President’s Remarks – Annual General Meeting - 31/5/16
As I complete my two years as President, I hope that you will agree that Council has continued to make progress and that you will share my optimism for the future.
There have been several developments during the year and further change is in the pipeline:
- Cathy Ferguson continues to do an excellent job of managing Council business
- Constitutional changes are proposed to this year’s AGM to reduce the number of delegates and increase the efficiency of Council meetings
- Our financial year-end was amended to 31 August from 2015, bringing it into line with the playing season – while this has temporarily made year-on-year comparison more difficult, this will prove beneficial in the long term
- Fiona Greenwood, Finance Convener, has introduced tighter financial controls to ensure that all aspects of expenditure are more effectively managed
- George Plant has also settled well into the role of Treasurer and has been producing some excellent new management information reports for Council
- Under Anne Perkins’ ongoing Convenership, the National League has continued to grow into one of our pre-eminent events and is now an invaluable tool for selection of our international teams
- Scotland has continued to host our full share of home international events and we are indebted to all those who have helped to make this possible
- In a competitive sense, huge congratulations are due to the members of our Lady Milne team who swept all before them in Dublin last month
Law & Ethics Committee:
- Liz McGowan and her team continue to provide advice and guidance to players to help improve behavioural standards
- Disciplinary procedures have been updated to reflect WBF guidelines on cheating as a result of recent transgressions at international level
Member Services Committee:
- Development continues on our website in support of clubs and members alike
- Thanks to the tireless efforts of Bill Whyte and his team, MEMPAD functionality continues to expand - this is reflected in increased usage and improved data quality
- Electronic master point processing has quickly become the norm and now includes National and District events as well as the vast majority of those run by clubs
- Under Ann Wickens’ guidance, the Education Sub-Committee have made significant progress on many fronts – in particular, teaching in primary schools continues to grow as seen by further record entries in this year’s schools’ MiniBridge championship
- We are currently trying to identify a successor to Ann – applications to Cathy, please
- Ian Hunter and his team continue to review our tournament programme and this will remain as ongoing activity under Peter Hodgson, his successor
- Centralised recruitment continues to boost entry levels for many of our national tournaments – many thanks to Cathy Ferguson for all her efforts
- Joan Lees and her Congress Sub-Committee continue to provide an excellent programme of events at Peebles and overseas
- Further training courses were organised for tournament directors to improve the quality of service provided to tournament players
- Master point policy continues to be reviewed by Peter Hodgson and his team – particular focus has been devoted to refining silver and bronze award levels with a new silver category of Regional Master to be introduced from September
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 due a big “thank you” from all those who participate.
As the 2016 AGM marks the end of my two-year Presidency, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Council delegates and committee members alike for their unstinting support. Players are not always aware of all the work that needs to be undertaken to ensure the smooth running of tournaments at national, District and club level – we couldn’t enjoy playing the game we love if it wasn’t for the efforts of those who help with the administration.
In particular, I would like to thank Mike Ash, Past President, for all his support and to extend my best wishes to Ian Hunter, President Designate, once he has been formally elected as my successor.