Blackheath Squash Club – Chairman’s Report 2018
It’s been a busy and successful year at the Club. This report seeks to capture the highlights.
Over the last 12 months I am very pleased to report that our membership has remained at relatively high levels. We currently have 183 members compared to 185 this time last year. Many thanks to our Membership Secretary Roald Piper.
The Club’s finances are robust. The 2017 annual accounts show a cash balance of some £40k at the end of September 2017 (2016 24k). The Club is run on a not for profit basis and this cash surplus will be reinvested in the Club for the benefit of the members. Many thanks to Neil Harris as Club Treasurer for managing our financial affairs.
Kent league Teams
We ran four Senior teams in the North Kent leagues over the 2017 Summer and four Senior teams team for the 2017/18 winter season. Congratulations to the 1st and 4th teams for coming top of their divisions in the Winter season.
Tournaments and box leagues
Over the last 12 months we held the annual handicap and main tournaments with good participation from the members. The box leagues continue to be very successful – many thanks to John Mead for organising these.
2017 / 2018 was another strong year for the Junior Squash Programme, with sessions full and a waiting list in operation for most of the year. This year saw the fruition of six years of constant effort, with a number of our junior members transitioning to the senior game through playing in the box leagues, attending Club Night and playing team matches. We again took nine of our players to the Canary Wharf Squash Tournament in March after which we saw huge improvements in their games. We also entered a boys’ team for the London Youth Games in June. This year we will say a fond farewell to five of our eighteen year olds as they head off to University. It is touching that several of them are choosing their universities on the quality of the squash facilities! With their departure, we focus on the next group of players rapidly improving their games and we can see the progression week on week.
Hopefully we will be able to repeat this year’s success again in the next few years.
Many thanks to John Mead for leading the Junior Section and to Danny, Jon and Sten for their enormous help in running the sessions. This year we have launched the “leadership module” with our sixth formers being given real-life experience of planning, executing and leading sessions. The mixed results achieved show that it’s not perhaps quite as easy as we make it look…
2017/18 has been a quiet year for Ladies Squash at Blackheath and also in Kent as there was no Kent Ladies Winter League for 2017/18.
We have continued to maintain the courts this year with the floors being sanded and the court walls being repainted. We also experienced issues with the court lights which involved closing the Club for a number of days whilst the electrical problems were resolved.
Many thanks to Danny Dowling for maintaining the content of the Club’s website and for dealing with a recent malware attack. We have had a quiet year on social events.
We continue to progress the development plans for the club to expand our courts from 2 to 4. During 2017/18 we submitted grant applications to the London Marathon Charity and Sport England. We had some success but not enough to fund the expansion so we have engaged a professional grant adviser to help us identify other sources of grant funding. In the meantime we continue to develop our plans and we are grateful to Jay Patel of Pendleton Associates for his continued assistance and advice in this matter.
We have achieved much over the last 12 months and I would like to thank all those who have made this possible. I look forward to an exciting 2018/19 . Enjoy your squash.