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

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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