time last year I made a Trotter-esque prediction that this time
next year we would, for the first time in our history, own our
own clubhouse. Thankfully the intervening year has delivered.
Now, instead of having everything and owning nothing, we own everything
and yet have nothing. So the time has come to achieve a balance.
As we enter our second year in the wilderness, much has already
been done and I predict that a year from now we will have returned
to our clubhouse. I was at this point going to detail our situation
but Peter Hutchison has done a much more comprehensive job than
I could ever manage in his report now circulating amongst you.
In summary, a mountain of work has been done, a mountain of cash
has been secured and for that our thanks go primarily to Alison
and Graham - but we are £62k short and a monster year of
work lies ahead.
Thankfully, this club continues to be a haven and an expression
for people of considerable energy and focus and a core group is
already well advanced with our plans for the year ahead. The nature
of the project is such that it needs a small focussed team to
maintain impetus, but I would appeal to any members who feel that
they could take a specific project and deliver it to come forward.
That unburdening of the overburdened would be very welcome.
I have said nothing so far of our core activity. A shiny new
clubhouse is meaningless if there are no members to fill it. Thankfully,
paddlers are robust creatures and life on the water carries on
as normal despite our exile.
Saturday mornings continue to saturate our resources.
The South Africans and the Hendrons keep the Richmond name at
the top of result sheets.
races, the Sprints, the Marathon and K2 Descent continue to run
successfully and our thanks go to the Clan Wetherall and Graham
and their teams for making this happen.
National level, Trish Davey and Lizzie Broughton are reigning
canoe group continues to improve at an astonishing rate, while
Barnes’s DW army are mobilising for battle once
highlights of the year were all Mayor-ally flavoured - with the
Mayor of Richmond on our float we took the best borough prize
at the New Years Day Parade in London, while our annual onslaught
on the Thames Great River Race saw us take the Borough Championship
away from Elmbridge with another Mayor, this time that of Westminster,
in our crew. Continuing the theme, we feted Christmas away from
the clubhouse for the first time in living memory, opting instead
for the Mayoral Suite on the top floor of Westminster City Hall.
Our thanks go to Tim for not forgetting his friends during this,
his year in the spotlight.
I want to thank all of last years committee for their input
in what has been a busy year. I know Ben and Bettina are standing
down and I thank them for their input. I also want to thank
Hazel for her ongoing contribution. She has brought continuity,
consistency and impartiality to the role of Treasurer for over
10 years. On a committee made up almost entirely of dripping,
Helly-Hansen clad “Riverines”, we value her perspective
and depth of experience.
summarise, keep paddling, keep enduring the exile and look to
our triumphant return to OUR Landsdowne Boathouse!
year I did not need to deliberate for long on this decision.
Outside of the management of the club, many paddlers will be
unaware of this person’s contribution.
Only two things will transform our hulk into a home; money and
hard graft. No one has both achieved and contributed more on these
two fronts over the last year than Alison Staite.
weeks ago, after an epic pursuit, she secured £135k
in Sport England grants.
Our thanks go to Alison.