President's Report to the 2015 Annual General Meeting

I would like to acknowledge and thank the Executive Committee for their hard work over the previous 12 months, club delegates who make up the WPA committee for their valuable input and to the Clubs for their continuing support.

Special thanks to all of the volunteers who have assisted with running WPA tournaments.

Special thanks to Colleen who performs the Secretary role in a very professional and capable manner and will be hanging up her pen at this yearís Annual General Meeting. I have appreciated the unflappable manner in which she has gone about her role and she will be missed the other two members of the Executive.

Thanks to Michael who has managed the Association's finances extremely well. His prudent management keeps the Association in a good financial position and his knowledge of not only Pétanque but also the history of the WPA is invaluable to me.

Once again the tournament committee has put a huge amount of work in behind the scenes to ensure all tournaments run smoothly and efficiently. Special thanks to Graeme, Claire Bradburn and Claire Wilson for organising the running of the regional tournaments and to all the volunteers who have assisted with the scoring, umpiring or running WPA tournaments.

Jack Gazzard has performed the role of Arbiter with efficiency, tact and diplomacy. He has the respect of all Petanque players in the way he quietly points out an individualís misdemeanour on the Piste.

Being involved in Petanque can be difficult and as in past years we have lost so many friends and colleagues who will never be forgotten as every time we go on the Piste the memories of playing with them and against them are never far from our minds. On behalf of the Association I would like to pass on our condolences to the families.

Over the past year we have once again seen a drop in WPA membership as Club numbers decline, however there has been a couple of Clubs who have bucked the trend and have increased membership by a substantial percentage.

We have seen many new players entering Club and WPA tournaments as they grow in confidence and realise that playing in tournaments, is not that daunting. All you need to remember is anyone can be beaten on the day.

As has been over the last 2-3 years the main challenge for the Association and all of the clubs is recruiting new Pétanque players and building up our playing numbers. I know Clubs are working hard to attract new members and this needs to continue if we are to survive the next decade as we cannot afford to see the numbers to continue to trend downwards.

The WPA representative teams did not have a successful year losing all three tournaments over the course of the season.

I would like to congratulate all players who have played for the Wellington Association over the past twelve months and a special congratulation for those players that represented Wellington for the first time this season.

The highest pinnacle in any sport is to represent your country and we are privilege in this region to have many players over the season that have gone on to represent New Zealand, congratulations and well done.

Congratulations to all the winners of our Regional tournaments and also to the Champions of Champion winners.

Thank you to the coaches and selectors of the representative teams for your hard work and dedication in preparing the teams for competitions.

One of the highlights of the year was celebrating Pétanque NZís 21st birthday. As the National Doubles were held at Kapiti in November it gave the region a chance to mark this occasion appropriately. The Kapiti Club organised a celebration dinner which was well patronised by players and friends, partners etc. A special thanks to Jo and the Kapiti Club for hosting a great evening that was fitting of a 21st birthday celebration.

I would like to thank everyone who has assisted me in the three years I have been President and those who have acknowledged the work being done by the Association and also those who have come up with various ideas that would help the Association to grow.

The Association is run for the Clubs, with the Clubs making the key decisions at committee level so it is extremely important that all Clubs continue with their involvement on the WPA Committee through their delegates. I know it is difficult for all Clubs to attend the meetings during the year but your voice can still be heard if you appoint a proxy to voice your opinions. I would strongly urge those Clubs who do not attend the meetings to ensure their views are known on the issues that are discussed at the WPA Committee meetings via a proxy who will not only voice your opinions but vote on your behalf when required.

Thank you all for your support.

Kevin McFadgen
President