Come and Try Curling on Sunday 21st March

Hello curling fans!!!

We will be holding a “Come and Try” session on Sunday 21st March between 5.45pm and 10pm.  The sessions at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm are now fully booked but there is still space at 9pm.  The session will take place at,

Fenton’s Rink (England’s only curling rink)
Dundale Farm
Dundale Road
Royal Tunbridge Wells
Kent
TN3 9AQ

The cost will be £5 per person for a 1-hour session with coaching (brooms and shoes included).  Snacks will be available.

The session will be ideal for complete beginners and those that have played once before and are keen to return.

Please drop me an email if you plan to come (southofenglandcurlingclub@googlemail.com); tell me how many people you are likely to bring along and what time you will be aiming to arrive.

Places are limited so please let me know ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Look forward to seeing you on the ice,

Adam.

Corporate Cup and other exciting events

Hi all,

Hope you’re enjoying the start of the curling season.  If you’ve already rejoined the club then it’s great to have you back.  However, if you’re still undecided then here are some club events that we’ve planned and we hope you’ll be interested in taking part in.

The Corporate Cup

On Saturday 28th November we will be holding The Corporate Cup, a competition that gives you a chance to introduce your workmates to the wonderful world of curling.  Please, take a look at the attached flyer and get in touch with James Gibb with your teams.

The ECA Weekend

On the weekend of 14th-15th November the English Curling Association will be holding a weekend of coaching activities.  These are aimed at curlers who are at an intermediate level and are looking to improve their game with some expert advice.  It should be an exciting event and John Brown will be in contact very soon to give you some more details.

Special Coaching Clinic

On Sunday 6th December we will be hosting a special curling clinic with a world class coach aimed at the more experienced curlers.  Ian Baxter is finalising the details and we’ll let you know more soon.

Club Bonspiel

On the weekend of 30th-31st January the club will be putting on a bonspiel.  We’ll be letting you know much more about it nearer the time.

That’s all for now.  Hope there’s something there that interests you.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

Adam.

Changes for next season

Dear SECC members,

We’ve had a couple of emails expressing a degree of confusion about the league arrangements for next season so we thought we should send an explanation of the changes in questions and answer form.

Who sent the application form I received earlier this week?

This was sent by Lizzie but on behalf of the rink rather than on behalf of the SECC.

Do I have to become a Rink Member?

If you want to play in competitions at Fenton’s Rink and pay the reduced ice fee, which will remain at £12 a game, then you must become a Rink Member. In previous seasons your membership to the SECC included Rink membership and this was paid on your behalf. However, from next season you will pay your Rink membership directly to the Rink. This is what the application form sent by the Rink is for and we urge you to complete and return it to the Rink by 31st May if you want to play there next season.

Who will be running the leagues and social games next season?

Whereas in previous seasons the SECC organised all league and non-league games on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and also the monthly league and several mini-bonspiels on Saturdays, from next season the equivalent games calendar will be directly organised by Fenton’s Rink so these will be Rink competitions rather than Club competitions. In practical terms this means not a lot will change except that you will be paying the Rink your ice fees and not the Club and the Rink, not the Club, will be responsible to putting the teams together, scheduling games, setting the rules, etc.

Do I need to join the SECC next season?

We hope that you will continue to support us by joining the SECC but the new format does mean that you do not have to. We have some exciting ideas as to what the club can do to promote and encourage Curling. If you have any suggestions about what you would like the SECC to offer you, then please email us. In the meantime, we urge you to indicate you might be interested in joining the SECC on you Rink Membership Application; this is non-binding.

For those wishing to participate in any national competitions run by the English Curling Association or to have a vote at their meeting then you will need to join an ECA-affiliated club such as the SECC.

How much will it cost to become a member of the SECC?

We have not had a chance to set our subscription rates for next season but they will of course be lower than last year because we will no longer be collecting the Rink Membership fee.

Can I join the SECC without joining the Rink?

If you don’t wish to play at Fenton’s Rink but would still like to join the SECC, for example to play in the ECA Nationals, then you are welcome to do that and you should send an email to our Secretary Susan Young (southofenglandcurlingclub@googlemail.com).

Will junior curlers still get to play for £7 a game?

This special subsidy for juniors was funded by the SECC in previous seasons because we paid the rink the same price for a sheet of ice regardless of who was playing on it. However, as the Rink will be collecting ice fees directly, it is now entirely up to them what they wish to charge juniors. The Rink are definitely offering a membership fee of just £2 to juniors though.

We hope these answers help to clarify the situation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions about the club and please enjoy your summer,


The SECC Committee

Letter From The President – March 2009

Letter From The President – March 2009

Dear Curler,
As we move towards April, we prepare to shed April showers of tears as the season comes to an end…
Unfortunately my work commitments at the rink mean I am unable to attend the AGM, so this is my President’s report.

