Park Hill Cricket Club 2014 Club President report by Kevin Matthews

Last year’s AGM sprung upon me the unexpected pleasure of succeeding Dave Goldsmith as the Park Hill Club President.

Without doubt, the role has taken a bit of getting used to you, and has genuinely taken up much more of my time than I was expecting, however I think I’ve adjusted to those requirements now and have really enjoyed my first year in the job!

Importantly, I would like to thank each and everyone of you for the support you’ve given. Dave’s shoes were incredibly large ones to fill and your support throughout the season has made it a much easier task to undertake.

Here are my observations from my first year in the role….

FIRST & MOST IMPORTANT – Welcome to new club members

One of the most pleasing aspects to this season was the influx of new players we have had to the club – in all the years I’ve been involved with the Park Hill, we’ve never had a single season like this.

Importantly, it was especially pleasing to see how easily ALL of the new players have fitted into the ethos of the club.

In no particular order: Alex, Alwyn, Barry, Bhupesh, Stu and Rich to name a few.

Also, Clare became far more central in the club and contributed so much! (apologies if I missed anyone!)

NEXT & NEARLY AS IMPORTANT – Jobs / Roles / Committee

This has to be next on my list. We’ve achieved so much as a club this year, however, there are simply too few people doing too many jobs.

The likes of Dan, Symo, Nick and Lawny do an absolute stack of work behind the scenes. What Dan and Nick have to do to field a team each week is unbelievable. What Symo does to make tour happen is simply nuts, and how Lawny finds the time to keep all our finances in order is beyond me.

Moving forward, we have to share the load much more equally.

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a role / need for a club committee, however, we have to be looking at the individual jobs that are required to keep the club running and find a way to allocate these much more equally and effectively.

In response to the email I sent out in October requesting help, I’ve already had a few members step up to assist – this is a superb start and is hugely appreciated.

I would like to explore this more at the AGM as I feel it is essential for us to continue moving forward.

MOVING ON – Website

After years of not finding an effective tool for player recruitment, we finally found a medium that has reaped success.

Dan and I launched the site towards the end of the 2013 season and throughout last winter it was responsible for attracting at least 5 new players to the club – all of whom have become true ‘Hillians’ throughout the season.

The website is now a central point for all the information you would need for the club, from fixture information, through to the dates for the cricket nets.

For those of you who are interested, it only costs the club about £30 per year to run.

Take a look: www.parkhillcricket.co.uk

What can you do to help?

  1. Rate us on Google – if you search ‘cricket clubs in epsom’ you’ll see us come up with 2 Google ratings (from Dan and I) – every additional rating we receive helps improve our ranking!
  2. Write an article for the website – each new article that we put on the website helps to improve our ranking on Google. Dan and I can give you suggestions for what to write!

CONTINUING ON – FUNDRAISING 

I’m going to kick off here with a special mention to Dave Lawn (as I know he won’t do it himself), who has almost single-handedly transformed the financial position of our cricket club.

Through a combination of Dave’s access to the entire Met. Police stocks of toner cartridges, coupled with his extremely diligent approach to managing the on-going finances, Park Hill Cricket Club is now in an extremely secure financial situation.

The likes of Symo, Nick and Dan have all been a part of the club long enough to remember how fragile the finances were (prior to Dave taking on the role of Treasurer), in the not too distant past; our cash reserves were very low and we struggled to break even each season.

The situation we have grown accustomed to over the last few years is a welcome relief and it should never been taken for granted.

How can you help maintain the club’s strong financial position?

Easysearch – I said last year that this is an absolute no-brainer.

Between myself and Major we have raised over £80 over the last 12 months – equivalent to 2 additional members to the club. However, as I said – this has come from Major and myself.

At the AGM I would like Major to explain how we can make more from this opportunity and get far more of the club involved.

Clothing / Shoes Recycling – this has continued to work for the club very effectively.

Just one example this year is when Clare did one big clear out (where she also grabbed a stack of Chris’ clothes by mistake – understandable really!) and even after Chris claimed back his favourite rags, we still raised over £45 in one go – equivalent to one new member.

Fundraising Summary – these two channels are simple and sustainable, enabling us to consistently add to the funds of the club. BUT – there needs to be much more of the club membership contributing to them.

If we all contribute to these initiatives it will not only protect the club financially, but will enable us to maintain annual subs and match fees at their current rate – but only if enough people contribute.

AND FINALLY – Club Day / Charity Match

This was an interesting one…

I’ll remember two things from this year:

Firstly, that we stumbled across a format (triangular, 9-a-side) that injected fresh life into our ‘club day’. The number of members that turned out that day was superb and this was equally matched by the resulting atmosphere.

Secondly, the charity aspect of the day took up a @£$% load of time to organize, and was hugely under-appreciated by the Headley Court lot.

Moving forward – I think we’ve found a wonderful format that has injected fresh life into our club day, and we should focus our energy on that, rather than the charity match for Headley.

Overall Summary / points for consideration

The most important point that I want to close on is the fact that Park Hill Cricket Club is a volunteer-only club. This may sound a very obvious statement to make, but it is important to stress that the ONLY reason the club is still here (after all these years) is because of the time, effort and enthusiasm of those who have devoted a portion of their life to its running.

Everyone within the club have careers, families and other commitments that draw upon their time. We are ALL in the same position. The likes of Nick, Dan, Symo, Clare, Major and Lawny all have other commitments, but they have also (very kindly) incorporated roles within Park Hill into those other commitments.

The point that I want to leave you all to consider is the fact that we are all busy people who want to be able to play cricket, and specifically play cricket for Park Hill.

Having been part of the committee for several years and in addition to the last year in my new role, it is clear that too few people are needed to fulfill too many jobs.

For all of us to continue enjoying the benefits that this cricket club provides us with, we have to move beyond the reliance that the individuals on the committee are responsible for the running of Park Hill.

Over the close season, it would be most appreciated if you could consider how a small contribution of your time could assist the club moving forward, whilst also taking away a bit of stress from your fellow club committee members.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your feedback!

Kev