“We have a League to be proud of.” They were the words of Chairman Peter White in his closing comments at the Clacton and District League’s 2017 Annual General Meeting held on 6th June at Clacton’s Brotherhood Hall.

Peter said the 2016/17 season had been a very successful one. There had been good competition in the League, the Cup Final had been top-quality, the Closed Championships had attracted a record number of entries whilst the Management Committee had worked well together as a team.

Several new players had joined the League, and Peter thanked Coaching Officer Felipe Rodriguez and Development Officer Ferdy Rodriguez for their efforts in running the weekly Monday night Junior coaching sessions and the annual ‘Come and Try’ event.

Peter also thanked Gavin Price who continued to administer the TT365 results service and which continued to be popular with players.

In her Secretary’s Report, Lyn White said the player registration system had produced minimal problems this  year. The Handbook, produced by a new printer, had been slightly more expensive but had been a good quality product.

She said there was a proposal to increase the individual registration fee to £14 next season but this would not be decided until Table Tennis England’s AGM in July.

Treasurer Mike Hillier reported on a satisfactory financial year which had ended with the League achieving a small surplus of income over expenditure. He also thanked Paul Newbould for his continued sponsorship of the Closed Championships. As a result of the stable financial position, he was recommending no increase in the affiliation fee of £35 per team for the coming season.

Mike informed the meeting he would be standing down as Treasurer after the forthcoming season. The Chairman said Mike, who’d taken on the job in 2003, having also been Treasurer for five years during the 1990s, would be a hard act to follow. It was important that a suitable person should be found to take on the important role of Treasurer for the 2018/19 season.

Giving his report as the League’s Press and Records Secretary, Tony Oswick said that, despite one team dropping out in the first month, it had been a good year, with 37 teams and over 150 regular players competing. However, he urged all players to support the Management Committee in their efforts to maintain numbers.

The Cup competition had run smoothly, ending with an excellent final between the League’s top two teams, Windsor Condors beating Nomads Panthers 5-3.

Tony thanked Roger Hance for supplying excellent photographs to supplement his weekly press and website reports. He also acknowledged the great support given to the League by ‘Gazette’ Sports Editor, Matt Plummer.

In the absence of a Tournament Officer, Peter White reported that the Closed Championships and Handicap Singles Tournament continued to be popular. The Closed, in particular, had proved a most successful and enjoyable weekend. Unfortunately, the Junior Combination had not run through lack of entries.

He appealed once again for someone to step forward to take on the role of Tournament Officer. It was not an onerous task as the job was mainly a liaison role, with most of the scheduling of matches and Tournament organisation done by the Sub-Committee.

Coaching Officer Felipe Rodriguez said the coaching sessions had continued on Monday evenings at the Coastal Academy. Two juniors had joined the League last season. He reported that the first session had dropped in numbers but that the Management Committee was looking at ways to increase numbers next season.

In his Development Officer report, Ferdy Rodriguez stated that last year’s ‘Come and Try’ sessions had produced seven new players. The Quiz had raised over £200, successful not only in raising funds but allowing players to meet in a social setting. An Open Day had been a worthwhile experiment but had not produced any new players.

Felipe Rodriguez (Mens), Ferdy Rodriguez (Juniors), Colin Webber (Veterans) and Gavin Price (Super-Veterans) each gave reports on their Clacton teams in the Essex Inter-League.

Although the Essex County Table Tennis Association will no longer be running Inter-League senior events next season, the meeting agreed to continue to run one Junior Inter-League team. The Management Committee will look into the possibility of arranging friendly matches for Mens, Veterans and Super-Veterans teams with other Leagues.

League trophies for the 2016/17 season were presented by League President Sheila Howe – Division One winners Nomads Panthers, runners-up Windsor Condors; Division Two winners Brotherhood H, runners-up Brotherhood D; Division Three winners Walton D, runners-up Nomads Wildcats.

Arthur Clarke from Essex County Table Tennis Association also presented special trophies to Gracie Edwards and Sam Hume who had both represented Essex Juniors during the season. He paid tribute to both players who were a credit to the League.

The meeting was also Sheila Howe’s last as League President. Sheila said that, in her 60-year association with the League, she’d seen many changes. It had been a privilege to serve as President for the last 16 years. She said was proud of the League’s high standards and considered our League to be the best in Essex. She paid particular tribute to Peter White who had taken over from long-time Chairman Brian Rowlen at a difficult time. Sheila finished by wishing the League success in the coming years.

The new President is former League Secretary and current  Vice-President Shirley Rowlen who presented Sheila with a bouquet as a small token of the League’s appreciation.

Officers elected for the 2017/18 season were: President, Shirley Rowlen; Chairman, Peter White; Vice-Chairman, Graham Parkes; Secretary, Lyn White; Treasurer, Mike Hillier; Press and Records Secretary, Tony Oswick; Tournament Officer, vacant; Development Officer, Ferdy Rodriguez; Coaching Officer, Felipe Rodriguez; Minutes Secretary, Kayley Rodriguez; Committee members, Debra Found, Doug Green, Jenny Higgins, Tony Hooper, Gavin Price; co-opted members, Isabel Barton, Mark Gale, Jason Lloyd; Independent Financial Examiner, Ray Chillingworth.

* The League’s ‘Come and Try’ sessions continue on Friday 16th June at the Brotherhood Hall from 7.30 pm. Anyone who would like to take up competitive table tennis can attend. For more details contact Ferdy Rodriguez on 01255 830951.