Dear All,

Let me take this opportunity on behalf of your committee to wish you all a Happy New Year! 2020 is going to be a very interesting year for our club, but I think we are well positioned to cope with any and every eventuality. This is my third year as chair, and I like to take this opportunity to speak to you all about our plan over the next 12 months, and also to give some reassurances of the current situation of the club.

From a financial perspective, the club finances are in a strong state – with over £30k in accounts. However, we have not been as successful with the fundraising as previous years – with less money being raised at socials, Christmas auction and learn to row. Whilst we are not looking necessarily to raise our current membership fee, this cannot be discounted if we continue to see the declines in other areas of revenue generation. The Committee is constantly looking at way to drive up revenue in order for us to be able to buy new equipment etc. But we need the support of our membership to attend socials, pay fees on time and correctly, to come up with fundraising or sponsorship ideas. We are a CASC (community sports club so we are able to claim gift aid), so if your company does do grants to local sports clubs we would be eligible. Please speak with myself or John Stewart. The accounts are always difficult to reconcile, and as always I have the same request that our members set up a standing order to be paid on the 1st of the Month with your surname on as reference. There is a lot of work which goes behind the scenes to reconcile every month the payments. Please ensure that payments are all separate with separate reference numbers, e.g. race fees, kit, training camp etc. It makes the life of the treasurer and membership secretary much easier.

The club continues to invest in the fleet. Last year saw us purchase a new lightweight coxless IV, and a coxed four for the development squad (which will hopefully be delivered in January 2020). We are looking at selling our heavy weight coxed IV and the Stuart Lane Coxless IV in order to free up racking space. We have also invested in new shoes, trestles and we have had the trailer completely refurbed with a new lock box put on the front. This year the captains and Felix have a few golden rules.

1.       All boats must be washed before going away

2.       Trestles must be locked up after rowing

3.       No boat to be put away broken – if it can be fixed, lets get it fixed.

4.       No boat tie to be left out, please put in the bag in the cupboard or in the trailer lock box

This year, we are looking at consolidating our fleet – we have some big purchases to make in the near future, with the replacement of our two top VIIIs being on the cards within the next 2 to 3 years.

So what will 2020 bring to Curlew? The Committee is committed to delivering on the outcome of the recent club survey. I thank everyone who took part in it!

1.       We want to increase interaction between squads, whether it weekend brunches in the fox after rowing, new socials ideas or mixed racing. This was a common theme throughout the survey – we need to get the sense of “club” back within Curlew!

2.       To increase the number of coaching hours each squads gets – coaching is not a right of membership, and not every boat will be coached every weekend. Rowing is not just about on the water coaching, the rower has to take responsibility on themselves to follow the land training programme to fully benefit from the water coaching. With coaching resources being stretched, we will prioritize those rowers who are dedicated to land based training regardless of the squad that they are in.

3.       Better equipment – no one should have to row in a boat where the shoes are falling apart. All boats need to be in full working order – if you see a problem, please try and fix it, if not please tell your captain ASAP, or Felix the boat man.

4.       Volunteering – we want our club to be a club where everyone mucks in, lends a hand etc. From the survey – it seemed everyone was keen to help in some way or another, our job is to harness this enthusiasm! We have a number of opportunities coming up, with our new Learn 2 Row course! Also, please feel free to suggest socials or even organize fundraiser yourself – the club would be willing to support.

5.       We have a great social committee who did a fantastic job at the Christmas Party! They have some great ideas, coupled with some fantastic suggestions from the survey – so our social calendar is looking good for this coming year, our aim is to get the squads engaging with each other! But we have to support them, we run socials to make a small profit for the club! So please invite your friends and family.

6.       Energize the alumni – we have already run a number of socials and reunions! 2020 is going to be the year we start capitalizing on our relationships, building a wider membership bases to help facilitate the club’s ambitions. Also to start integrating the alumni with our current members

Curlew is a great club with a great membership base! The survey has really shown the committee and I that there is an enough people who want to help make a change, support and move the club forward and our job this year is to capitalize on this good will. So on behalf of your committee, I wish you all the very best for 2020 and your own personal rowing goals, I hope together we can achieve them!

(please find attached the Survey results & updated health and safety leaflet)

Kind regards

Matthew Richardson


Curlew RC

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