Being on the committee is ideal when you’re an incredibly nosy club captain…

By Katie Garner

Shuttles and tube

The first committee meeting of the new year for the Havering, Barking and Dagenham League was held at the end of January, and it was refreshing to be back at Becontree Heath Leisure Centre to catch up on all the goings on. Since the last gathering, plenty has happened – mainly the multitude of fixtures that has hit our calendars hard since October.

Despite the excitement of getting the latest league tables, there was other news aplenty to get us buzzing, namely the league’s upcoming 70th birthday and how best to throw a shindig in true style. With a little money saved in the kitty, one of the two main ideas floating around is an impressive multi-club dinner and dance, with fantastic venues such as The Cranley, West Lodge and Orsett Hall being investigated for a possible June booking. Out of the 11 clubs that play in the league, five have responded that they would like to be involved in a dinner and dance, but we need a bigger response than that if the event is to be worth the money and effort. If you are unsure if your club has responded to the league’s emails about this, then please remind your club secretary. It would brilliant to mingle with members from across the spectrum of clubs – we all get on so well on court, that it would be so great to take this off court too.

The second celebratory event being looked into is a cross club tournament, although this is also still in the very early stages of discussion. Probably the easier of the two possibilities to organise, but also the one with less glamour and glitz about it.

The Challenge Cup is also now underway, with all of the first round matches completed, and round two lined up and ready to go. Wychelm have yet to have their cup match, but it is scheduled in for the 26th February against rivals Harold Hill. Luckily for us, we have a plus eight handicap, so fingers crossed we use this to our full advantage on the night.

Unfortunately, there was also a slight negative note to the meeting, where we had the unpleasant task of discussing what to do about clubs who continuously cancel their matches. One club in particular has cancelled a minimum of six of their matches across a variety of divisions and this inconsistency is something that the league will not stand for. It is being considered whether to introduce a penalty of one point per match cancelled, if a certain number of matches have to be cancelled at short notice.

We also received all the latest updates for the various divisions in the league for the Mixed, Men’s and Ladies Pairs. Check out all the details here.

If any members have anything they would like me to take to the league meetings to discuss or put forward, then please let me know. I’m representing you, so I’m more than happy to put forward any ideas you have.