PresidentsBBQ PresidentsBBQ
In this issue: the end of one rowing year, the start of a new one, the building project enters a new phase, new junior chief coach and the new membership/racking fees.

* 98 wins (+10 composite wins) for the last year - see the club results;

* Naomi Riches wins World Championship gold in the LTA 4+ for the sixth time;

* The clubhouse is (mostly) cleared ready for building works;

* The President's Pre-Demolition BBQ;

* Asbestos Works and Archeology Investigations;

* Appointment of the builder - a commitment of a little over £1.5 million (ex VAT);

* The coaching team for the next year and appointment of a Junior Chief Coach;

* Membership and Racking Fees for 2013/14;

* The new HQ building and how to access it

* Fundraising progress

* Dates for your diary: The Club Supper 22nd November at the Compleat Angler

....a very busy August!



Clubouse Move
Clubouse Move Clubouse Move
Progress of Building Project: Following a long-listing and short-listing process, five tenders were received for the building work on 8th August. The two cheapest were essentially compliant and interviewed in conjunction with Sport England. After interviews they were asked to resubmit their tenders with further cost savings. Following that, Beard was selected as preferred bidder and their appointment was confirmed by the general committee on 2nd September. A letter of intent has been issued and we intend conclude contracts on a JCT standard form contract soon. Based on that we expect the builders to come onto site on Monday 30th September, with an intended completion date of 20th July 2014. The contract price is a little over £1.58M (ex VAT) meaning that the overall project budget (which includes off-site costs, professional fees, land purchase costs and so on) remains essentially on budget. Particular thanks to David Plaskitt for all his work on the tender process, as well as the Property Subcommittee generally.


Bays1 and 2 emp...
Bays1 and 2 empty for the first time in 30 years Bays1 and 2 empty for the first time in 30 years
The Asbestos removal lead to the closure of bays 1 and 2 for a while but they are now open and completely clear for the first time in 30 years.

Fundraising: The good news is that the funding team have raised around £200,000 of the £400,000 target they started with, and the bad news of course is that £200,000 still needs to be found to fully fund the project (although to be clear we are not committed to spend any money not yet raised). There have been a number of events recently: the President's Pre-Demolition BBQ was a great success both as a social occasion and a fundraiser with around £1,400 raised. 


MRC Tent at Coo...
MRC Tent at Cookham Dean MRC Tent at Cookham Dean
The BBQ team were also out at the Cookham Dean Gravity Grand Prix serving burgers and sausages, which raised a further £700. On Friday we had the Jazz on a Riverboat evening, which attracted a disappointing number of ticket sales. On Sunday two groups from MRC undertook the London to Windsor bike ride, so thanks to them.

We have a Corporate Breakfast event coming up on the 16th October, where local businesses are invited to a breakfast to hear from Sir Steve about the project. 

There will be a fundraising dinner later in the year (similar to the previous one) and separately the club supper will be on 22nd November at the Compleat Angler.



The new HQ and access: We have secured a substantial building as our off-site headquarters. Previously called Computer House it is on Station Approach and is a two storey former office block. On the ground floor we have gym, kitchen and boat repair space. Upstairs we have an ergo and floor mat space, meeting rooms and a social area. We have it until June next year (subject to a potential break clause). Photos are available for those who haven't visited yet. Access is via key for the moment (each coach has a key) but in the next couple of weeks we will have the electronic door locks set up so that any member who needs access can do so via key fobs. Please note that juniors must not use the a floor of the building unaccompanied by a coach or other authorised adult at any time.

Membership and Racking for the coming year: With the move of the membership year to be 1st Oct - 30th September the time for membership renewals has come around again. The committee looked at running direct debit or standing order monthly rates but for the time being it is not practical as we do not have enought volunteer administration resources to manage it. We will keep it under review.

On a similar note, the Junior Development Squad will be moved back to the same administration system as everyone else, with an annual membership of £180. If a JDS member moves up to the junior squads, their membership will be transferred to the junior category (B) without further charge for that year.

Generally membership rates have been increased by modest amounts broadly in line with inflation (and bearing in mind that they are still well behind where they would have been if we had applied inflation every year, and still do not cover the costs of running the club). Junior rates have been increased more substantially, in recognition of both the appointment of the junior chief coach and to more fairly reflect their useage of the club. See the membership page and renew now.

Racking fees for this year are all based on the old outdoor rate, as there is little or no covered racking this year for member's boats. Again, for simplicity, we are moving to a single racking fee from which we will pay the environment agency licence fee rather than adult/junior rates.

Finally, remember that the club does not want to exclude anyone on the basis of their ability to pay. If you are suffering financial hardship which might prevent you from rowing, we have discretion to rebate membership fees where that is the case. Please contact the secretary if that applies to you. Also, if you are a member who maintains a rowing membership even though you do not row, please consider moving to a supporter membership (previously called "social membership") and make a donation. The donation will be eligable for gift aid, which memberships are not.

schools_head_2013_01_20130309_1348514855 schools_head_2013_01_20130309_1348514855
Coaching Team and Chief Junior Coach: The junior section of the club represents nearly half the entire membership, and we have to turn away interested children every week. The results of the junior section are exemplary, and we need to make the junior part of the club more stable, consistent and, ideally, introduce more people to rowing. To this end, the committee decided to appoint a junior chief coach, as a paid consultant for around 15 hours a week. Bret King will take on the role in addition to his unpaid junior coaching role which will continue. Bret will be continuing and expanding on the work being done to go to local schools which do not have rowing clubs to involve them and looking at expanding the junior coaching group. Lack of junior coaches and coach support is a major limiting factor and Bret would be glad to hear from any coaches or parents wishing to support coaches.

In the other squads: Simon Napier-Munn continues to lead the JDS, now with help from Peter Damer. Russell Peacock continues with the junior boys, and Brett, supported by Colin Picton with the junior girls. For the senior squads Russell Haley will continue to oversee the womens squad and Paul Franklin with the men. Ray Swordy will continue with Bucks New University and the Development Squad.

August is traditionally a quiet time for rowing clubs - not this year. The coming year will be challening as we operate from multiple sites, and the financial challenges are still considerable, but progress has been huge and we are now moving to the demolition/building phase so change from here on should be more tangible.

Ed Phillips

Club Secretary