Commodore's Report at 2011 AGM
Commodore’s Report on 2010:
I have done a few of these before, so there will be a certain repetition. The repetition does not come from stagnation, rather it comes from a continued delivery of what I believe a canoe club is supposed to deliver. After a slump in our competitive achievements a few years ago our our racing standards have returned to those of former glory days. Competitive achievement is easily identifiable but there is far more to this club. Ours is not a small, narrow club. We have the biggest membership in the country, but we also have arguably the biggest paddling diversity. I recently watched Golden Olympian Matthew Pinsent present a TV introduction to the new Olympic Park. The world class rower presented his piece from the canals of East London while traveling forwards for a change, in a kayak! Matthew paddles at Richmond. And his involvement here is just one facet of what happens here.
Competition: Too much has happened to even attempt a comprehensive listing, so instead I will go for selected highlights. This year, after a long gap, we had a homegrown paddler racing at Senior World Championships. Lizzie Broughton is British National Champion and currently the fastest female marathon paddler in the country. Our juniors continue to grow and achieve. Rebecca Killip is particularly noteworthy with her seven national titles in Sprint and Marathon and a gold medal at her first international in France this year. And Team Hendron decided that a 125 mile sprint was too easy and instead won the Yukon 1000 miler.
Coaching: This is the big one, where to start!
One of Trevor’s many projects at the club is the aforementioned oarsman turned paddler. He also has a sideline in DW aspirants, attends to just about anything that needs attending to around the club, and all that while developing one of the strongest junior groups that the club has ever produced. Marcus and his canoes defy gravity and waves to thrive. Peter Barnes - constant and capacious, how does he do it?! Complimentary groups have been established under the guidance of Mike Foster, Gary Coulton and Jemima Johnstone. On the broader community front, the LBRUT Competitive Edge Scheme has brought local schools into the club, ably facilitated by Colin Greasby, Ed Kilby, Sonia and Trevor. And Richmond continue to dominate the London Youth Games Regatta. The more 'junior' juniors are now under the watchful eyes of Tim Middlehurst, Sue and Wendy. I am bound to have missed a few names, apologies. This is the area that is at the very centre of our Raison d'être. Canoeists may be individualistic people but they still need a sense of community.
Which leads me to...
Galley: An army marches to the nearest galley, or it would if it was allowed. Maggie Berchtold has done a terrific job this year synchronizing cooks and consumers. Again there are far too many to try to mention, but without them the club would be without it's core.
Facilities: Our magnificent clubhouse is due a lick of paint and a bit of a tidy-up soon so we will be putting that in hand in the coming year. Thankfully Facilities Management is one of Tim Killip’s favorite leisure-time pursuits!
Committee: It seems that we will have very few changes on the committee going into our next year. I believe that our committee is strongly representative of all areas of the club. Prolonged incumbency can have it’s flaws but I believe we have enjoyed a very healthy and robust oversee and I look forward the same in the coming year.
Commodore’s Award: Energy, willing commitment and sense of passion for the sport typifies this club. It is always difficult to single out one person but over the last year one man has really embodied the spirit of club paddling. A ‘man and boy’ paddler himself, Tim Middlehurst has brought energy and enthusiasm, as well as a profound knowledge, to our junior coaching. He may have one paddle-blade in Addlestone but his heart spends a lot of time in Richmond. Our ‘Man of the Year’ is Mr. Canoesport himself!
Summary: This is a strong club. I believe we have an openness and a can-do attitude that is not always easy to achieve with such a big organisation. To be able to jump into a little boat and disappear off up the river is one of life’s great joys. We are very lucky. It is why we are here. Enjoy!
Commodore's Report 2010
Commodore's Report 2009
Commodore's Report 2008
Commodore's Report 2007
Commodore's Report 2006