Report Back from SBU Council – February 2013

Since the last meeting I have been able to complete my tour of the Districts, visiting North and Central last month.  It is a very pleasant part of this role to be able to meet club players who I may not normally come across in National events and Congresses.  Whilst many were keen to share their views – often pointing out some areas where we could do better, everyone seemed pleased to see me and they were generally supportive of the organisation.  A big thank you to all of the people who made these trips possible and in many cases went out of their way to make arrangements and offer accommodation.
I have passed on my general impressions to a small group that I have set up, co-ordinated by Ann Wickens.  It has a representative from every District and draws from a cross section of members.  They will be reporting back in April and I really hope that some of the ideas generated will form a basis for a wide ranging reappraisal of what the SBU offers its members. 
I took the opportunity of Hogmanay to write directly to all clubs.  I was pleased to receive positive feedback from this and I hope to do this again following our April meeting.  Ideally we could do this through the District secretaries but the communication channels at District level are variable.  We must improve this and have an open discussion on what the clubs expect of the Districts, what the Districts expect of the SBU and how we can meet these expectations.
Further to this initiative we have already had a long – many might say, far too long – discussion on how we can use IT systems to streamline the way we handle Membership and Master Points.  I know I said a similar thing at the last meeting but I trust that today’s meeting will finally give us a way forward so that members will see the fruits of our efforts by next season.  Certainly I expect that we will have a new website up and running by then.
As mentioned last time, I would like to invite all members of Council and our officers to a workshop session in the afternoon before our next meeting on 9th April.  I will ask some Council members to lead on different topics and we will circulate some material in advance so that representatives can consult members in advance.  Coming out of that session I would hope that we would be able to produce a draft of our annual report back to the membership and a programme of action for next year to be confirmed at the AGM.  I am sure that this event can be really worthwhile and I am asking for everybody’s support to make it successful.


Mike  ASH