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President's Report from the AGM

It has been my pleasure to have been the BTTA president over the last four years and serving as vice president before that, working with a wonderful group of volunteers that strive to make table tennis a real success. 

It will come as no surprise that 2020 has been a very challenging year for Table Tennis including a long period where our club was entirely closed or running with very tight restrictions.   I’m pleased to say that participation across many aspects of our association has returned strongly. Financially the association has maintained a healthy position.   

The combination of job keeper, relief of BCC charges and grants have made a big difference in this regard.

A very positive growth in weekend participation in social play has made a big difference and has replaced the income lost from our previous practice of hiring out the hall.

Our weekend volunteers especially Spence Martin, Jutta Marquardt and Robert Di Bartolo have clearly done a fantastic job.




Peter Lander, club president

Last year we hosted some of the Global games events at the centre plus our volunteers supported this event at the Sleeman centre. The hall upgrades largely funded by the BCC including lighting upgrades and improved disability access helped in having the BTTC used as a facility for an international event.  Recently additional lighting over the rear practice tables is a significant improvement.  For this I would like to thank the Brisbane City Council and our patron Councillor Andrew Wines.

The association has continued our commitment to a pathway for all players including our extensive coaching program.    We conduct two adult beginner’s classes per week, a competition level class and two junior classes.    I would like to thank our head coach, Seref Bakanay for his efforts to mentor our coaches including me.  Most of our coaching classes feature Paul Jones, Jim James and Seref, plus me when I can.  I personally get great satisfaction from helping players of all levels to learn our game and entry the process.

I’m very pleased to see real growth in our social mornings this year and I’m hopeful this part of the club’s activities will go from strength to strength.   A special thank you to Jim James for his great efforts in building the morning social program.

The key to success of any organisation is positive committed people that work together towards a common goal.  The BTTA is very fortunate to have just this sort of people working behind the scenes, often in thankless roles, that make a difference.  Our BTTA Council is a team of people that are thoughtful, positive and have the best interest of the table tennis community in their hearts.   The current members are Jutta Marquardt, Daniel O’Neil, Jim James, Michael Bygraves, Michael Edwards, Spence Martin and Judith Retrot.

For our peak periods we have had wonderful services of Chloe Connolly, John Byrne, Jim James, Melody Fung, Michael Bygraves and Michael Edwards.   Jim is our bat making specialist that has helped many members with their bats.

A special mention must be made about Michael Bygraves in his role as chairman of the tournament committee.   With COVID 19 complete lock down, our fixtures ground to a halt.   On restart, the most challenging task was to get Monday and Tuesday up and running with sufficient players to make a viable competition.    It is very important to have at least 3 divisions so that players get to compete against others of a similar playing standard.     
These days we import much of equipment directly from an international wholesaler.   This has resulted in great prices on balls and bats for our members and the general public.   Our Bronze bat is much better than any comparable bat to be found in a sports store and has proved very popular for $45 each including a bat cover.    We hope to expand our range over the coming months.

I would like to acknowledge John Swinbourne’s fantastic contribution to the association especially in the area of facility upgrades.    Our CEO Derek Scott and John have been an excellent team, something I’m very thankful for as their professionalism in doing all the ground work and negotiation has been instrumental in the upgrades in recent years.   We have received a grant for solar panels and a Table Tennis Australia grant for much needed upgrades to the kitchen.  

It is important for our members to understand the membership fees we all pay to Table Tennis Queensland and therefore onto Table Tennis Australia is critical for receiving grants.   Without this membership we would not for example been donated the Taraflex flooring we all enjoy.

Nicole Lander our media officer has done a great job again getting our association known and members kept up to date through social media and our web site.   She also writes the Ping newsletter.   Brisbane table tennis is one of the most followed clubs online in the country when it comes to table tennis, all thanks to Nicole’s skill.

Much of the fantastic building work done in recent years and the general smooth running of the association is due to Derek Scott, our CEO.   I have found Derek a pleasure to work with, he is very practical, thoughtful and has demonstrated the highest degree of ethics.   I’m sure all our members share with me our sincere hope that Derek remains with the BTTA for many more years!

I expect the utilisation of the centre to continue to increase over the coming years.    It is coming more frequent that the centre is full.    At peak periods, we may well need to move to an hourly table hire system rather than a flat fee per person per session.

I think we have a very exciting year ahead; our special focus is on participation.   We want as many people as possible, from all ages, all walks of life and all backgrounds to benefit from playing table tennis, the sport we all love.   Everyone should feel truly welcome at Brisbane Tennis and find a pathway that works for them.

The plan now with the committee is to keep a tight lid on costs and start diligently saving money as we work towards the ultimately goal of efficiently cooling the centre during the summer months.

The amazing asset of the centre, I see as a community asset that benefits all table tennis players in south east Queensland.    We plan to continue to make it as easy as possible for players from all clubs to practice at and be involved competition at the BTTC.



Yours sincerely


Peter Lander
President
Brisbane Table Tennis Association.


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