We are following up one possible new club at Kings Langley, Herts (strictly speaking out of the SECF geographical area but taken on with the agreement of the E Anglian Development Officer).
RMA Sandhurst has not joined the CA for its second year.
The problem with such institutions as this (cf St Thomas’s
Hospital) is that once the contact graduates/qualifies /is
commissioned, there is often no proper handover and the link is
Three clubs, Southwick (for lawn 8), Sydenham and Littlehampton have put on hold projects to improve their court facilities where existing funds available or projected income did not measure up to the cost of the projects.
However the 2006 season saw the completion of the ambitious development schemes at two clubs, Royal Tunbridge Wells and Rother Valley, which together constitute a marked improvement to the playing facilities in the Federation. Tunbridge Wells now has three level courts with an excellent state of the arc irrigation system and improved buildings. The appeal of the CA tournaments run by the club will be much enhanced by the quality of the refurbished courts in 2007. All concerned in the enormous amount of dedicated work required for such an ambitious project, are to be congratulated for its successful outcome.
Rother Valley took advantage of a one-off opportunity for a grant from the Petworth Leisure Fund to finance the refurbishment of both their lawns, install irrigation and construct a new club house (moving the old one to be used for storage). This was achieved without recourse to financial aid from the CA and the SECF apart from six month bridging loans of £1000 from each. The club intends now to run some open tournaments and its beautiful rural setting will make a very pleasant playing experience for any of its visitors. The final phase of development is the construction at low cost of an additional half lawn to allow for more flexibility for the club’s growing membership.
There is one more project on the horizon – a new club house at Preston LTCC, Brighton.
The popular Silver and Bronze Courses run by Bryan Teague and his team of Grade 1 coaches at Southwick were once more well attended as was the Summer School lead by Daphne Gaitley. European attendance on these courses continues with players from both Germany and Austria taking advantage of the high standard of instruction provided by experienced and qualified coaches.
A number of clubs took advantage of one day golf and association courses, tailor made to their requirements by usually teams of two Grade 1 coaches from nearby clubs. These courses are self funding in that the club is asked to pay the coaches their travelling expenses and provide them with refreshments, their coaching being otherwise free.
A special effort was made this year to get more coaching contact with schools. I am very grateful to Watford for having visited Harrow and made initial contact there and to Mike Huxley of Guildford and Godalming who has taken over the link with Charterhouse. For the record, other schools I have heard of who seem to have some croquet activity going are Winchester, Wycombe Abbey (Girls), Sevenoaks, Churcher’s College at Petersfield and Merchant Taylors, the last at least having croquet as a curriculum sport.
A CQC was held at Surbiton early in the season for eleven students, six of whom were first club Surbiton members who subsequently did a great job coaching a batch of new recruits. Later Chris Patmore was successfully assessed as a Grade 2 coach subject to qualifying as an Assistant Referee (a reversal of the “Good knowledge of the Laws” qualification introduced four years ago to encourage more to go for the grade). Alan Cottle at Southwick has qualified as a Golf Croquet Coach.