"A good season - but we must and can do better." That was the message from Chairman Peter White at the Clacton and District League's Annual General Meeting held at Clacton's Brotherhood Hall.


The 2018/19 season had seen good competition in the League, an excellent Cup Final and a Closed Championships which again had produced high-quality table tennis.


He thanked all members of the Management Committee for their hard work, together with the players who were always supportive.


But Peter urged everyone involved in the League to encourage more people to take part in our sport to ensure it continues to thrive in this part of North East Essex.


In her League Secretary's report, Lyn White said the national registration system had caused minimal problems this year.


She thanked Paul Newbould Building and Design Services for their most generous sponsorship of the League's Closed Championships for the past 26 years.


And although this was now coming to an end, she was pleased to announce that The Survey Initiative, courtesy of Gary Cattermole, was to be the new sponsor of the Championships from 2020.


In his first report as Treasurer, John Barton said that, despite a small loss, the League's finances remained in a healthy state. All of the accounts were now on-line, with more funds transferred to interest-paying accounts.


Giving his Press and Records Secretary report, Tony Oswick said the allocation of teams into the League's three Divisions had again proved problematical, mainly due to the lack of new players and new teams.


However, the League season had progressed well, as had the Knock-Out Cup competition and the Division Three Handicap Challenge.  


TT365 Administrator Gavin Price reported that the computerised results system continued to be popular. There was some doubt about the future of TT365 but more would be known after the Table Tennis England AGM at the end of the month.


In his Tournament Officer's report, Graham Parkes said the Handicap Singles Tournament had been run this year on a group basis which had proved popular with players.


The Closed Championships had again been a success, with eleven of the twelve trophies changing hands. He urged more players, in particular players from Division Three, to become involved in what was also a most sociable occasion,


Development Officer Ferdy Rodriguez said the 'Come and Try' sessions would be repeated this year, whilst the League would also be represented at July's Tendring Show.


He also thanked Isabel and John Barton for their hard work in running the after-school sessions at Clacton County High.


Martin Edwards, who has taken over responsibility for coaching, said the Monday night sessions continued but more juniors were needed. When the Coastal Academy Hall was not available for coaching, he hoped in future to use Brotherhood Hall.


He said particular thanks should go Felipe, Ferdy and Viv Rodriguez for keeping the Monday night coaching going over the past year.  


And he congratulated the League on having four England-ranked juniors - Liam Harris, Daniel Young, Gracie Edwards and Ollie Rampton.


During the open forum part of the meeting, there was discussion on promotion and relegation issues, as well as the possibility of changing to a four-Division format.


Chairman Peter White thanked players for their comments, which will be considered by next season's Management Committee.


The Bob Phillips Trophy for services to the League was made to Colin Dearman. In making the award, Peter White said that Colin had been involved as a player in the League for nearly fifty years.


He was a loyal supporter of the League and its events, and for the last eight years had taken responsibility for the Walton Club as Club Secretary.


Peter said Colin also held what must be a League record, having played 349 out of a possible 351 League matches between 1990 and 2009, including an 11-year period when he played in 218 consecutive League matches.


The Brian Hogg Trophy, presented to a junior of whom the League is proud, went to 14-year old Liam Harris.

Liam has shown outstanding improvement in his four years in the League, so much so that he won the Division Three Singles title at the Closed Championships in 2018 and the Division Two Singles in 2019.


As importantly, Liam has shown impeccable manners on and off the table as well as having an infectious enthusiasm for the sport. He is a player genuinely liked by everyone in the League.


Trophies for the 2018/19 season were presented by President Shirley Rowlen to Division One winners Nomads Panthers, runners-up Windsor Condors; Division Two winners Brotherhood I, runners-up Brotherhood H; Division Three winners Brotherhood E, runners-up Nomads Pumas.


Officers elected for the 2019/20 season were: President, Shirley Rowlen; Chairman, Peter White; Vice-Chairman, Graham Parkes; Secretary, Lyn White; Treasurer, John Barton; Press and Records Secretary, Tony Oswick; Tournament Officer, Graham Parkes; Development Officer, Ferdy Rodriguez; Coaching Officer, Martin Edwards; Minutes Secretary, Isabel Barton; TT365 Administrator, Gavin Price; Committee members, Doug Green, Jenny Higgins, Mark Gale, Jason Lloyd, Felipe Rodriguez, Gill Locke; Independent Financial Examiner, vacant.


* The League's ‘Come and Try’ sessions continue every Thursday in June at the Brotherhood Hall from 7.30 pm. Anyone, young or old, who would like to take up competitive table tennis can attend. For more details contact Ferdy or Viv Rodriguez on 01255 830951.


Author: via Clacton & District Table Tennis League
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