This time last year as you were all gathered here for our AGM I was following a map and compass around the Transkei with my Team mates. A couple of days later when I got to the finish in a very bad physical state one of the first sms on my phone was from Phil congratulating me on being voted Chairman of the Club. I don’t even think I managed a “thanks” as a reply. I then had a bit of down time to think about and reflect on my past here at the club and how the club has evolved.
I arrived in Plett in 1993 and joined the Friday touch rugby school and by October I had been roped in by Allan Askew to do an SPA. That done I made the error of going to the AGM for free beer and got voted onto the committee as Rubber duck officer. The Club has evolved since then from
a) A small bunch of Nippers being chased around by Bill Schinder (deputy head of Plett Primary) on a Friday afternoon, and a very thirsty bunch of touch rugby players who ran an honesty bar which somehow never made a profit. That said there was however a very solid group of Professional Life Guards who lived the life of Kings here in a dormitory downstairs below the tower . My guess is that there were a total of 50 members in the club .The club survived financially from running the Pro Lifeguard outfit and a very generous annual grant from Gordon Foundation.
b) 22 years later we are gathered here in a club house that rivals any Life Saving Club in the world in situation. Friday afternoons sees this beach filled by Micro Nippers (Nic and Chas were the first in the country to do this), Nippers and parents . The professional LifeGuard outfit run by Chas has developed over the last few years to the extent that he now is able to choose his squads from only locals (almost all of whom he has firstly taught to swim and then trained as Life guards.) With the help of Adopt a swimmer, Born in Africa ,Chas ,Nipper Coaches and a pile of others we have had development programme that in one season has not only produced Gold medals (which is amazing) but 12 Nippers who are part of our club who 7 months ago could barely swim- This deserves a huge round of applause to all concerned.
This evolution of the club would not have been possible with out the input of a whole host of people over the years . They have all been volunteers and each of them has contributed to building the club to where it is today. Part of this evolution has been the formation of a structure that was put in place after a lot of “workshopping” by Daron Smit a couple of years ago. It was felt at the time that the Club Committee needed to be structured in such a way to help with the running of what has become a multifacted organisation.
I would like to use my time here this evening just to briefly outline how we have worked this year as a committee and what they have all been up to and what you can expect from them
Mike Polson- V Chair- Mike has the sponsorship and fund raising portfolio. He is vital to make sure that all our sponsors are getting what we have promised. He also coordinates all the fund raising and the numbers on this speak for themselves. He is also my bouncing board when we encounter the odd tricky situation or decisions that need to be made.
Gehard- is our administrator – He handles all the bills etc. The financials show that this is all in order. He is also on the South Cape Life Saving Committee as their Nipper Officer and has made numerous trips to Mossel bay to attend meetings there and has so he is our eyes and ears in that corner as well. He has done very well to extract funds from them for our development programme.
Chris – our Nipper officer This at times this is most probably the most pressured job on the committee but that said it can be very rewarding. Chris juggles a lot of balls with the huge mix of parents, kids and coaches that he has to deal as well as the administration of the Nippers. Juggling that many balls is not easy but I think that he has had great support from , parents and coaches. With just under 60 kids going to Nationals these results speak for themselves.
Ettiene- has taken on the role of looking after all the craft and equipment- We have purchased new craft this year but have also had loads repaired and having someone monitoring this has made a huge difference. He is also not a bad carpenter to have around.
Neal – Club Captain- With the absence of any senior completive Life Guards Neal has been involved with the discussions on craft purchases and design and trying to keep our voluntary duties on track. He also provides a good link to the goings on at the NSRI .
Shameera who came on board last year. This special lady knows no limits in helpfulness and efficiency. She came in and handled the pile of admin that goes with running a club of this size . She has grasped what the club is all about and no mountain is to high for her . Luckily for us she has a daughter who is only a micro Nipper at this stage so if we treat her right we will have her around for a long time.
These are the people who have made your club work for the last year and I would like to thank all of them for their support and all the work that they have put in . Serving on a committee of volunteers is never easy and has its challenges but these guys have all pulled their weight and I think they all deserve a round of applause.
A little bit of house keeping and then I am done.
a)We as a committee really need to hear from you the members as to what you feel about various issues of the club. We have meeting every month on the second Wednesday and I guess will continue to do so. So if for eg there is an issue , get hold of someone on the committee depending on what it is and we can put it on the agenda and sort it out as best we can.
b) Shameera – has got a a massive weakness she cant turn any one down and is taking calls and queries almost 24 / 7. She has gone above and beyond this last year and has been put in some difficult situations so with this in mind we would ask you the following
1) We are going to get her a Club phone which will be available between 8 and 12 weekdays. She is normally here on Friday afternoons and checks her emails regularly.
2) Shameera is not a member of the committee and is not really in a position to take any instructions from members or coaches in general. She will in the future be referring you to the committee member who can make the right call on your request eg Nippers can contact the head coach or Nipper Officer and a call can be made and Shammera can then be asked to communicate this or act on the request.
As posted earlier this whole committee has agreed to stand again for 2015/2016 , i feel that this is a good thing as it provides continuity and allows people to grow into their positions and responsibilities. We have all paid some school fees this year and this committee has grown in what it has taken on in terms of the running of this club with its diverse wants,needs and resources. I for one certainly had no idea how much time and effort is required but that said I am always up for a challenge and this has been a new one.