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Posted on 29 December 2014

Christmas Message from the President

Christmas Message from the President

Dear Fellow Stragglers,

As I come to the end of my first year as President, I would like to give you a view from the bridge on the work carried out by your Committee and their plans and hopes for the club next year. Having attended all the Committee meetings this year, I can report that they have been working hard to ensure that the Club continues to provide you not only with the opportunity to play competitive and friendly cricket in delightful surroundings, but also to ensure that such fixtures are enjoyed by the players, their families, and their friends who come to support. Those who have played or watched this season have been treated to some thrilling games with an almost equal measure of Straggler victories and defeats (of the 17 played, not one ended in a draw!).

Notwithstanding their efforts, the Committee and I have noticed that the number of members participating in club games and social events such as the Golf Day and Annual Dinner has decreased over the last few years and this year has been no exception.   Sadly, judging from two separate articles that appeared in the Times and the Telegraph last month about the decline in the numbers of people playing amateur cricket, this is not a phenomenon unique to the Stragglers or even to wandering cricket – but the Committee and I are keen to reverse this trend in the club.

We know that it is becoming harder and harder in this day and age to find time to play cricket given the competing demands of work and family commitments. Nevertheless, your Committee is keen to look for a solution to get more of our members playing in excess of two games a season. As such, they want to know what we as a club can do to encourage you to play more games and/or to engage socially with the club as well as encouraging your friends to join.

We have prepared a questionnaire which I very much hope you will find the time to complete and send back to me. The Committee will analyse the returns and hopefully come up with a solution that will enable you to play more cricket for the Club. The questionnaire is for all members – those on the “active” list of players and those who continue to support the club. Both views are equally important and we are keen to hear them.  Please also feel free to let me or any committee member know of any other views or suggestions in relation to the club that you feel are not covered by the questionnaire. This is your club and we want to know how we can improve it for you.

While neither the Committee nor I can turn the Club around overnight, we hope that with your feedback, we can make a start over the coming year.   In particular, in 2015, which is the 90th anniversary of the Stragglers of Asia, we are keen to commemorate this milestone in some way and, again, your views on how best we can achieve this would be greatly appreciated.

I apologise for the length of this letter, but not for its content!  I have loved my years as a playing member and take great pride in being its President. I would, therefore, like to see it grow so that it can provide the same unique mix of good cricket, camaraderie, social events and overseas tours that makes the Stragglers of Asia – your Club – such a special one.

I look forward to seeing more of you in 2015, but in the meanwhile, I wish you all a very happy Christmas and hope you enjoy the winter break.