Chairman’s Report 2018

Bere Regis Sports Club
Chairman’s Report – November 2018

It would be easy to think that nothing much has changed at the club since this time last year, there having been no projects that have made a big ‘visual’ impact such as a new building or a new piece of machinery, but look further and it is possible to see that many things have in fact, been going on.

An ECB grant enabled us to purchase new tables for both club buildings, along with new chairs for the old clubhouse. The hot summer days forced out hand into improving the ‘cellar’ arrangements with the installation of a cooler unit and the repartitioning of the area to ensure the efficiency of that unit. That’s the sort of work that probably goes unnoticed by most club members, except those who realised that the beer is now colder. The cost of such a project will certainly be unnoticed by most!

On the field, the senior football team fought well to get through their first season back in Dorset league football and I congratulate all involved in doing so. We welcome a new manager this season and I am sure that Kelvin will continue the good work started by Tom. Once again, I also thank Dean Rogerson and Mark Bennett for their work and dedication ‘behind the scenes’ and wish Mark all the very best in his recovery of health.

The junior football section continued to face difficulties posed by league officials, who can’t seem to rid themselves of the “fine them” attitude towards any situation that questions their stance. Such an attitude ultimately led us to withdrawing the Under 15s before the end of the season, although we were not the only club to take such action. On a happier note, the Under 14s had a fantastic season, winning their division and staying undefeated in doing so, and reaching the county cup semi-finals. Our thanks go to Paul Hughes for his work with that team. Malcolm Strannack stood down as a team manager at the end of the season and I would like to take this opportunity of thanking him for his work and dedication while in that role. Equally, my thanks go to all who continue to manage teams, as well as to Mike Bosworth and Keith Traynor for their administrative work and for continuing, against the odds at times, with their struggles against the bureaucracy of the football authorities.

The senior cricket teams did well to maintain their places in new divisions this year, particularly the first team in their first season of Dorset Premier League cricket. As with the football, there’s an ever-increasing amount of bureaucracy thrown onto the shoulders of volunteers and it’s to our credit that our Clubmark status was renewed following inspection and scrutiny. I thank all of those who worked towards achieving that and continue to do so. The junior section teams achieved varying levels of success with the Under 13s winning the West Dorset League, while the Under 15s struggled. Sadly, we were unable to field an Under 11 team, but on a brighter note, started an Under 9 team to follow the success of a second year of All Stars Cricket for 5 to 8 year olds.

Our Pool and Darts teams’ fixtures continue 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 therefore attracting different people into the club. My thanks go to those who organise these teams.

Again, 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.

My sincere thanks go to the Management Committee, as well as the various section and sub-committee’s that keep this club running. At a time when all organisations are finding it difficult to recruit volunteers we should all be most appreciative of the number of hours dedicated by all those who serve the club in such a way. Sadly, Lorraine Gale, who has been a fantastic example of someone who has devoted many hours to the club in so many ways, has decided to step down from her role as club secretary. Many of you will have seen Lorraine working behind the bar and helping at so many events but will not have seen the work she has put in over many hours “behind the scenes” and her organisation skills will be greatly missed. Thank you, Lorraine, for all your hard work.

A recurring theme throughout this report is that more and more is expected of volunteers working at grass-roots level, in clubs such as ours. It’s a worrying trend and one which, I’m sure, is leading to a number of clubs falling by the wayside as the small group of those trying to keep up simply throw in the towel. Unfortunately, I see no chance of the expectations being lowered and the only way of us coping with it all is for the workload to be shared among more people, especially as none of us get any younger. Far better in this sense for ten people to do an hour’s work each, than for one person to do ten hours work. But, for that to happen, nine others must step forward.

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

Andy Kent
Chairman, November 2018