The Veterans Squash Rackets Club of Great Britain

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When I first took over as your Chairman two years ago, your Committee and I set out a plan of action for the next couple of years.

You may remember that the areas mentioned opportunities to revive and extend the appeal of our club; these included attracting and recruiting new members with the accent on youth; extending the friendlies fixture list by reviving old matches and setting up new ones; arranging overseas tours; expanding the annual tournament and promoting a national drive for the neglected doubles game.

I am pleased to report that we have continued to build on the progress I reported at last year’s AGM.

We have been able to sustain the increase in membership. Indeed, we have already exceeded the total number of new members in 2015 in the first three months of this year. Also, it is good to report that the majority of new members are below the age of 60.
I can also report that we have arranged five new fixtures – Escorts, Petersfield, Hurlingham, Bishop’s Stortford and Oxshott. I personally remain committed to arrange friendlies with The Oxford and Cambridge Club, Sandown and St. Georges Hill.

Our popular weekend trip to York will take place in June this year, and will be run by Adrian Wright. The November 2015 Festival of Squash was, courtesy of the RAC Woodcote Park, a great success with lots of enjoyable and competitive matches played. The Army managed to retain the trophy but were closely pursued by the GB Vets team. It is great that this has, by popular demand, now become a regular feature of the season.
I would have liked to report progress on our plan to spread the doubles game, but this has proved to be a challenge; we have now, however, been able to identify sufficient interest in the South East Region and Robert Smith will be driving an initiative on this front over the next few months.

A Chairman can only be as good as his supporting Committee. We are lucky that we have a strong and hard working Committee who continue to dedicate their time to our Club. I thank them on behalf of all our members. However, our previous Hon. Match Secretary, David Smith has resigned, and our Hon. Treasurer of eight years, David Garrett, is also standing down. I forget how many times over the last year I have urged our younger members to come forward and serve our club, but so far, this has been of no avail. We are fortunate, however, that we have two willing volunteers to take over key aspects of our club. Nick Markham-David has joined the Committee to take over as Match Secretary, whilst my wife Di Hendry (once a professional book-keeper) has agreed to take over as our Treasurer for a short time. Whilst thanking them both enormously for their willingness to put some of their energies into securing the future of our club, I will observe (in the most respectful way!) that when they join the Committee, our average age will increase! I will continue to urge our younger members to come forward to serve our club in the future.

Your Committee is always working hard to find new blood and energy to run the GB Vets. So please volunteer if you are able to help in any way, perhaps by arranging matches, tours or, indeed, in any way you are willing to contribute to the further development of our Club.

I do believe that, despite the challenging times that squash is going through, our Club is in good heart.

Thanks for all your continued support.

Tom Hendry