Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on Sunday, 11th March 2018

Present: Alan Curran, Carol Bisset, Andrew Fyfe, Christine Fyfe, Joss Marshall, Linda & Keith Gardiner, Brian Howell, Anke Addy, Iain Young, Catriona Mackay, Maryclare Rattey, Judith Brown-Kerr, Sue Preece, Julie Mitchell-Mehta, Rachael Esson, Iain Wallace, Carol Vermeulen, Keren Beveridge, Kalya Mitchell-Mehta.

1. Welcome

Alan Curran welcomed members to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Apologies were received from:   Chris & Tamara Sebire, Lucia Hunter, Alison McIntosh, Kirsty Sherrington, Alexander Fyfe, Alison Hodgetts, Josephine Hazley, Graham Kay, Hitesh Mitchell-Mehta, Ann Keenan, Rona Mitchell.

3. Minutes of 2017 AGM

The minutes of Aboyne Tennis Club’s C AGM held on Wednesday, 22nd March 2017 were approved.  Proposed by Andrew Fyfe, seconded by Iain Young.

4. Chairman’s Report

Alan Curran presented his 4th and final report as Chairman.  He described 2017 as another fantastic year for the club.  The highlight was the completion of the refurbishment of the courts and installation of new lights.  The weather had prevented the painting of the new courts; this would now be done later in 2018. Alan thanked everyone involved.  Despite the disruption we managed to maintain a strong coaching programme, complete all league matches and continue to enjoy social tennis.  Alan offered his thanks to both Torphins and Ballater tennis clubs for the use of their facilities during the period our courts were out of action.  The club also thanked Alan for allowing his own court to be used for junior coaching. The success of the club has been recognised by Tennis Scotland with Aboyne reaching the short list for club of the year for 2017, Graham for coach of the year and Andrew for volunteer of the year for his work in project managing the refurbishment project.  We should find out in the next few weeks if we have won any of these awards.

Alan advised that a key feature in recent years had been the formation of several sub-committees to facilitate different aspects of the work.  This had engaged the wider membership and had been very successful. The Capital Projects Sub-Committee had been driving the project for several years, the Fundraising and Events Sub-Committee had exceeded the fundraising targets set at the outset and had organised some excellent events, the Media and Communications Sub-Committee had played an important role in disseminating information to club members and beyond.  Now the new Development Sub-Committee is taking forward the delivery of the club’s development plan.

Alan praised the efforts of the club coach, Graham Kay.  The coaching programme continued to thrive in 2017, with 3 strands of activities: core tennis, the development squad and the performance squad.  12 teenagers were taken to train at Barcelona Tennis Academy in October. This was hard work but a lot of fun for everyone involved, building on the foundation of previous years.  Special thanks were given to Rachael Esson for taking over the role of Junior Co-ordinator, bringing order to the admin side of coaching.

Aboyne had again fielded 2 men’s and 2 ladies’ teams in the NESLTA leagues and 3 teams in the Deeside league.  A 3rd men’s team will be entered in the NESLTA league in 2018.  

The usual club competitions went ahead despite the disruption to the courts with the club championships held in spring rather than late summer.  There was a good entry to all events and a high standard of tennis.

Alan noted that the club had recently signed up to the new LTA software, Club Serve, which will help to provide technical, legal and administrative support in the years to come.

Alan was proud of what had been achieved over the last 4 years.  The objective now should be to build on the momentum generated by the project to establish a thriving sports and social hub in Deeside.  Alan concluded his report by indicating that, although he was standing down as Chairman, he would remain on the committee and an active member of the club.  He thanked all those who had contributed to the club over the last 4 years, with particular thanks to those at the heart of the project effort: Andrew and Christine Fyfe, Kirsty Sherrington, Carol Bisset and Graham Kay.

5. Treasurer’s Report

Carol presented the Treasurer’s Report.  She highlighted that overall income excluding grants was broadly similar to last year.

Membership income rose to £10k despite member numbers falling from 240 in 2016 to 197 in 2017.  The rise was due to the introduction of 3 and 5 year memberships. Only 12 members had taken up this option but it represented a significant increase in cash for 2017.  It also meant that there would be 12 fewer adult memberships coming in during 2018 and 2019 so we would need to budget for that.

Fundraising had a net yield of £12k, bringing the total raised in just over 2 years to £27k, well above the £25k target set at the start of the project.  The fundraising sub-committee was praised for its efforts.

