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Commodore's Report at 2010 AGM

Commodore’s Report on 2009:

This has been a relatively uneventful year, a year with no major upheavals. By now we might have expected to be involved in a clubhouse maintenance programme, but such was the quality of the work done by Graham Stonehouse and Alison Staite during the refurbishment that our facility continues to be fresh and functional.

This club continues to be something that I am very proud to be a part of. The diversity of people, personalities and paddling interests are it's strength. The galley is an excellent indicator of that diversity. Ably guided this year by Karen Quibell, the galley is provided by a broad cross section of our membership. Even the semi-commercial arrangement that we have for today is provided by friend and long time member, Steve Bedford.

Our powerhouse groups continue to thrive. Peter Barnes's armada continues to be a central part of club life and great credit goes to Peter, Mike Foster and Gary Coulton for their work. Meanwhile the touring group, led by Jim Mullany goes from strength to strength.

Of course, our kids group is so much a part of our future, peopled by a healthy mix of famous second generation names and enthusiastic new faces. Led by Kimberley Wetherall, coaches Liz Pearce, Catherine Pickering, Sonia Marquardt and Rob Stainsby are to be congratulated for their patience and dedication with these up and coming stars of the future.
And to confirm the importance of the kid's group, their predecessors of only three and four years are already taking their places on the national and international paddling scene. Rebecca and Ali took the National Marathon Championship title with a tactical maturity that a veteran would be proud of. Internationally, Josh, Emily and Ben donned the GB colours and competed with both distinction and medals at a large international regatta this year. Richmond is truly back, producing home grown champions - and it has not happened by accident, the hard work of many coaches has achieved this fruition, in particular the visionary work of Trevor Wetherall, and more recently Tim Middlehurst.
The club has always been a home to canoe paddling (as distinct from kayak) but it is excellent to see the phenomenal growth in this discipline, driven by Marcus Gohar, who is so effectively implementing a BCU drive to develop canoe racing.

The committee this year has continued to be representative of the full spectrum of our membership. We have our stalwarts, which is very important in maintaining continuity and balance; you know who you are and you know why you do it. Your contribution is valued and important. Relative newcomers continue to infuse us with new blood, new ideas and energy. Coralie Vial has been especially inspirational. Sam and Clare Wilson's tandem secretariat has been highly effective and we thank them, particularly as they prepare to step down. I also want to give credit to Colin Greasby who, although external to the committee, has for many years provided paternal guidance and been a valuable sounding-board on complex issues.

Commodore's Award: My choice of this years recipient will, I hope, cause people pause and think. Trevor and I are often the public double-act face of the club. He not getting it for that reason. Nor is he getting it because he is employed by the BCU to provide coaching at the club. In fact, my conversations with the BCU about how he is performing, centre around how to slow him down and stop him doing so much. But I would not be so foolish as to stand in the way of a human tornado. Trevor puts infinitely more into this club than any BCU remit requires of him. He lives and breaths this club - so for that reason he receives this year's Commodore's award.

In summary, it has been a relatively quiet year, but for all the right reasons. We remain the most populous canoe club in the country. Given that we never set out to be such, there must be something here that draws in so many of the very individual type people that make canoeists. We must be doing something right! Enjoy your paddling, enjoy your club!

Commodore's Report 2009

Commodore's Report 2008

Commodore's Report 2007

Commodore's Report 2006


Landsdowne Boathouse
81-83 Petersham Road
Richmond upon Thames
Surrey TW10 6UT
United Kingdom

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