Chairman’s Report 2017

Bere Regis Sports Club
Chairman’s Report – November 2017

Outwardly, it may seem to some that little has changed at the club over the last twelve months, but that would be overlooking some significant achievements both on and off the field of play. One such achievement was securing a grant from Viridor Environmental Credits which paid in excess of 80% of the cost of the new triple-cut mower, a piece of equipment that should enable the high standard of playing surface to be maintained for many years to come, as long as we have volunteers to operate it!

Another great achievement has been the rebirth of the senior men’s football team and I congratulate Mark Bennett and Dean Rogerson for the hours put in behind the scenes to both initially maintain the senior football section as a going concern and then to find a new manager and re-establish the team itself. It’s been good to welcome some new faces to the squad as well as to see some of those who played before back in the ranks. A positive approach to fundraising has seen the team gain sponsorship for new kit and I believe there are plans for more fundraising in the near future. Sadly, the ladies team was unable to continue operating after the end of last season and again I pay tribute to both Mark and Dean for the immense amount of work they both put into trying to keep that team going. It was a difficult and frustrating task at times.

The junior football section had its share of ups and downs over the year, but that doesn’t seem to be unique to Bere Regis! Emotions play a big part in all sports and where children’s teams are involved those emotions can easily get the better of some adults. A clear direction and policy is required and the Football Association provide that through the Charter Club Status scheme. I commend Mike Bosworth, as Chairman, and those committee members who use the policies provided by the FA to guide them when difficult, and sometimes emotional, matters have to be dealt with. It is essential that the needs of the children remain the focus of our activities. Results are a secondary consideration, but nonetheless it’s wonderful to see our young teams ‘punch above their weight’ when often facing opposition from more populous areas. Having made reference to the Charter Club scheme and the guidance it gives us, on a personal note I would also suggest that those who organise the Dorset Youth League could be more mindful of the problems faced by smaller, village based clubs when making and applying their own rules and regulations.

The cricket section reached new heights with a double promotion season that sees the first eleven into the top tier of Dorset League cricket for the very first time next year. As well as the promotions for the Saturday teams further success came in the form of winning the Dorchester Evening League Knock-out Cup. Furthermore, we entered a team into the newly formed TT25 league. The youth section continued to grow with the club fully supporting the new All Stars Cricket scheme, promoted by ECB to attract 5 to 8 year olds and their families into game. As the section develops a variety of roles need to be undertaken to sustain that growth and it would be good to see a few new, and younger, people taking on some of those tasks.

Our Pool and Darts teams’ fixtures continued to be a regular feature of the weekly calendar with both of these sections operating on nights of the week when we wouldn’t otherwise be opening and attracting different people into the club.

A number of well attended, successful ‘social events’ have been organised through the year and I thank the group of volunteers at the heart of the organisation of those events, which again, often introduce new faces into the club. They take a lot of planning and the amount of work that goes in should not be underestimated. It’s been pointed out many times in the past that match fees and memberships alone do not cover the costs of providing the sports facilities here, so fundraising is an essential part of our club life, ensuring our sustainability.

As always, a recurring theme throughout this report has been the need for a number of volunteers with a range of skills to give of their time to keep this club active. I once again sincerely thank every one of you who has done so over the last twelve months and I make no apology for using the same last paragraph for my report as I did last year.

We have our critics, but so does every organisation. Those who moan are normally those who don’t help. I remind you of the notice I saw above the entrance to another sports club I visited –

Ask not what your club can do for you, but what you can do for YOUR club

If you’re not already doing so, please come and help those who already are!

Andy Kent
Chairman, November 2017