As 2017 draws to a close, it’s worth remembering the achievements of the Club over the past 12 months as well as looking forward to the new year. We set out at the start of the 2016/17 committee to get crews to Henley and top 100 of the Head, and to expand our membership base, I think we can look back and give ourselves a B+. We did not achieve all we set out to, we failed to get a women’s boat back to Henley and the Men did not race at the Head due to the cancellation. We expanded our membership base, but struggled to retain members off the learn to row courses we ran. As for our fleet, I know its ageing and the coxless IVs are getting tired, but we expanded our fleet with the addition of 4 pairs/doubles as well as a new new Hudson coxless four.
The question all Committees should ask themselves at the end of the year; Is the club in a better place at the end of 2017 than at the start? I would say yes, and I hope all you reading this agree with me.
There were some notable changes at Curlew this year, Anita Jeff stood down as the Curlew Chair and Director of the Club. Anita has been heavily involved with the day to day running of the Club for the past 5 years, and has been a great ambassador of the Club. The Club wouldn’t exist without the volunteers who give up their time to help the Club, this was the theme of my Christmas Party Address. You do not have to be a member of committee to help, and helping does not mean just giving money (although that does help), you can volunteer your time to coach the new crop of learn to row and retain membership, bring friends and family to our socials, fundraising or sponsorship, when you buy on line – buy through easy fundraising (www.easyfundraising.org.uk). All these things help move the Club forward, and if everyone did a little, we would achieve a lot. Finally, as I draw 2017 to an end, I would like to personally thank John Stewart and Nicholas Druiff for becoming Directors of Curlew Rowing Club, we have a lot to do over the next 12 months and I, with my Committee look forward to working with Nick and John to improve the Club.
So what does 2018 have in store?
There are some big changes both on and off the water. With the onset of GDPR (Generali Data Protection Regulation), we as a Club need to review the data we hold on our members; where it is held, how long it is held for and who accesses it. Also when members leave we need a mechanism to remove all data except an email address for the newsletter. This has already started. There are other changes, we will be reviewing and publishing a number of Club policies, a Club Code of Conduct both on and off the water, Data Protection policy, Club Blazer policy, Club Welfare policy and we will publish our constitution onto a new governance section of the website. Whilst this may seem unnecessary, it is needed to protect all our members and brings us into line with British Rowing Club standard.
We will be running more socials with the key Henley BBQ and Summer Party/Awards Night on the list for 2018, we will also be running another learn to row course and taster days during the summer. As for the water work, I know Fred is looking forward to this coming year, anticipating great success across all squads. Our squads are stronger and fitter than this time last year, with new members joining or old members coming back. We should be looking at two women’s VIIIs and WeHoRR, and three men’s VIII at HoRR, with the addition of one or two Vets VIIIs at Vets HoRR. Who knows what the summer will bring, but I can assure you that the aim of this Club is to have a crew at all the major UK regattas this year with Women’s Henley and Henley Royal Regatta being the ultimate aim of the Senior Squads. We are in a position across all squads, Dev, Seniors and Vets to represent Curlew at the highest level.
I believe we are entering a great time for Curlew Rowing Club, we, have the opportunity to be part of some of the greatest crews ever to row for Curlew. With that in mind, I would like to thank you for all your hard work in 2017 and I wish you a Happy New Year.
Curlew Rowing Club