Federation Spring Club Meeting 2018 – Executive Summary
The Spring meeting of north west Croquet clubs took place at Culcheth on Saturday 3rd March attended by 20 people. Chairman Paul Rigge welcomed delegates to the meeting especially in view of the appalling weather conditions. He reminded delegates of the excellent videos on-line of the recent AC World Championships won by Paddy Chapman. Treasurer Liz Wilson presented an updated version of the 2017 Accounts to complete the report from the AGM last November. Development Officer, James Hawkins, reported on a successful grant to Bowdon CC to improve accessibility and Criccieth CC had now joined the CA and may be applying for Federation membership.
There was a discussion concerning the National Development Officer, Dave Gunn initiatives, where James Hawkins (Marketing Group) has produced an excellent guide to Facebook for club usage and there is a template for use by all club websites in development. There will be a Spring Conference to launch Croquet Matters – an on-line resource of development tools for clubs. Tony Thomas (Communications Group) described the launch of an ‘on-line’ Forum for Federation committee members to facilitate communication between Federations. League Manager, Ivan Wheatley, has published the League fixtures for 2018, the season starting on 7th April and finishing on 14th October. Clubs will be receiving a Summary document of the League Rules which clarifies several issues. The meeting agreed the 2018 League Rules with some minor amendments from the draft passed at the AGM.
Coaching Officer, Paul Rigge, made a plea for clubs to put forward nominations for Coach of the Year. He then described the coaching opportunities available to Federation players – Academy at York offering high quality weekend courses for individuals; the Federation Flying Circus offering free one day courses as requested by clubs; Pods – short evening courses on specific topics, mainly for registered players but Paul is happy to accept any club players from the Federation. The Federation coaching strategy is excellent – just needs clubs and players to get involved.
CA Representative, John Dawson, described the difficulties being experienced by CA office in transferring club members to Full CA members, progress not being helped by the confusion generated by new legislation on Data Protection. There will be a new Handbook for Advanced AC in the near future. The Publishing Committee are actively examining sponsorship and a plea was made to members to recognise opportunities and involve CA personnel.
Safeguarding Officer, Jean Hargreaves has circulated a questionnaire to all clubs to identify the current practice in safeguarding issues. Federation Webmeister, Tony Thomas, described a Winter competition on the website concerning best use for a Croquet Mallett during the closed season and announced the winner – John Hannah (Craig y Don) for his suggestion of offering his Mallet to the local operatic society for their version of Treasure Island where Long John Silver could use it as a crutch or wooden leg. A bottle of wine has been sent to John.
The new Data Protection Act is causing concern amonst clubs who must now demonstrate compliance with the law and members need to sign a document agreeing to the use of their data. Clubs need a Policy and a Procedure – Chester CC have produced appropriate documents and have kindly offered them to any other club upon request.
Bowdon have been awarded the Home Internationals for 2018. Bury need to invest £23,000 in their Whitehead lawns to alleviate the flooding problems and have requested clubs to be flexible in completing fixtures if Whitehead is not available. Chester are discussing maintenance issues and moss removal with the Council. A new clubhouse is being planned at Crake Valley. Culcheth continue with a successful indoor programme. Liverpool will be hosting their first Federation tournament this year. Llanfairfechan are having an improved membership drive. Southport have installed a new storage building on the North Lawns but are struggling with lawn maintenance issues due to the very wet winter weather. Westmorland are now focussing of membership expansion.
Under ‘Any Other Business’, Don Williamson announced there is a draft version of GC Rules which has been accepted by the World Croquet Federation and is now out for consultation with GC referees.
The meeting closed at 12-10. The next meetings will be: the AGM on 17th November 2018 and the next Spring Meeting on 2nd March 2019.
Tony Thomas 3rd March 2018 – a personal account and does not necessarily represent the official views of the North West Federation.