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Our first Members Meeting of this year, following the spate of meetings at the end of last year and the AGM in March was recently held at the Wenvoe Arms, home of the Wenvoe Pétanque Club. The numbers attending were on the low side, but not unexpected at this time of the year.
There was a lively and quite extensive discussion of topical playing issues, which gave the Executive Committee (EC) a chance to listen to and respond to Members’ views and comments on several of the recent WPA competitions. It was all very useful material for the EC to consider, especially as they preparation the calendar and planning for next season.
Among the issues which came up was funding for clubs, and in particular for clothing and equipment, and Tony Smith, the Treasurer, was keen to give out useful information on sources of funding. He repeated that EC members are more than happy to assist clubs in preparing funding applications to appropriate bodies – which can help clubs pay for things like team shirts, sets of boule for beginners, practice equipment, and to cover the cost of attending coaching courses.
We discussed in some detail the latest news on Tony’s on-going efforts to clarify our insurance cover, and we agreed to report back on further work we are doing with the insurers to try to maximise or improve the cover for our players and clubs. A number of important questions were asked by Members and we will be doing our best to get the answers!
We talked about the need to create proper training and playing facilities, and I have produced a separate message about that under the heading “Development Fund”.
We also had a lively discussion about how the WPA invites teams to play in international tournaments. The detail is already set out and published in the Rules of Entry, which were updated at the start of this season, with the help of some of our most experienced “international” players.
Following that discussion, the EC has been considering the further work it needs to do to clarify and publicise information about this, and related subjects, and further policy guidelines will be published shortly.
A number of concerns were raised about this season’s competitions, and the EC will be constantly reviewing how events go to see what needs to be improved on for later events and for next season.
One decision which has been made is to try to organise events where possible without “byes”, and from this meeting onwards entries will be monitored more closely so that the “cut off” will be applied when the last even numbered team enters, with later entering teams going onto a standby list, and being invited to play if an earlier registered team drops out.
If teams enter using the electronic application form their entry time is automatically generated, and so teams enter in a known date/ time order. It is important for teams to ensure that their electronic entry is correctly submitted – and acknowledged! If in doubt, contact Jean-Yves or Tony as soon as possible.
Jean-Yves asked for nominations for the appointments of National Coach, National Umpire, Medical Officer and Child Protection Officer. Please contact the Exec if you are interested in applying.
Please also contact the EC if you are in a team due to play in the Home Nations or Inter Regional but have to withdraw, so that reserve players can be invited to attend.
The meeting covered a lot of other topics, but I hope this gives you some news. There is a lot going on in the background to further our sport. Come to the next General Meeting to hear more!