CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S REPORT
This last season saw our own Peter Higham installed as President of the British Crown Green Bowling Association. Peter did a sterling job representing the BCGBA and was a hard-working and popular President. This official role comes round but once every 16 years and I am proud that Peter represented this Association so magnificently. They say behind every good man there’s a good woman, and Peter is no exception. I am sure he will be the first to admit that he couldn’t have shown such dedication without the help of his loyal wife Jeanette.
This also meant that that Wales hosted the 2016 British Senior Individual Merit, which was held at Llay Miner’s Welfare Institute. I know that you shouldn’t “blow your own trumpet” and “self-recommendation is no praise at all”, but my goodness we hosted a day to remember! Thanks to an “army” of volunteers the day ran like clockwork. There really are too many to mention but I can say, hand on heart, I can’t thank each and every one of you enough. I think I even spent more time at Llay than my own club!! It was one of the biggest gates that the BCGBA had seen in a long while and the Bowls club presented two tremendous greens. The Trustees of the Welfare Institute were invaluable with their co-operation and I think even they were surprised when they began to run out of the “falling down juice”. The CEO of the BCGBA, John Crowther, commented that it had been a very successful day and Wales has certainly laid down the gauntlet for other host Counties to follow. BT Sport were even in attendance for the first time where no fewer than seven former winners and eight former runners-up were competing.
The eventual winner was Matt Gilmore from Merseyside, who incidentally, won the event the last time Wales hosted the BCGBA Merit, at Llay when Mel Higham was President. You couldn’t make it up.
Now to the BCGBA Junior Merit which in 2016 was hosted by North Midlands. Wales had not had a winner of this event since Martin Haliwell brought home the prize in 1981. This year I am proud to announce that Andrew Armstrong from Cunliffe Bowling Club was successful in winning the trophy. This was Andrew’s final season playing as a “Junior” and I don’t think he could have bowed out in finer style. As another coincidence, Geraint Jones also won the BCGBA Junior Merit on the same green some 40 years earlier.
I would also like to pay tribute here, if I may to D.T. Evans, who in my humble opinion is the finest referee not only in Wales, but the whole of Britain. Not only are we very lucky to have D.T. representing Wales on the refereeing front he is one of the finest and fairest officials we have. D.T. is an Executive Governance Board Member for Gwynedd (he actually serves as Chair of the Board), he is Gwynedd’s Secretary, Welfare Officer and all round general factotum AND he finds a little time to undertake the task of placement officer for the referees in Wales. D.T. was honoured this year with refereeing three of the most prestigious finals in the BCGBA calendar. They were the Crosfield Cup, the BCGBA Senior Merit and the Champion of Champions in Blackpool. These appointments don’t come along by accident; they are rewards for years of hard work and dedication where you earn respect from your fellow professionals and bowlers. D.T. you are to be congratulated.
To that end, I am pleased to announce that Peter Higham, Andrew Armstrong and D.T. Evans are to be inducted in to the WCGBA Hall of Fame.
Wales also proudly hosted the Men’s Veterans Team Championship (area qualifying) at Esclusham Bowling Club and the British Ladies Junior Merit at Gresford Colliery Bowling Club. Although local advantage was lacking I’d like to thank the host clubs for providing two excellent venues.
Linda Williams once again did Wales proud by retaining the Ladies Waterloo in Blackpool, which for the second year running was broadcast live on ITV4. Linda commented last year that no lady from Wales had ever won the event and she wanted to “put that right.” It seems she’s put that right … and right again! To win the event once is some achievement, but putting back to back wins together takes some doing by a remarkable bowler.
I would also like to mention Nicola Boulton for winning the Ladies Champion of Champions event for the second year running. Nicola plays most of her bowls for Mid-Cheshire now but she is a Welsh girl and her Mum & Dad are still actively playing bowls in Wales.
I would like to pay tribute to the work undertaken by your President, Martin Richardson and your Deputy President, Dusia Price. Both had “trying years” where either their own health, or health of their family were, rightly so, at the forefront of their minds. However their commitment to this association has been unquestionable and where possible they continued to attend events organised by the WCGBA and were ever present at representative matches. Your support has been most appreciated and admirable given the difficulties you have both faced this year.
2016 – Team events
I am pleased and very proud to report the successes of our Teams this season.
The Ladies Team on reaching the semi-final stage of their County Championships, narrowly missing out to Warwick & Worcester. This meant that they progressed to the Waterloo Cup but came up against a very strong Yorkshire Team, who were the eventual winners. Thank you to the selectors, Sue Dace, Olwen Edwards and Sarah Hey. Sadly Sarah has stepped down this year as she has moved away from the area but we hope that she’ll continue donning the Red shirt for Wales.
The Junior Team just missed out on qualification in their group, losing to Yorkshire in their final game. They did however progress to the supplementary championships narrowly losing to Staffordshire in the final. Again all credit to the selectors on the day: Peter Griffiths, and Dave Ll. Jones. Peter stepped down as Junior Selector this past season after many years involvement. I did thank Peter on the day of the supplementary but I would just like to re-iterate my sincere thanks for your commitment and loyalty to the Junior Team over the years. David Jones has also stepped down as Junior Co-ordinator, off to start a new life in sunnier climes. Thank you David and all the very best. Elfyn Jones also stepped down due to a house move to another area. Again thank you Elfyn for the work you undertook.
