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Waikato Bays News with Anna Kalma

There seems to be a bit of an imperceptible buzz around the traps in the Waikato Bays … some might attribute it to the first proper week of spring … it could be due to the kicking off of the World Cup in Wuhan and the other one in Japan … or is it because New Zealand’s premier bridge event is less than a week away in Hamilton!

Exciting stuff … for this issue I’m going to leave tournament success to one side as it feels we sometimes celebrate these too much at the expense of what is happening in the regions and I suspect that will be the focus for the next issue (sorry if you won a tournament in the last few months and fail to get your due recognition via this channel!).   

Regional Conference.   Every couple of years we hold a conference for representatives from our regional clubs to come along and see what is happening at board, regional and local level and are provided with an opportunity to upload, offload and refresh.     We had reasonable attendance – with approximately 23 people attending from 23 invited clubs.   While that sounds impressive with double ups and regional committee attendees, only 12 clubs were represented … still ,can’t complain - it was a nice day, we had good debate and it was an opportunity to connect outside bridge tournaments.  

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Clare Coles fills us in on the NZ Bridge priorities and initiatives

 

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An external company, Exult (a Tauranga based business that runs training and workshops for community groups and charities), delivered a workshop around sustainable funding.

  We looked at the various income streams open for groups such as ours to gain funding … which ultimately links into promotional and membership opportunities too.   In a nutshell there were six relevant income streams and each are important avenues to consider:

  • Membership (annual fees and table money) This is the bread and butter of bridge clubs but we must be careful not to rely on this income stream as the sole option (especially if you have a declining membership and more cost is heaped on less people!).   Think outside the square on other sort of membership for those who don’t play bridge … social members or join up with similar organisations to provide something that adds value (loyalty discounts at local businesses)
  • Including straight unencumbered money, gifts and bequests.   But don’t forget about the donation of time and goods that bridge clubs relies on … like morning teas, lunches, directors, cleaners, gardeners, treasurers etc.   We often don’t put a value of these in our financials but what perhaps we should assign a value to these services in case we have to buy them on the open market.
  • Sponsorship Instead of targeting the companies that sponsor everything in town we should understand the value of their access to our members and ensure we have synergies between the values of both of our organisations.   I also think we are guilty of underselling our sponsorship and access to our bridge clubs.
  • Fundraising and Events. Not only are fundraising events a great way for the bridge club members to bond and work on a fun event … but they are a great avenue for getting exposure for your bridge club, potentially some publicity and are also something tangible to sell to a sponsor or grant provider.   
  • Grants A vast number of organisations are available to tap for funding for specific projects but just be careful you follow instructions, get advice from their funding advisors and ensure your application fits the criteria.    There are funding organisations available to fund a range of things from clubroom improvements, bridge paraphernalia, catering and hall hireage for events, coaching and training etc.   There are also specific grants set up to enable working across organisations (like Youth groups/Bridge and Bridge/Migrant groups etc)   
  • Social Enterprise This relates to the opportunity to make money from other stuff we do … many clubs do it already by hiring out their clubrooms or leasing parts of their buildings or hiring out carparks but perhaps there are other things we could think of that might add value to the community… set up a coffee cart , package bridge improvers lessons and training guides …

Anyway, that was a great session to start the process of thinking outside the square and understanding the opportunities available for bridge clubs not only for funding but also to work with and promote ourselves to the wider community.
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Sponsorship:   Hamilton’s 10A Swiss Pairs was sponsored by Ryman Healthcare who were perhaps left wondering whether they were targeting the right demographic when a couple of youngsters took the top prize!

Offload   A chance to talk about what is happening in the regions and New Zealand Bridge including an update from NZ Bridge, some innovative things happening in our region with the implementation of Hello Club (a cashless club management system) by Cambridge and Tauranga https://helloclub.com/ .   Another initiative was the development of XG Handicaps which is the opportunity to utilise dynamic handicaps within the Compass scoring system.    Unlike usual handicapping systems that just track your performance over certain club nights …the XG handicapping takes into account the strength of your partner as well as the strength of your opposition for every board you have played providing a much fairer representation of your session result.    

Another area of discussion was around the offer from a regional member who wanted to promote opportunities for recent Open players recognising the difficulty for many of not only breaking into big time Open Tournaments but more importantly enjoying the experience.    This member had made the offer of a donation to establish another level of tournament for these players.   After discussion, we thought it would be great to extend the concept of a restricted tournament that we enjoy at Congress as a trial holding these alongside 10A events that happen in the region (although this needs ratification by NZ Bridge and will also be dependent on support from Waikato Bays players).    Watch this space.

 

Refresh:   Great catering and hospitality from Matamata Bridge Club … thanks for hosting our regional conference.

Other Waikato Bays stuff:

Double Life Members at Whakatane
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Jan Jarrett and Pat Bell

On Sunday September 15, two of Whakatane’s most loved members, Jan Jarrett and Pat Bell were unanimously awarded Life Membership at the Annual General Meeting, of the Whakatane Contract Bridge Club.

Both ladies have been members since the 1970s and between them have almost 100 years of dedicated service to the club.As well as playing regularly, they are still actively involved in the daily running of the club, always ready to help out in any way they can. They are wonderful supporters of our newer players, offering help and advice when required, but always in a kind and pleasant manner.

They are very special ladies who are very deserving of this honour.

 Huntly Bridge Club does well in International Bridge Tournament

For the second year running Huntly Bridge Club participated in the International Simultaneous Pairs Event for the Bill Hughes Trophy.   This is an International Event during which the same cards were played by many clubs over the world in the last week of June 2019.   Only two New Zealand clubs participated; our own Huntly Bridge Club, and South Wairarapa.

A total of 841 pairs from 60 clubs participated this year from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Zambia, Kenya, France, Iceland, Cyprus, USA, Sri Lanka, Australia.

Huntly Bridge Club held their evening on Friday 28 June, followed by a shared supper.  The winners of the Huntly Heat were Eileen Lumsden and Joan Craig who scored a very creditable 62.44%,  1st in New Zealand and 41st world wide out of 841 pairs.  The prize included $25 each cash, a small trophy and bridge pen.
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Eileen Lumsden and Joan Craig...  and their trophies

Mike joins the 80%+ club in Kawerau

And finally a “virtual award” to Mike Whalley from the Kawerau Bridge Club for his recent stellar  performances in a club session as provided by Derek Moores from the Kawerau Bridge Club:

Mike played with Corrie Overdevest on a Tuesday night in July and scored 85.71% which was repeated the following week with his partner Derek Moores when they scored 81.48%.     Two 80%+ scores are a very rare event and well done, Mike.   

 

Final word:   Hopefully everybody has a great week at Congress next week.   Looking forward to connect with many and enjoy the competition.

 

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