Chairman Peter White reflected on another successful season at the Clacton and District League's Annual General Meeting held on 7th June at the Brotherhood Hall.
The League programme had run smoothly with good competition in all three Divisions. He thanked Coaching Officer Felipe Rodriguez and Development Officer Ferdy Rodriguez who had been responsible for introducing a number of new players into the League. The enthusiasm of these new players had been both refreshing and infectious.
Peter also gave a special vote of thanks to Gavin Price. After last year's AGM, Gavin had volunteered to set up the TT365 computerised system for recording results. Not only had he done this with great efficiency but he'd also agreed to continue logging the weekly results. The TT365 system had been universally welcomed by players and the League was extremely grateful to Gavin for all his hard work.
Giving her Secretary's Report, Lyn White said that only a handful of players had failed to register with Table Tennis England on time which had eased her work-load. There was a proposal to increase the individual registration fee to £12 next season but this would not be decided until the Table Tennis England AGM.
Treasurer Mike Hillier reported on a satisfactory financial year which had ended with the League achieving a healthy surplus of £500 income over expenditure. Therefore, he was recommending no increase in the affiliation fee of £35 per team for the coming season.
Tony Oswick, the League's Press and Records Secretary, congratulated Team Secretaries for ensuring all matches had been played. However, he added a word of caution since the number of teams in the League, 35 last season, was the lowest for nine years. He urged every player to support the Management Committee in their efforts to maintain numbers. The Cup competition had run smoothly, ending with the closest final for many years, Windsor Eagles edging it 5-4 against Nomads Lions.
Tony concluded by saying coverage in the 'Clacton Gazette' continued to be excellent with reports, results and tables usually included in full. He acknowledged the great support given by Sports Editor, Matt Plummer.
In his Tournament Officer’s report, David Wilkin said all three Tournaments - the Handicap Singles, the Junior Combination and the Closed Championships - had been successful events. In particular, he thanked Tony Hooper, Peter White, Lyn White and members of the Tournament Committee for their help with the Closed Championships.
David also expressed the League’s continued gratitude to Paul Newbould for his overall sponsorship of the Closed, and to Angela Barratt, Martin Edwards and Phil Smith for their sponsorship of individual events.
Because of work commitments, David said he would be standing down from his post as Tournament Officer. Peter White thanked David for all his hard work over the past four years, work he'd always done in a resourceful and friendly manner.
Coaching Officer Felipe Rodriguez reported that the coaching sessions had continued on Monday evenings at the Coastal Academy. Five juniors had joined the League last season and he hoped at least two new juniors would be joining this season. He said the coaching could not run without the assistance of many helpers, including Woody Fitzpatrick, Iris Howlett, Dan Wright, John Hatley, Viv and Ferdy Rodriguez.
Development Officer Ferdy Rodriguez said that last year's Come and Try session had produced a number of keen new players and he was pleased with their progress in the League. Ferdy also said that the Quiz held in March had been well-supported, successful not only in raising funds but allowing players to meet in a social setting.
The Bob Phillips award for services to the League went to Ferdy Rodriguez. In making the award, Peter White said that Ferdy had become an invaluable member of the League since joining in 1999. He became a Management Committee member in 2002 and, since 2005, had been the League's Development Officer.
As well as organising the annual Come and Try sessions, Ferdy is a regular helper at the Monday-night coaching and, as Junior Match Secretary for most of the last fifteen years, has arranged Inter-League matches, and transported youngsters to and from ranking trials and matches
In addition, Ferdy is a willing helped at Tournaments, and a stalwart member of the Windsor club, often first at the Hall to open up and the last to leave. If there's a job that needs doing, Ferdy is always there to help. Peter concluded by saying Ferdy epitomised what the Bob Phillips trophy is all about - not a star player but the grafter behind the scenes.
The Brian Hogg Trophy, awarded annually to a junior player of whom the Clacton League is proud to have among its members, was made to 14-year old Gracie Edwards.
In presenting the award, Peter White said that, in just four years in the League, Gracie had progressed from a rookie player in Division Three to a good standard Division One player. Last year she'd tasted success as part of the Brotherhood B cup-winning side and, for the last two years, she'd been Ladies Singles champion, one of the youngest - if not the youngest - player ever to do so.
Gracie had also represented Clacton and Essex Juniors, and had shown great success in National tournaments. Currently she is ranked number one under-15 girl player in Essex and number three in the under-18 rankings.
League trophies for the 2015/16 season were presented at the end of the meeting.
The Division One shield was a new trophy this year, donated by Vice-President Shirley Rowlen in memory of her husband, Brian, a life-long servant of the League and League Chairman for thirty years from 1984 to 2014.
The first recipients of the Brian Rowlen Shield was the Nomads Panthers' team of James Denyer, John Hatley, Sam Hume, Gill Locke and Colin Webber who retained their Division One title to make it four titles in a row.
League President Sheila Howe presented the remaining trophies to Division One runners-up Windsor Eagles, Division Two winners and runners-up Windsor Owls and Lawford, and Division Three winners and runners-up Walton D and Nomads Pumas.
Officers elected for the 2016/17 season were: President, Sheila Howe; Chairman, Peter White; Vice-Chairman, Graham Parkes; Secretary, Lyn White; Treasurer, Mike Hillier; Press and Records Secretary, Tony Oswick; Tournament Officer, vacant; Development Officer, Ferdy Rodriguez; Coaching Officer, Felipe Rodriguez; Minutes Secretary, Debra Found; Committee members, Doug Green, Jenny Higgins, Tony Hooper, Kayley Lamb, Gavin Price, Dan Wright; Independent Examiner, Ray Chillingworth.
It was agreed the League will continue to run four teams in the Essex Inter-League - Mens (Secretary Felipe Rodriguez), Veterans (Colin Webber), Juniors (Ferdy Rodriguez) and Super-Veterans (Gavin Price).
* The League's ‘Come and Try’ sessions continue on Thursday 16th June at Clacton's Brotherhood Hall from 7.30 pm. Anyone who would like to take up competitive table tennis can attend. For more information, ring the League's Development Officer Ferdy Rodriguez on 01255 830951.