The Senior Team also had a successful campaign in the Endsleigh Senior County Championship in 2016 again just missing out in their final group match to Yorkshire, despite posting an away win. It was a day to forget in the supplementary championships (I’ll take responsibility) but I thank those players who made themselves available on the day. The selectors Tim Halliwell and Brian Hayes stepped down this season. My goodness what a difficult and thankless task it is trying to run the Senior Team. The politics in the game continue unabashed. I can only hope that one day that sense prevails over egos and we get this Team back on track. We certainly have the talent.
The Veterans Teams had a quieter season than usual, but we are confident they’ll soon be back to winning ways.
For a full and comprehensive list of all the results please see the respective websites of the WCGBA and BCGBA.
Another busy year continues on the calendar. I make no apologies for thanking David Walker, Tournament Officer for his tireless commitment to this job. Also to the committee who work hard to ensure that the calendar of events runs as smoothly as possible.
Roll of Honour
Winners this season have included:-
WCGBA Champion of Champions: Lewis Scott (St. Asaph)
Gwyn Morris Welsh Senior Merit: Graham Bennett (Cunliffe)
Welsh Ladies Merit: Kelsey Morgan-Rowlands (Esclusham)
Don James Welsh Junior Merit: Sam Williams (Coedpoeth)
Ken Hardman Welsh Junior Ladies Merit: Bethany Matthias (Brymbo)
Welsh Veterans Merit: John Bonatti (Coed Talon)
Welsh Club Championship: Esclusham
Welsh Veterans Club Championship: Coed Talon
The Calendar of Events for 2017 can now be found on the website: www.wcgba.com
On-line entries for Open Competition certificates are still available. Ian Hughes as Open Competitions Registrar stepped down this season after many years commitment. Many thanks Ian for everything you have done to set this Calendar in motion. David Philip as Webmaster will pick up the on-line entries and update the online calendar.
Simon Walker continues the magnificent work with the Development Committee. For the first time in a number of years we saw an increase in our membership and the WCGBA have invested in leagues and projects in order to promote and sustain our Association.
As a reminder your Area Development Officers are:-
Phil Maddocks (Flintshire)
Stuart Lewis (Glyndwr)
Dave Ll. Jones (Gwynedd)
Geoff Pugh (Wrexham)
All contact details will be on the WCGBA website. Please do get in touch should you require any assistance or indeed if you have an idea which you would like to see promoted.
This committee continues to govern the finances of the WCGBA and has helped support Peter Scott as Financial Officer. As you can see the finances of the WCGBA are yet again in a healthy state and there are no proposals to increase fees for the 2016 season.
A very big thank you also to George Wallett our Registrar, who has had some testing times recently. Don’t worry George, we’ll get there together!
National Performance Committee
It has been agreed that the Senior Team should move away from the Selectors process and re-appoint a Senior Team Manager (at the time of writing). Hopefully this will bring unity to the Team.
Full reports from the various Co-ordinators and Team Managers are available on the website.
The Welfare Committee continues to work with the Area Welfare Officers and counter-signatory, Pauline Lindley to ensure that every club has a nominated Welfare Officer. The WCGBA are currently working with the BCGBA Welfare Office to update our procedures in line with safeguarding bowls. Details can be found at www.safeguardingbowls.org.uk
If you have any concerns in relation to child protection or protection of a vulnerable adult then please contact your Area Welfare Officer or the WCGBA Welfare Officer:-
David Walker (Flintshire) firstname.lastname@example.org
William Glazier (Glyndwr) email@example.com
D T Evans (Gwynedd) firstname.lastname@example.org
John D Lloyd (Wrexham) email@example.com
Matt Foster (WCGBA). firstname.lastname@example.org
* IMPORTANT NOTE *
All copies of DBS certificates now have to be verified by the WCGBA Welfare Officer. Can all Club Welfare Officers and WCGBA Officers who have DBS certificates ensure that copies are forwarded to the WCGBA Secretary. Once verified these copies will be destroyed in line with Data Protection laws
The system for obtaining insurance this season for Clubs, Leagues and Association alike will continue. You will need to do this direct from Endsleigh to comply with guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority. You are still responsible for informing me, as Chief Executive Officer that you have up to date insurance in place. This I’m afraid is non-negotiable and insurance must be in place for every club, league, association and society as per the WCGBA constitution.
I would again like to thank all clubs who hosted WCGBA and representative events during 2016. Your co-operation is always greatly appreciated.
Again I make no apologies for repeating to Members that the WCGBA is not just here to serve and facilitate to what some term the “elite” end of the game. The WCGBA is here to serve all its members in whatever capacity it can. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any assistance and the WCGBA will assist the best that it can. My email address is: email@example.com Should a club find themselves in any kind of difficulty please do not hesitate to contact me, but in the first instance I would urge you to contact you Area Secretaries:-
Flintshire: Cath Rogers
Glyndwr: Roy Mills (Chairman)
Gwynedd: D.T. Evans
Wrexham: Pauline Lindley
Again I make no apologies for thanking the Executive Governance Board for their tireless work. Together with the five committees and the Area Associations these volunteers ensure that competitions, leagues and representative matches run as smoothly as possible.
I would like to pay tribute to our various Partners, sponsors and donors:- Co-operative Funeralcare, Threeways Garages and our Patron Mr John Percy. Thanks also go to Ram Leisure Wear and Design2Print for assisting with, in turn, clothing and programmes and to Sage & Co for presenting the year-end accounts.
Finally to Pauline Lindley: as always your tireless work is most appreciated by the Board and especially by me.
Chief Executive Officer