Chairperson’s Report – Crowborough Bridge Club – 2021
This has been a difficult year for the whole country, and the future is still uncertain. Many of our members have spent long periods with little or no social contact. The vaccination programme and the gradual easing of government restrictions have been a light at the end of the tunnel for many of us. When the first lockdown happened in March of last year I don’t think any of us understood how long it would take to return to any sort of normality, nor how much that normality would change.
Financially the Club is in a good position. We have a healthy bank balance which can cushion us for a while if our numbers playing remain low. Not having asked for subscriptions last year it isn’t clear how many of our members will be carrying on. Some have informed us they have decided to stop playing, but there will be more we don’t know about. Since 17 May we have been able to hold Face2Face sessions at the Community Centre, but they haven’t been well supported. We’re playing with refreshments, with the larger table tops, without masks, and when we have 3 or more tables we can do a Howell movement. As there is further easing we hope numbers will improve. But, understandably, after over a year of constant alarm and statistics designed to ensure compliance, it may be difficult for members to dip their toes in the water and venture out into public space to play bridge. We can use our reserves to support us, but we may be looking at slowly using them up and the Club then folding. The next 6 months will be critical and I would urge members to try to overcome any reservations they have about Face2Face. Our vaccinations almost completely remove the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation, or death. We live in a very low risk area.
I, myself, and 2 other Committee members are standing down at the AGM. We will need nominations for Chairperson, and Committee members. We also need help with the general running of the Club, directing, scoring in particular. It is our intention to restart lessons at some stage, and Sue Clark, who has been on the EBU training course and who will be organising them, will need volunteers to support her. It would be good to consider setting up an extra afternoon session. Everything hinges on whether or not the Club is going to survive.
I would like to thank Fran Fisher and Chris Sandford on behalf of all members for their contributions to the Committee as they stand down. Fran has managed our catering brilliantly, and Chris has done wonders with the website, making it more accessible to those of us who are not IT proficient, getting us to comply with Data Protection and keeping us up to date.
I have found the issues around Covid very stressful. The constant messages designed to foster fear, and their effect on those around me, have been very wearing. The knock on effect has overshadowed the achievements of the past few years and I no longer feel that I have either the energy or the enthusiasm to continue in the role. As Nick before me, I will continue to support the Club from the sidelines.
The AGM will take place on Monday 26 July at 7pm at the Community Centre. The Agenda is published below. Any AOB and nominations for Chairperson and Committee members should reach me by 5th July please.