Present 25 potential club members.
2 Friends of Greenhead Park.
This was an informal meeting with a broad agenda designed to decide whether the attendees wanted to come together to form a club based at the park.
We are grateful to 4 members from Heckmondwike Petanque club who attended and who related how their club started 2 years ago.
1. Why a club?
It was stressed that a club did not automatically mean playing in leagues but had a social side. There would be internal club competitions and also opportunities to travel for social fixtures with other clubs and possibly joining in Northern Petanque events throughout the region.
All agreed to start the club from the first week in March and hope to recruit members over the following 6 weeks with an AGM to be held on 13th April at 1pm to formally constitute the club and elect officers, choose club name, decide on subscriptions etc.
2. How much?
The terrain had been built by KMC following discussions with local petanque players and councillors. It is a public park so anyone who wants to play petanque when the park is open may do so if they have their own boules. However KMC would allow a club to reserve a few hours a week at no charge.
The park toilets were freely available but were closed by the park café when the café closed which may be earlier than the club’s finishing time.
The community room in which the meeting took place was also available free of charge for non profit making groups although some restrictions were in place from the café which would need discussion. Alternative bases and storage areas were discussed and we will need to talk to KMC to resolve these issues.
It was noted that the nearby pub had toilets and other facilities and may be a useful base in summer. An annual membership fee of between £5 and £10 would probably be needed as there may be some insurance costs. It was noted that there may be grants available to assist in club development.
Heckmondwike club said they had a few fundraisers doing simple activities which raised enough for incidental expenses.
3. What do I need to play?
As most of the facilities were available at no cost there would be few expenses. The group has a stock of boules and coches and members could borrow these until they felt confident enough to buy a set of boules for themselves. Guidance would be available from the club to assist members in buying boules. Other accessories may be useful and the club may assist in bulk buying of scorers, pick-ups etc. The other crucial component was a few plastic garden chairs to use next to the terrain and an appeal was launched for unwanted chairs which could be stored near the terrain. 4 have already been promised.
4. When will the club meet?
More than once a week. Sunday afternoon is an obvious choice as there will be plenty of potential new members walking past and previous taster sessions in the autumn had attracted about 50 interested parties. A weekday afternoon was also suggested and in summer an evening session. The community room is not available every weekday as other activities have already booked regular slots. We may be able to operate without the room. These days would be decided in the run up to the AGM. There was also the possibility of one-off events on notable dates throughout the year.
5. Any other business?
Although one person could run the club and attend every session to organise there will be times when this person might not be available because of holidays etc. The club needs some volunteers to assist in organising a club session. These need not be officers of the club just people who now and again could open up the base/store, pull out the chairs and rakes, draw games, assist with rules queries and close it all down at the end of the session. Paperwork and resources will be provided.
There would be regular competitions within the club. The club would probably host a few open events where non club members could play and there would almost certainly be fixtures against local clubs – Heckmondwike, Honley and Leeds. There is no league available at present to play in but one may be formed soon. It is hoped to run a “trial” melee soon.
A draft will be prepared for discussion and approval at the AGM. Each date will require an member to organise the games etc.
More experienced players would share their expertise with newer members but it would be possible to bring a regional coach to the terrain to develop members’ skills and teach them the etiquette and expectations of playing in regional events.
6. Questions & close
There were general questions which were answered by the meeting. Any other enquiries can be sent by email. The date for AGM has been booked with the café.