President’s Report to the 2016 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 Michael who has been performing both the Secretary and the Treasurer roles in a very professional and capable manner. I have appreciated his assistance in stepping into the Secretary role.

Also thanks to Michael who has managed the Association’s finances extremely well. His sensible approach keeps the Association in a good financial position which has limited the need to draw on funds from the clubs.

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 Graham, Claire Bradburn and Claire Wilson for organising the running of the regional tournaments and to all 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 continues to give up his weekends and his own playing opportunities to officiate at regional tournaments and for that we are all very grateful.

We have lost friends and colleagues over the last twelve months and on behalf of the Association I would like to pass on our condolences to the families.

The challenge for the Association and most clubs in the regions is the continuing reduction in playing numbers. We all must continue to promote Pétanque in any way possible and attract new players to the game. I know Clubs are working hard to attract new members and a number of clubs have seen their membership rise as a result of good promotions. If something works at your club please share it with other clubs.

Once again it is pleasing to see new faces at our regional and local club tournaments. The structure of our tournaments gives players at all levels the opportunity to win a trophy or medal which is one of the pluses for our sport and really does give you the encouragement to continue to develop your game.

When I became President we set up the representative squad programme. The representative teams would be selected from the squad after participating in training days prior to the playing of the three representative tournaments. The objective was to develop and grow the player based that our representative teams could be selected from. This has been very successful over the past twelve months where we successfully challenged for and won the three representative trophies; The Chanticleer Cup, Tri-Star and the Haines Cup. One of the factors of our success was the depth in our squad where we can select a strong representative team from our player base even when more established players are unavailable. It is great to see the enthusiasm and competitiveness at the training days where everyone is keen to learn and develop their Pétanque skills further.

The challenge for us this year is to successfully defend the trophies at this year’s tournaments as the task is made more difficult as two of the three tournaments are played away from our region.

You cannot run these training days without dedicated support from our coaches and I want to thank Graeme Morris for the time and effort he puts into training Wellington players. A lot of the success of the Wellington representative teams has been down to the time he has put into the coaching/training of the squad. I would also thank those who have assisted Graeme over the year.

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.

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. Congratulation to all players from the region that were part of the successful Trans Tasman team that defeated the Aussies. Also congratulations to Claire Bradburn who was part of the New Zealand Triples combination who one the Gold Medal at the Oceania Tournament in Vanuatu.

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

I would like to thank everyone who has assisted me in the four 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