As you know I decided when I took over as President that it would be a good idea to communicate more regularly than once a year, and thanks very much for all the people who have told me that they have enjoyed my missives.
Some people have told me that they haven’t enjoyed them, which is also fair enough!

I had two main objectives for the year when I took over.
The first was that since the previous committee had all stepped down with the exception of Jules and myself, it was important to get the leagues running and administered.
That’s the prime reason for the club existing, and the feedback I have received has been that things have worked well – Lizzie in particular has done a superb job as Games Secretary with no prior experience at all, and Jo has used her bean counting knowledge to keep the treasurer side of things under control.

My second objective was to get 50 new players on board. I have long insisted the ECA should set this kind of target, and was a touch disappointed that when our target was read out at their AGM, it was met with sniggers.
However, I can report that we have had the best part of 40 new players taking part. Not all of them have become members, but it’s a great figure in my book, showing what can be done by setting a target and working towards it.

The Open League in particular saw a lot of new faces from earlier in the season who wanted to join the league structure, and to have club players come up to me and ask who various people were is something to be welcomed as it indicates growth.

The rink supported the club by allowing us to display our leaflets and posters, on which Adam had done a great job. He also arranged the range of club clothing which has proved very popular, so well done to Adam for that.
The rink also supported the club by increasing the discount on ice fees, despite a huge rise in electricity costs which meant a rise in the rate for private bookings.

The club had success for members at national level, with 8 regular players winning in the Ladies, Mens and Mixed events.
We also had club players play for England in the Mens and Womens Europeans, the European Mixed Doubles, and we also provided the first ever England girls junior team.

All in all I think it has been a good season, with members enjoying some good curling – that’s what the club is about and I would like to thank the committee for their work and their support of me as I took on the President role with somewhat of a bull in a china shop approach.

This is my last President’s letter – not just of the season, but as President.
Many of you know I have expressed many views on how I think the sport could be moved forward, and my views about how the ECA should operate as national governing body are so at odds with what actually happens, that I no longer feel it appropriate for me to President of an ECA member club.

As a consequence I am stepping down as President, effective at the end of the AGM.
Having told the committee of my decision, Jo Ostermeyer has been serving as Vice President, and is nominated to take over as President at the end of the AGM.
I join the other members of the committee in giving Jo my full support, as I’m sure you all do too.

I hope you have a good summer, thanks again for your kind words. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me or any member of the committee. My personal email is gordon@gordonbryan.com

I’ll sign off by wishing you health, happiness and good curling!

Gordon Bryan
SECC President 2008/9

Club AGM on Saturday 4th April

Dear fellow curlers,

As the season draws to a close there is one final event that I hope you are all aware of and that’s the club’s Annual General Meeting.

The AGM will be taking place at 4pm on Saturday 4th April and it’s very important that you try to come along if you are interested in how the club will be run next season. Is the best opportunity to have your say about what you like and what you feel needs improving at the club.

Will there be a chance to curl?

Yes. We have 1 sheet booked at 2pm. Depending on numbers we will either run a social game or run a fun mini-points competition.

Who can attend the AGM?

Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting. However, you need to have joined the club in order to have a vote (if you are unsure whether you are a club member then please contact us and we can sort this out).

The committee elections

Just to remind you, we are looking for members with a keen interest in how the club is run to step forward and join the committee for next season. In particular, we are looking for enthusiastic members to fill the following positions on the committee that will become vacant at the end of this season:

1. Vice-President
2. Secretary
3. Marketing Officer
4. Committee member without portfolio

Please reply if you are interested in helping your club in this way. Even if you can’t make the AGM you can still volunteer. We can’t stress enough how important it is for members to volunteer for the committee because without the committee there would be no club. The full committee has 9 people on it so the amount of effort is pretty low once it is divided amongst all these people.

Other business for the AGM?

If you have issues that you would like to be discussed at the meeting that are not in the agenda then it’s best if you send these before Saturday so that we can schedule these in.

Prize-givings

The AGM will give use a chance to hand over the trophies to the winners of this season’s club competitions. Please come a celebrate these achievements.

Many thanks and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday, if not, have a great summer,

Adam on behalf of the
SECC Committee

Letter From The President 12th Feb 2009

Letter From The President 12th Feb 2009

As we eat into February it has been a busy season as ever for the club and its’ members.

Club member Tom Jaeggi played in the England Men’s team skipped by Andrew Reed, while Suzie Law was part of the Kirsty Balfour 5 that retained their position in the A Division in Europe, narrowly missing out on a spot in the World Championships.
The team also played in the Glynhill International in Scotland and made people sit up and take notice, giving Canadian Jennifer Jones’s current World Champs a good game.

