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Highlights of AGM on 3rd December 2016

By Stockton Petanque Club Stockton Petanque Club

Thursday, 8 December 2016

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Highlights of 2016:

The main event in 2016 was the move from The Crown Inn to Stockton Football & Cricket Club following the resale of the pub.
We were able to continue playing for most of the summer on 'the hill' at the rear of The Crown Inn until the end of August when, following the award of a £4000 grant by Cemex (from the Rugby Group Benevolent Fund) we were able to commission the construction of an initial terrain at SFC/CC. The new 14m x 21m terrain was completed on 1st September, so we decided to run our September Melee at the facility to try it out, so it was well and truly launched with lots of wind and rain. We still have work to do to make it a comfortable, well equipped venue and this will take money so we are still involved in serious fund raising! The priorities are a permanent shelter, non-slip walkways, benches and floodlights.

Despite these setbacks, we maintained a strong membership and move forward with 24 EPA members and 1 junior.
A very encouraging sign is that we have two new members - Alan Potter and Geoff Jerrom-Pugh and have had a number of occasional players whom we hope will join up for 2017 - Iain Cunningham, Chris Cropp, Becky Rushton, 'B', Toby Leeman, John Bradshaw.

The 2015/16 Winter League was won by Bill Bentley on 91 points, well clear of three players vying for 2nd place: Dave Hancox with 84, Rich Rushton with 83 and Gaz Potter with 82. Rich Rushton won the Summer League with 84 points, just ahead of Bill Bentley on 81, both well ahead of the rest of the pack. Rich Rushton also won the Club Singles League with 20 wins, just one ahead of Gaz Potter on 19, with Dave Hancox third on 17. Gareth Potter was Club Pairs Champion, together with David Kimpton, as the best all-club pair in the Half Crown Open Pairs on 2nd October. Gareth Potter is also leading the Winter League, just ahead of Sarah Jerger and John Emberton.

On the playing side we lost both Summer League and Inter-Club titles to Les Nomades. There was some consolation in the Closed Triples with Jeff Rand and David Kimpton in the winning triple and Rich Powell with Pete and Teresa Bingham as the runners-up. Di Scott also took some glory with Gary Durant in the Closed Pairs, with Dave Hancox as runner up. Also, the Yeomen were runners-up in the Summer League Division 2 and gained promotion, the stars being Gaz Potter and Rich Rushton participating in serious competition for the first time and acquitting themselves excellently. The Yeomen also went on to do better than The Knights in the Euro Cup, advancing to Round 3 where they lost to Solihull in a very tight contest that could have gone either way, with a nail-biting deciding last end with games level at 2-2 and the score line 10-12.

Gareth Potter is Club Member of the Year following his very strong input to the planning and development of our new playing facilities, his strong contribution to the success of The Yeomen and his highly competitive input to the Saturday Club.

Richard Rushton is Player of the Year following his victories in the Summer League and Singles League, a strong contribution to the success of the Yeomen, and his fierce competitiveness in the Saturday Club.

On the social side, 14 club members turned out for our special Beaujolais Melee on 19th November which was followed by a party at which we tasted this year's Beaujolais Nouveau. The wine was very good and the buffet was excellent - especially the French Onion soup which James Neal prepared for us, the melee was won by Bill Bentley and the party went on until past 11.00pm so a great day was enjoyed by us all.

We had to cancel the Russelsheim Twinning due to our lack of facilities, but have invited them to come over in 2017. We have yet to hear from them.

The Club continued with our strong representation on The Heart of England Pétanque Association's Regional Executive Committee: Treasurer - John Emberton; Regional Membership Secretary - Rich Powell; Youth Development Officer and Regional Umpire - Dave Hancox. At the recent AGM Rich gave up the role of Membership Secretary to pick up the gauntlet of Regional President. Congratulations to him - we will give him our full support.

Looking ahead to 2017

SPC members must join Stockton Football & Cricket Club in order to use their clubhouse facilities and play Petanque. The subs are £12pa, with a concessionary price of £7 for pensioners £9 for Juniors. Also, the Committee stucture has changed to reflect that we are now a Section within Stockton Football & Cricket Club. On this basis, a new Committee was elected as follows:
- Chairman - Richard Rushton
- Playing Captain - Rich Powell
- Coach - Dave Hancox
- Groundsman - Gareth Potter
- Administrator - John Emberton

The constitution of Stockton Football & Cricket Club states that players need to be registered with the sporting associations of the sports that they are playing. The Pétanque section needs to adhere to these rules so a Proposal was accepted that all Stockton PC players should become registered members of the English Pétanque Association. Our 24 Adult EPA members and one junior are licenced until December 31st 2016. Renewals in January 2017 will be in the name of Stockton Pétanque Club. The subs are £20 for EPA (£5 Juniors – paid for by HoE for renewals) and £8 for HoE. (Juniors free). There is a new membership system being introduced by the EPA which is bound to have teething problems, so we would prefer for a single composite subscription of £40 for under 60s and £35 for over 60s to be paid to John Emberton for the EPA, the Region and Stockton Football & Cricket Club, and he will look after the administration.

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