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Croquet Association Recognises Andrew Thomas and Marian & Philip Harris

Croquet Association Diploma to

Andrew Thomas – Sidmouth Croquet Club

A Club with a member like Andrew Thomas is fortunate indeed. He joined in 2013 the committee in 2014 and took on, almost immediately, the overall grounds member role in this 3-Sport club. His opinion on grounds and equipment counts.

He researches thoroughly, saving thousands of pounds, Significantly, for the alternative supplier of bespoke metal railings along Fortfield Terrace / Court 2 and the installation of safety netting around the cricket field. He is currently involved in replacing failing fencing alongside the croquet courts having made robust temporary repair.

Specifically for Croquet he was much involved in the refurbishment of our hut and the storage extension addition. He master-minded the replacement of surrounding ball stops with angle-iron posts and created a ‘wild area’ in which he arranged for an innovative rustic bench to be installed – members now want copies for their gardens.

Andrew is the man who is always there. Most mornings he sets the hoops as a matter of course and pre-tournament ensures the courts are in the best condition possible. Not only dealing with the employed groundsman, tact essential, but the man who has developed tools to enhance hoop setting to ensure they are perfectly set – firm and accurate in the courts he probably mowed.

To the club’s and new members’ benefit he took it upon himself to refurbish donated mallets and oversee their sale. He has refurbished a steamer’s bench, fitted lockers in the main club ‘Mallet Room’, maintained a small thatched legacy shelter, laid paviour; mounted an external clock; installed cycle racks and on the list goes. On top of that he is an enthusiastic Club Coach!

He makes a huge input into the club but he has a weakness – if asked to help he always says ‘Yes’.

Croquet Association Diploma to

Philip and Marian Harris – Sidmouth Croquet Club

Since joining the Club in 2007 Marian and Philip have given unstintingly of their time. Marian very quickly joined the committee becoming the Social Secretary and the minutes stand testament to her major involvement in all aspects of making the Club a sociable venue for all. She then took over membership administration from ensuring new members were fully briefed to ensuring completion of CASC participation cards.

Philip was also quick to get involved. Initially helping to ready the courts for tournaments generally and then setting hoops. He willingly took on a SWF league team as his game developed in both AC and GC and became a Club Handicapper.

The Harris’ worked together on the social side, then moved into internal tournament organisation and administration and the annual, task of getting 30+ trophies engraved.

Marian’s grip failed her and she had to give-up playing croquet so, naturally Philip took on the Membership role in 2018. This in addition to being a dependable hoop-setter and ready source of assistance in all aspects of the Club. Perhaps his main contribution has been his cheerful willingness to coach newcomers from ‘Taster Day’ to competent player. Outside of the annual recruitment drive Philip has given up his time all too frequently to take on ad hoc new members; always with genuine enthusiasm and to the club’s benefit.

Over the years Philip has been an instigator of ideas for improvement; a ‘keeper of the diary’ avoiding date clashes and an always reliable, knowledgeable sounding board. Whatever the event requiring committee input Philip is there; first to arrive and last to leave.

The foregoing can only give a flavour of the time, effort and dedication put into the Club by Marian and Philip but they more than merit recognition.

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