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Chairman’s update (April 2020)

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Given this advice to postpone the AGM, it seems a good opportunity to provide you with a general Club update.

Currently, we have no idea when the 2020 season will start which is clearly a great disappointment to us all – recreational cricket is suspended indefinitely. However, it is far more important that all our members and families are keeping as well as they can and getting all the help and assistance they need. You will be pleased to know that the Pavilion and site at Woodbridge Road has been offered to the NHS to use as they might find helpful.

In respect of cricket, at least we were able to complete most of the Winter training sessions at RGS and Charterhouse which were both very well attended from January to March. Rest assured, your Committee, Age group managers and coaches are ready to get the season going as soon as we can and, in whatever format we are allowed, to get as many matches played as possible.

Our Treasurer will update you on our overall finances in due course and once we know how much of the season will be played we will review 2020 subscription levels and advise you. As most of you will be aware the postponement of first class cricket until at least May 28th coincides with the annual Surrey cricket festival at Woodbridge Road. This will mean our core and critical fundraising streams for 2020 (Corporate hospitality marquees, Public beer tent, Public tea tent and the Guildford Beer Festival) are all cancelled and this will hit us hard.

Over the last year we have continued to look at how we are organised and ensure that decision making is led by diverse debate and that we continually look to improve the cricket offering to our members. The Club survey last year was very useful in this regard. Since last year Nick Gooding, Joanne Watson, Rajeev Sanwalka, James Telling, Chris Coombs and Tom Collins have all joined the Main committee bringing fresh, broad and diverse input to our discussions. The Committee structure has been further streamlined as follows;

Cricket Committee – Bob Cunningham
Social, Marketing and Communications Committee – David McMillan
Commercial Committee – Chad Murrin
Governance Committee – Nick Gooding

Within this structure, Adam Appleton and Jon Burrowes have taken on responsibility for developing our Social media activity and increasing our Newsletter production respectively. James Telling has taken on the role of Membership secretary for all sections of the Club.

As previously advised, we have not yet finalised our Director of Cricket appointment which is an absolute long term priority for the Club. However, I’m delighted that Wayne White and Ollie Birts have both joined the Club which will have a direct impact to our coaching provision.

We continue to benefit hugely from the appointment of Lee Fortis (Surrey CCC, Head Groundsman) and his team and the improvement to the whole ground is clearly evident and the increasing envy of other Clubs. We are very fortunate to have them and they have ambitious plans for the future.

Our recently formed Governance committee’s responsibility is to ensure that GCC is a fully compliant and professionally run club. We were therefore very pleased to have our Clubmark accreditation approved following the extensive three yearly review by the ECB during 2019.

Our Social committee have been hard at work looking to raise the levels of activity across the Club. We will build on the Junior Friday night BBQs and introduce more events on Saturday evenings in the Pavilion – once we are playing. If you haven’t been to the Pavilion during the winter I’m sure you’ll be impressed with the addition of a significant number of comfortable chairs and sofas in our efforts to make the Long Room more welcoming. At the end of March, Kalm Kitchen stepped down from the Venue management role at the Pavilion and we are very grateful to them for all their hard work during 2019. With immediate effect, and for the interim period, the Pavilion Management Company is working with Steve Page of Event & Venue Partnerships to deliver all catering and hospitality, as required. Steve is very well known to us and understands GCC well so we are pleased with this interim arrangement and delighted to have him on board. We will let you know once a longer term appointment is made.

This is a members’ club and we exist for your benefit – please continue to support us and bring your ideas as to how we can improve everything we do.

Thank you to everyone for all your support, particularly through testing times such as now – keep well.

James Geffen
Chairman, Guildford Cricket Club

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