ADDRESS TO THE MEETING BY PRESIDENT AARON KALINSKI
WEDNESDAY, 10th MAY 2017, AT ELSTERNWICK CLUB
Let me first thank everybody for coming to this information session and I would like thank Ted Russel for organising this room and for Elsternwick Club for hosting this evening.
For those who don’t know me… my name is Aaron Kalinski and I am the President of SIBC.
Sitting next to me is our Secretary Ruth Delbridge who will be taking the minutes of this meeting. I ask the other members of the Board to stand so I can introduce them.
As you are all aware Southern Indoor Bowls Club was flooded out on December 29th 2016, but the good news is that building repairs are currently underway and will hopefully be completed in mid-June this year.
Accordingly, the Board has decided that all SIBC competitions this season will commence in the week of Monday July 3. We will circulate that news ASAP by email and mail, and we will have entry forms available as soon as possible.
As the Club’s contribution to the repairs may be around $20,000 instead of potentially several times more, Southern Indoor remains in a very strong financial position, with over $300,000 in the bank. We believe we have adequate volunteers for this shortened season, so we are all set to go.
Prize money for the season will be unchanged even though we will have a shorter season. If the building is ready before July, we will have free practice for all at times still to be announced. Green fees at $10 will be unchanged, I am also pleased to announce that last year’s members will not have to pay an annual subscription this year; the membership fee for them will be zero.
So, what happened, what has happened since, and why has it taken so long to get to this point.
The Storm and its aftermath
Due to the storm a large amount of water entered the building on December 29th and due to a number of dead pigeons blocking the spouts above the mens’ toilets on the mezzanine level. Water wrecked part of the toilet and flooded the carpets on the mezzanine bar area and the ground floor foyer area. We were lucky that the bowling carpets were slightly damaged and can be easily repaired.
Our insurance company has had over 500 business claims arising from that storm and the damage to Southern Indoor could not be assessed straight away. When the assessment was made, damage unrelated to the storm was also discovered. Borers had attacked the timber supporting the foyer ceiling and there were corrosion in the concrete in that area, resulting in the entrance foyer being unsafe. Obviously we had a responsibility to obtain a consulting engineer’s report, which took weeks to complete and subsequently recommended how the foyer could be repaired and made safe for our members.
Builders were immediately sought to quote for the repairs and repair work has now commenced.
I indicated in earlier correspondence that the re-vitalisation of SIBC requires three things
- Retaining our present players
- Board renewal
- More volunteers
Firstly, retaining our playing numbers
No-one has been more loyal than our twilight pennant players and it is clear that the twilight competition is a very popular one. Monday to Thursday has seen a full or nearly full house each year. Last season we even had a waiting list.
We believe that our twilight players will want to resume in July, but we know there is a risk that some players “may have got out of the habit”. We will be changing our Monday and Saturday games, as well as our Wednesday games to triples, which we think will be a much more popular format and will help to boost our numbers.
Please make sure to enter your teams as soon as you receive your entry forms and you have confirmed with your players. We are seeking your support in talking to any who are thinking of not playing and making sure they do. We have a limited capacity to do the work ourselves as we may have only a manager’s name rather than all the team names. It is vital to get good numbers as it will give us the strongest base on which to continue to build in 2017-18.
Secondly Board renewal.
There are a number of Board members who wish to retire as they have held on in the absence of fresh people putting their hands up.
Some Board members have indicated that they could continue but are prepared to step down to allow new members to join the Board. Each of these Board members has given outstanding service to SIBC.
Thirdly, more volunteers
I have been critical of the lack of effort in recent years to recruit volunteers. Numbers have dropped from about 30 five years ago to 5 or so now.
As we know, many hands make light work so we have sent out an appeal to boost the numbers significantly. We do not expect a couple of people to come in and then make them work until they drop. That is not sustainable. What we need is for 10 or more people to come forward to do a few hours of work per week at most and we would want all who play here and their clubs to ensure that those volunteers come forward.
Leaving it to the next guy is not going to make us successful. There are opportunities for 2 people to volunteer to work together and volunteers can and have been be rotated when someone is not available. If you are prepared to consider volunteering or you are a club with some names for us, please give the names and contact numbers to Ruth Delbridge after this meeting. If you don’t have any names, how about you!
In conclusion, we as a club and as a Board have been through a very rough time, and early on, we wondered whether we could recover. Now we are confident we can emerge from the wreck with a much stronger club, and if more are prepared to do a bit to assist behind the scenes and to support SIBC by playing here so we can continue to grow.
I will now take your questions and, just as importantly, your comments. Please state your name and club when you do so, and thank you again for attending.