbal Collaborative Agreement with Hout Bay Tennis Club (HBTC) last year. 
 
This was prompted, on our side, primarily as a result of the fantastic growth in our tennis portfolio. 
With 3 league team, we needed to locate extra courts to host home fixtures.
 
We had a working relationship with Bergvliet Tennis Club the previous year, but we approached HBTC as logistically that would be a lot more convenient.
 
HBTC were also in the process of losing their preferred Museum court to the Denis Goldberg House of Hope Foundation, and were concerned that this would negatively impact on their membership.
 
So the basis of win/win collaboration was explored and agreed up, whereby:-
 
- HBTC’s membership options included a Social Member and a Full Member
o Social Members only have access to the 2 Kronendal tennis courts, and pay a lesser fee
 At the time of this AGM, HBTC currently has 44 x Social Members
o Full Members are effectively upgraded to a LSC membership, and have all the rights that a LSC members has, including being eligible to play League Tennis for LSC, and play in our Tennis Club Champs Tournament
 At the time of this AGM, HBTC currently has 9 x Full Members
 
- We modernized HBTC’s systems, by bringing them onto our online booking system (they previously used a paper-based booking sheet), and our access control system (they previously used padlocks and keys)
 
- LSC members now have access to the 2 Kronendal tennis courts via the online booking system and access control system
 
- HBTC’s bookkeeper retired earlier this year, and we now offer as a “Managed Service” (at no charge) the administering of the online booking system and access control system for them, as well as assisting in the administering of their finances.
 
We will continue with this collaboration in 2020, and are in the process of formalizing it, in the form of a signed agreement between both parties.
 
 
On to our final portfolio – 
 
FINANCES:
 
Sheena will now present our 2018/19 financial report, but before she does that, I would like to thank her for all her hard work that she continually does for the club.
 
The fact that the club continues to run year-on-year is largely thanks to the many, many hours Sheena puts in. 
 
We really commend her and thank her for the excellent job she does. 
 
 
 
PRIZE-GIVING:
 
 
PETER HOLLING TROPHY:
 
For those that have joined the club in the last 20 years or so, you would not have had the opportunity and privilege to meet Peter Holling. 
Peter was a member of our club for many years, and served as Chairperson from 1996-1999. 
He gave tirelessly of his time and resources to the club, and sadly passed away in 2006. 
 
Before leaving us, Peter donated this cup to the club - The Peter Holling Trophy. 
 
His request was that it be presented annually to a member who had, over time, shown dedication to the club, not necessarily always visibly, but always selflessly and without thought of reward or recognition. 
 
Past recipients have been John Harding, Oly Dods, Sheena Stephens, Brenda Owen, Tony Baldwin, Clive Moses, Debs Paul, Paul Herrmann, Eric Putsman, Harold Mead, Margie Mackenzie, Michelle Dutton and Marcus Gordon.
 
This evening, Peter’s son, Ashley is here to continue his father’s legacy, and present The Peter Holling Trophy. Thanks Ashley. Please can I ask you to come up.
 
This year’s recipient of the Peter Holling Trophy is one of our club’s longest standing members, joining the club in 1976, when I was just 5 years old!
 
He has many noteworthy achievements at our club.
He’s in the only person to have won both our Men’s Squash and Tennis Club Championships, and appear on our Honours Boards for both titles.
Amazingly, the first of his 2 Tennis Club Champs titles was 35 years after he won the Squash Club Champs title.
 
A little side note to this is that he thought it would be a fantastic idea to bring along his girlfriend on one of their first dates, to watch him in the Squash final. How romantic!
She obviously was his lucky charm, and they got married not long after, and they celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this year.
 
Our winner has played tennis at the highest level. He has graced the grass of Wimbledon, and he’s represented Rhodesia for the Davis Cup Tennis Tournament.
 
But, just as the citation for this prestigious award goes, it’s testimony to the character of this man that he is less interested in his own achievements, and far more interest in helping others.
 
He started tennis coaching at our club back in 1976, working with a group of ladies that were affectionately known as the “Llandudno Housewives Club.”
 
43 years on, he’s still playing a pivotal role in coaching at our club… and particularly with our Ladies tennis squash, as well as in youth development coaching in under-privileged communities.
 
Unfortunately he is not able to join us here tonight as he is currently in Zimbabwe, but I would like to please ask his lovely wife, Adrienne, and his hunky son, Richard, (who, incidentally, is also a previous LSC Tennis Club Champion), to come forward to receive the Peter Holling Trophy from Ashley on their husband and father’s behalf.
 
Please join me in congratulating this year’s winner of the Peter Holling Trophy – Tony Fawcett.
 
 
And now let’s congratulate the finalists of this year’s Club Champs:-
 
JUNIORS:
 
We ran our Juniors Club Champs last month, which very aptly took place on International World Squash Day, 12 October.
There was great talent on show; the future of our club’s squash is in very good hands.
 
I’d like to ask Lochlan Williamson, our club’s Junior Champion in 2016 and 2017, to come up and present the awards.
 
Firstly, before we get to the Champion for 2019, I’d like to recognize the Most Improved Junior Player of the Year. 
He was the youngest competitor at our Club Champs, and by far the smallest, yet what he lacked in size, he mare than made up for in bucket loads of grit, beating players double his size.
Our Most Improved Junior Squash Player for 2019 is Mischa Pullinger.
 
Our 2019 Junior Champion has had a fantastic year. He made WP for the 3rd consecutive year, he is his school’s No.1 player, and he went through our Club Champs tournament unbeaten, successfully defending his title.
Our 2019 Champion is Brody Williamson
 
 
LADIES:
 
Cup Winner: Iris Gabel
Cup Runner-up: Debs Paul
 
Shield Winner: Sue Vith 
Shield Runner-up: Brenda Owen
 
Plate Winner: Kathy Hobbs
Plate Runner-up: Ingrid Corbett
 
Bowl Winner: Janice Rudolph  
Bowl Runner-up: Gabi Horak
 
Mug Winner: Catherine Pereira
Mug Runner-up: Marita Engel
 
 
MEN:
 
Cup Winner: William Tweddle 
Cup Runner-up: Geoff Dods
 
Shield Winner: Peter Vith
Shield Runner-up: MC de Villiers
 
Plate Winner: Markus Bauriedl
Plate Runner-up: Ashley Holling
 
Bowl Winner: Rory Alexander
Bowl Runner-up: Denzel Grahn
 
Mug Winner: Russell Brown
Mug Runner-up: Jesse Pereira
 
 
Congratulations to all of you!
 
 
On behalf of our LSC Committee, thank you all again for attending our AGM and Finals Night.
 
I’d like to say a massive thank you to Kathy, Ingrid and the other super-stars who have managed all the logistics arrangements for tonight, the delicious snacks and ensuring the bar was fully stocked.
 
And an equally massive thanks to Stephen Hagglund and Ardi’s for doing the catering. Your gourmet burgers are scrumptious!
 
Thank you everyone.
Enjoy the rest of the evening.
 
 
ROB WILLIAMSON
Chairperson: Llandudno Sports Club
 


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