Thanet Squash Club Online AGM 2020
Monday 20th July 2020
The AGM this year will be online via Zoom on Monday 20th July starting at 19:00
(Zoom Id 3881485407 – Password – squashclub (If required)
2 AGM minutes 2019 – any noted amends and approval
3 Chairmans Report, includes COVID -19 update – circulated beforehand, any questions
4 Reports circulated beforehand followed by Questions on each
5 Election of Officers
Chairman’s Report 2020
As usual I shall start with some of the maintenance.
|Tree Cutting and remedial work||£800|
|Servicing, gym, Alarm, Fire extinguishers etc||£1970|
|Remedial work Repairs and maintenance||£1670|
* figures rounded
Potential Commercial Arrangement with Momentum Healthcare
Last year I mentioned a potential commercial arrangement with Momentum Healthcare which could come our way.
Just to be clear that we will not be entering into arrangement without consulting and engaging with members of the club first but some of the preliminary work has to be done before we can do this.
Momentum Healthcare currently run their business out of Thanet Wanderers Rugby Club and are looking to move to more suitable premises. The intention would be to rent them the space behind courts one and two plus what is currently the ladies changing rooms. We have had half a dozen site meetings with their representatives which aimed to test out the suitability and expectations on both sides.
We also conducted quite a lot of preliminary work to gain an early understanding on how the arrangement could work in practice which included, utility charges, insurance, contract and lease arrangements issues rates and legal issues which we were able to feed into discussions.
We had got to the stage of Momentum seeking specialist advice on the best use of that space for their purposes. We were still really both at the stage of just kicking ideas around but we know that such an arrangement is viable and could work for both sides and Momentum seem very keen as they see the club as complimentary to their business and situated in Broadstairs which is where they want to stay.
For our club the greatest benefits would be the increased advertising and the significantly increased footfall. Both of which could potentially increase our membership and possible discounted services to members for treatment.
Under the arrangement, there would also be a reception area manned during the day and up to around 20.00 hours in the evening which, whilst not strictly necessary for the squash club and its members, would have looked good to visitors and potential new members.
All these benefits could potentially increase our membership appreciably.
Since then COVID 19 has intervened and stopped further progress. We will need to see what happens next but we cannot disregard the fact that this may no longer be a viable proposition.
Had the arrangement gone ahead, and it may still do so, the plan was to house the sauna, ladies changing room in the new extension, but this hasn’t been thought through in any detail and could be subject to change.
Possible Extension and modernising the club for our members
As most of you know we’ve been talking for some time about building an extension and improving the facilities for our members. Many of our facilities have been patched up over the years and now look tired and outdated and need more than an overhaul or lick of paint. We’ve been spending money over the years on the essentials, roofing, cladding, heating, insulation and we now feel that we should concentrate on modernising the club and having far better facilities.
Darren Roe of Roes Timber frames has been assisting us with our thinking which we really appreciate.
Unfortunately, we have not made the progress we had hoped for, much of the delay has been down to the restrictions on a number of particularly less than ideally placed trees which could not be legally removed and the recent impact of COVID -19.
We now believe that we now have a viable solution for the special trees which leaves the trees alone and still allows us to build the extension we want. We have applied for planning permission based on this solution which can be viewed on the TDC planning website under our postcode CT10 3NR. Until we have a favourable response from TDC we really can’t say whether they will be content with the application and grant us planning.
At this stage we cannot predict the outcome but if it is favourable, we will put together a full detailed proposal for our members to consider.
Covid-19 shocked the world and everyone struggled, and is still struggling to get to grips with it.
We were all clearly very disappointed to have to close the club but as we all know there were bigger issues at stake which we could not ignore.
The committee worked tirelessly over the week running up to closure to try to keep some aspects of the club open. Government guidance was vague and changing daily – I cannot remember a busier time for the Committee and, as we all know, at the end of the day the inevitable came and we were forced to close.
We were all mindful how important the club was for our talented young people coupled with the frustration of being off school, having too much time on their hands and nowhere to go. It affected all our members to a greater or lesser degree but it was particularly punishing for our young aspiring champions of the future who were keen to keep practicing.
The Committee had one aim at this time which was to keep the club, our employees and its members safe and get back to playing squash safely as soon as we could
Since March the committee has been meeting once a week by Zoom. Naturally, most of the discussion was around the closure, re-opening, and checking the latest government guidance. Like others we quickly learnt that government guidance could be vague and open to interpretation so the committee decided that we be steered by “England Squash” which was already interpreting government policy.
The committee also ramped up its communications with members by regularly updating the website and sending mail chimp messages every two weeks or so. We are also in regular contact with our Stewards Alan and Julie who have done so much for the club.
We check the club daily. The club is regularly cleaned and we have used some of the “downtime” to catch up on some of the painting and maintenance jobs that have been outstanding.
Now that government restrictions are lifting, we have set up a task force (led by Darren Roe) to look at what we need to do to reopen the club. This is not straightforward and there are likely to be many changes and challenges ahead but I ask all our members to work with us, abide by the rules, even if you don’t like them and help us keep our club open and safe.
To be clear we will not under any circumstances open the club until government restrictions are lifted and we can sure that we have done all that we can to operate in a safe environment. We will not compromise on this.
Last year we reviewed our booking system – the work is complete and discussions were taking place with the preferred supplier before being finalised, but the work has now been put on hold because of COVID-19
This year we moved to an on-line booking system. Change is always difficult but this went relatively smoothly. As with any new system there were a few teething problems which we had to sort out. Now that we have done so and now that our members have got into the routine the feedback has been positive. I’d like to thank our members for helping to make this work.
Last year we reported that we needed to get better at advertising events. This year we welcomed Ian Chinchen onto the Committee who took on advertising – I hope you all noticed the colourful posters displayed around the club and on social media – many thanks Ian.
As mentioned last year the club rules need updating and John Searles kindly offered to look at the club rules and make recommendations to the Committee. Whilst this isn’t something that was given by the committee, we acknowledge that it is something that needs bringing up to date.
John has started to redraft the rules but has not yet able to finalise the draft since he is still waiting to hear from the committee with instructions about how to deal with various outstanding points.
Pressure on resources has been the issue and the committee are still considering some of the issues so we are not in a position to report back to John or the members this year as we would have wished.
Finally, I am supported by a brilliant committee. Without exception they work tirelessly for the club, new ideas are being shared all of the time and we work really well together.
I’d like to thank them for all their support throughout the year.
To conclude we work on behalf of all of the club members. Our aim is to create a safe environment where members of all ages and all standards want to spend their leisure time and enjoy their squash.
Please help us to keep it safe as well – it’s your club.