President’s Remarks – Annual General Meeting - 26/5/15
As I complete this first of my two-year term as President, I hope that you will agree that Council has continued to build on the progress made under my predecessor Mike Ash and that you will share my optimism for the future of Scottish Bridge Union.
There have been several developments during the year and further change is in the pipeline:
- A zero-based budgeting process has been put in place to address the changing profile of our income and expenditure streams – this AGM is facing a proposal to amend our financial year-end to 31 August, bringing it into line with the playing season
- Tim Wickens has indicated that he wishes to stand down after many years of loyal service as SBU Treasurer – subject to the approval of this AGM, welcome to George Plant who is proposed as his successor
- The scope of the National League has been expanded and developed as a tool to assist with the selection process
Law & Ethics Committee:
- Advice and guidelines continue to be issued to players to help improve behavioural standards at the bridge table
Member Services Committee:
- Ongoing development and improvements to our website will be undertaken
- The provision of SBU diaries to all members was well received and will be continued
- Training activity in primary schools has widened extensively as evidenced by record entries for this season’s schools’ MiniBridge championship
- We have also seen continued growth in adult education with many more novice players taking up the game
- MEMPAD functionality continues to expand with many of our clubs now submitting their master point awards electronically – further developments in computerised scoring will be addressed by a workshop to whom club representatives have been invited
- It is appreciated that some will be dismayed at the imminent withdrawal of paper master point statements – members are encouraged to log on to MEMPAD to track their awards and personal ranking
- We are currently doing all we can to maintain master point processing following the recent resignation of our Master Point Secretary – a permanent solution will be put in place as soon as possible
- Centralised recruitment has helped to arrest the decline in entry levels for many of our national tournaments
- A training programme has been put in place for tournament directors to improve the quality of service provided to tournament players
- We are working closely with our selected partners to improve the quality of offering provided to those who support our domestic and overseas congress programme
- Reviews of master point policy are regularly undertaken – in response to feedback from smaller clubs, lower minimum purchase levels will be applied to those issuing computer-generated paper certificates
I am extremely grateful for the support provided by all Council delegates and co-optees for the work they do for all of these committees.
The undoubted highlight of this season has been the hosting of the Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship in Glasgow. Complimentary feedback has been received from many participants, international and domestic alike. The magnificent contributions of those on the organising committee and the plethora of volunteers ensured that all went smoothly, on the surface at any rate!
During the year, I have tried to play in as many events as possible. I would like to express my thanks to the Districts who invited me to their congresses and to all those individuals who helped to run them. Despite occasional criticism, I believe that our tournament directors do an excellent job and they are all due a big “thank you” from all players.
I have also been able to support players at the European Championships in Croatia, the Commonwealth Nations Championship, the Camrose Trophy, the Lady Milne Trophy and the Schools’ MiniBridge Championships. In addition, I have tried to visit clubs in as many parts of Scotland as I could manage – if I haven’t made it to your local club, please send me an invitation and I will do my best to pay you a visit.