Straight after New Year Anna Fowler skipped her team of Sophie Hickling, Kate MacKenzie, Naomi Robinson and Hettie Garnier as the first ever England Junior Women’s Team.
This was in Denmark for the European Challenge, and they won their first game against Slovakia.
It was a great learning experience for them, and they have already set up a squad training programme with their coach Ian Baxter.

In the recent English Nationals at Greenacres there were plenty of SECC members playing – and winning!
Suzie Law played in Team Balfour to take the women’s title, while Jamie Malton skipped his team of Michael Opel, Henry Carter and Keith Wilson to take the men’s.

The Mixed League has finished with the win going to John Brown’s team.
Speaking of John Brown, his Jubilee Novice trophy is the next club minispiel.
He started this to celebrate his 25 years back in English Curling. As someone who started playing 3 years ago, it’s my last chance to skip a team in this and I’d love to win it as a nod to John’s work.
To skip you must have played 3 years or less, and each team must contain 2 players of 3 years or less.
The other players can be more experienced but they must play front end, so they don’t skip by ‘proxy’!

This takes place on Mar 7th so let Lizzie know if you’d like to take part.

The rink’s Sunday Social takes place on Feb 22nd. A tournament from 10-4 of the friendly variety, with lunch thrown in for £20 it’s a great way for club members to meet the other regular rink players and vice versa, so let me know if you are interested in that – again novices more than welcome to enter individually.

Talking of novices, it is great to note that we are now around the 30 mark for new players in club matches, and the Open league has shown many of them to people for the first time.
I will say that I have had a couple of novices come up to me and say their enjoyment is being lessened by people watching them like a hawk and criticising their bad shots.
Giving advice is great, it’s how I learnt a bucket load, but let’s be careful to nurture the brand new players, and not scare them off!
It’s a bit like hooting your horn at a learner driver – we were all learners once, so hands off your hooters.

Congratulations to Adam Bermange and Anna Terry who tied the knot on Feb 8th – Adam is already saying his new ring is playing havoc with his delivery (that’s his story anyway).

I think that’s about it – no doubt I will think of something else as soon as I hit send, but for now as ever I wish you,

Health, Happiness and Good Curling,

Gordon

Committee Update Dec 09

As we lurch towards 2009, I hope you have all enjoyed the season so far.

We’ve had a minispiel won by Sam Fowler, a points competition won by Ivan Zadorozny, and Jamie Malton skipped to the English Masters title.
Gary Tapp won the 1st Santa Claus Bonspiel, media coverage of which went around the world.
Congratulations to club regular Suzie Law, who was in the England Ladies fivesome that kept their status on the European A League, taking the notable scalp of Germany in the process!
Unlucky to Karen Strang who lost in the final of the Scottish Mixed Doubles.
Also to Tom Jaeggi and John Brown who had a testing time along with Andrew Reed’s England men.
Good luck to Anna Fowler’s squad of Naomi Robinson, Hetty Garnier, Kate McKenzie and Sophie Hickling as they become the first England junior girls team, playing in Denmark in the New Year.

We’ve seen lots of new people playing at club events this season, and hopefully that will continue into the 2nd half. With our target of 50 new players, we must be around the 20 plus mark, (much check with Lizzie!).

Speaking of new players, January 18th is a Come & Try day at the rink. This is a joint affair, with the rink providing the ice, and hopefully the club providing people to be there on the day to welcome new players, explain what we offer etc, and generally show the club’s face. Let me know if you’d like to help out.

I think the committee has done a good job with the season so far, from all the work done over the summer, to the maintenance efforts of games sessions.

Lizzie is doing a great first season job as Games Sec, and the clothing that Adam had done is seen regularly at the rink.

Jo has kept a firm rein as treasurer, but is not well at the moment, so I’m sure you’ll join me in sending her all good wishes.
Jo will probably not play for the rest of the season, and the treasurer duties will be taken up by others.

On that note, we are still having people turn up to play, and then saying they have no money to pay.
There is a simple solution to this, please bring money with you! It is not fair on the people that have to chase up for money and keep records, etc.
Particularly with the treasurer job being taken up by others, show consideration to what the committee members do on a voluntary basis, and turn up ready to pay if you play!

The Open League for the 2nd half of the season is bursting with new players, and should be great fun, hopefully the new players will continue to receive the warm welcome that they have done so far, great to see as always.

As for January, Sat 31st sees our 2nd points comp of the season, put your name down with Lizzie, and Sun 25th is the Local League at the rink. More and more club players are choosing to play in this event, a tournament from 10 til 4 with a buffet lunch, for £20. Relative beginners get a great taste of competitive curling at the Sunday Tournaments, so let the rink know if you’d like to play on Jan 25th.

I think that’s it for now, so I’ll wish you a Happy New Year to you and yours, and good curling in 2009!
See you on the ice!

‘Til Next Time,

Gordon

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