Dear All,

This has been my seventh and final year as Chairman, as I will be stepping down from the role to help out with other areas of the club management and delighted to announce our new Chairman is Helen Crick.

The full list of members unanimously elected to the Board are:

President Ian Potter
Chairman Helen Crick
Vice Chairman Alan Davies
Secretary Graham Birch
Elected Director James Brayshaw
Elected Director Mike Crawshaw
Elected Director Tony Gaskell

Francis Boundy is also stepping down this year from the official Treasurer role and is succeeded by Tom Codd with assistance from Chris Simon. Francis has been heavily involved with the club initially as an age group coach within his son’s year but over the last 11 years as Treasurer - despite coming from an engineering background - with a brief role as chairman. Francis’ knowledge on how the club works and sometimes how it doesn’t has been a massive help to the club and also to me, personally, in my role as chairman. Without Francis’ help I would have struggled considerably more than I do, and I am extremely grateful for his assistance.

Not everyone in our club is aware, or fully appreciates - we are extremely fortunate to have a dedicated, hardworking and conscientious General Management Committee supported by some key volunteers. Between them they have put in an incredible amount of time and effort over the last year and previous years to keep this club going. At the same time as trying to improve on what we can offer within very tight financial constraints and often conflicting priorities.

Considering some of our team have full time jobs is testimony to their commitment to the club. The club and I are extremely grateful for all their hard work.

As I hand over the reins of the club, I believe we are in a much stronger position than we were 7 years ago with a vastly increased number of volunteers taking on specific roles and sharing the huge workload to keep this club running. Apart from our normal GMC team and key volunteer roles we have the 5 Amigos running the rugby side of the club where previously this was one person, Francis has been greatly assisted by Tom Codd and Chris Simon. Tony’s Youth team has Helen Crick and Marie Mylchreest on board representing junior and mini sections along with all the age group managers and head coaches, a new club safeguarding officer in Tara Deakes, GMS Guru Nigel Harrison and a new Social Committee of 8 members managed by the extremely effective Adam Bailes.

One of our biggest success’ this year, off the pitch, has been in our communication structure. The GMC have long been aware this was an area needing considerable work and fortunately McLaren Madamombe stepped up to the role and has absolutely smashed it. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram we are everywhere, as well as positive comments received from all areas of the club. Thanks McLaren.

At last week’s AGM two VPs were proposed and unanimously agreed:

Dan Fearnley who has been involved with the club for many years as an age group manager and coach in his son’s year, as well as one of our team of club referees assisting on Sunday mornings at all junior age groups and Colts. Dan is also a member of Berks Society of Referees where he has gained considerable experience refereeing around the County which he brings back to the club and assists our developing referees.

Helen Crick who has been involved with three separate age groups across the club carrying out various roles, with her three boys and now apparently her daughter who is joining our girls U13 side. Helen has also served on the House Sub Committee as well as the club GMC where her contributions have proved extremely beneficial to the club and helpful to me in my role as chairman. She has also tactfully managed the Colts coaching team for the last two years with great success.

We also proposed two Life Members who were unanimously agreed, John Laing. John is an ex player for WRFC who, many years ago, got involved in the setting up of the youth section at Windsor which I can understand would have been a considerable exercise back in the day. John was our first Youth Chairman, a role he carried out for a number of years, he has also been a club referee again helping the junior section on a Sunday morning with his expertise as well as our seniors on a Saturday. John is currently and has been for a number of years our club fixture secretary which involves a considerable amount of work during the season and in the off season. John also looks after our visiting referees on a Saturday and from my conversations with Berks referees all appreciate Johns efforts at making them welcome. Lastly John has also been a great help behind the bar where he is one of the first to volunteer to help when we are busy on a Saturday, always with a cheery smile.

Ian Potter. Our second proposed life member is Ian Potter. Ian joined the club over twenty years ago after realising the error of his ways, having followed football for a number of years. Although his knowledge of rugby comes from watching rather than playing, he is never reticent in letting players and members know where they are going wrong, both on and off the pitch. On joining the club Ian took on the clubhouse manager role for a number of years organising and managing a considerable number of events and social occasions as well as running the bar. Ian then found his place on the GMC firstly as Secretary for 2 years then as Chairman for 5 years then latterly as President for the last 7 years as well as running the Club General Purpose Committee at the same time.

For several years Ian has been responsible for the management and liaison with the RFU of the club’s allocation of International Tickets, looking after members interests and those that form part of the clubs very important sponsorship agreements. He has also been responsible for negotiating and managing the majority of the club’s sponsorship arrangements over the past 12 years, bringing much needed funding into the club. These included sponsorship deals with Savills, Grundons, Horlers, BMW Sytners, Mitsui, Bournes and many more.

Ian was also responsible for securing a £48,000 Grant for the club from Sport England in 2011 which paid for the replacement sliding glass doors, the patio, patio canopy and air conditioning units. He has also negotiated and successfully secured several other Grants and loans on behalf of the club for amongst other things, kitchen improvements, toilet refurbs, replacement rugby posts and many more. He was also responsible for pulling together and overseeing the club’s successful application to become the first rugby club in England to achieve the RFU’s “Whole Club Seal of Approval” in 2009.

Additional to the formal roles he has been involved with, Ian has taken on responsibility for the League Lunches which now attract 80 to 90 guests regularly on a Saturday bringing in much needed revenue and improving the club social structure. Ian has also taken on managing the cellar over the last few years which we are often complimented on the quality of our beer. Ian has also been largely responsible for managing and running the Nat West Weekends over the last 4 years with varying degrees of success, not thorough any lack of commitment on Ian’s part but due to sometimes a lack of support from members. Beyond these roles Ian will always step in if anything needs doing ie toilets fixed, repointing of patio, lights changing and general tidying up Ian will be there. He is also not hesitant in letting any of the GMC or members know if they are doing things wrong or if they have been done better in the past. This club is in a much better position now due directly to Ian’s contributions over the years of his involvement.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible over the coming season particularly with our new head coach along with a new coaching set up and a considerable number of players returning for pre-season training already. Looks promising for the season ahead and beyond.

Alan Davies- WINDSOR RFC Chairman

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