Total income for the year before grants was a bit over £23k

Expenditure during 2017 on activities other than the project was £4.8k, £1k lower than in 2016 due to lower routine court maintenance costs.  As the courts were being broken up halfway through the year, we didn’t bother with any cleaning and moss treatment.

Excluding the project, the club made a surplus for the year of £18.5k, £0.5k more than in 2016.


Carol drew the members’ attention to the note at the bottom of the accounts which showed the breakdown of the income and expenditure on the project.  The total amount paid so far was £162.7k of which £109k was funded by grants. The remaining £53k was paid out of club funds. It was particularly pleasing that we had managed to complete the project without having to draw down any loan funding from the LTA so there was no burden being placed on future members of the club.  


When the project costs net of grants are taken into account, the club made a net loss for the year of £35k.  This was funded from the sinking fund set aside in previous years and from the fundraising income for the current year.


The club finished the year with £9k in the bank, enough to cover the remaining project costs net of grants.  Thanks are due to everyone, committee and members alike, for their hard work in making this all possible. It was a fantastic achievement in such a short space of time.


Thanks were given to Kirsty Sherrington for maintaining the club books during the year and to Iain Young for auditing the accounts.


Iain Young queried whether the borrowing power agreed at the EGM last year had now lapsed.  Carol confirmed that it had. The power had been specifically for a £30k loan from the LTA for the project work.  This had not been needed so had not been drawn down. Any other borrowing proposed in future would again require the consent of members in general meeting.

6. Coaching Report.

Alan presented the coaching report in Graham’s absence.  He advised that the programme had 3 strands: core sessions for building skills in a safe environment, including mini tennis and team tennis; development coaching which gave Deeside Squad children an opportunity to train for competition in lively and fun group sessions; performance coaching taking children with the capability, time and commitment from district/county level on to national level competition.  


2017 had seen the set up of the performance squad, 2 fully subscribed Easter camps in Aboyne and Torphins and 3 summer camps in both clubs.  Raphael Maurer of Barcelona Tennis Academy had visited Aboyne in the summer and had provided coaching clinics for juniors and adults. Graham had taken the lead in running the LTA Hotshot Tour events which had proved very popular.  He had now stepped down from his role providing NESLTA mini district coaching to concentrate fully on the development of our local children.


Rachael  advised that the coaching structure had always been in place; it wasn’t new, but Graham was making an effort to communicate it better to others, particularly parents, so everyone can see where they fit within the programme.  There was also a recognition that not all children have the same ambitions in relation to tennis and that by having different strands to the programme, the programme is more accessible to all.


Alan had met with Henry Allen of Banchory tennis club with the objective of looking at ways of generating sufficient interest and activity in the local area to warrant attracting a 3rd coach to share between the clubs to meet the extra demand.  This was an ongoing dialogue.


Judith Brown-Kerr said she would like to see greater inclusivity in the club so that we are not just providing coaching to children who are able and want to compete.  She had received some feedback in her role as child protection officer from children who had been deemed not good enough to continue. It was agreed this would be discussed at the next Development Sub-Committee.  Rachael pointed out that this is exactly the group that the core coaching programme was aimed at. There was also a need to develop a coaching programme for adult members. This would also be addressed by the Development Sub-Committee.

7. Match Reports.

Joss presented a report on the ladies’ Aberdeenshire league teams.  The A team had finished in the middle of Division 2. The B team had finished equal first in Division 4 so would be promoted to Division 3 in 2018.  Thanks were given to all the ladies who had played during the season, especially those who had stepped in at short notice to fill a vacancy. Joss advised that Ann was stepping down as ladies’ captain.  She was thanked for the work she had done in the role.

Andrew gave the men’s match report.  The men’s A team had been very competitive, finishing in the middle of Division 3.   The B team had also had a good season, finishing in 3rd place in Division 5, so missing out on promotion this year.  Andrew thanked the regular players for both teams. He advised that there was considerable strength and depth developing in the men’s side, with great juniors coming along wanting to become involved in team tennis.  There were also people moving into the area expressing an interest in joining. As a result, for the first time ever, there was enough interest to field a 3rd men’s team in the leagues in 2018. The aim for 2018 was to get the A team promoted to Division 2 and the B team to Division 4.

Carol Vermeulen provided a report on the Deeside League.  There had been 3 teams form Aboyne, one of them exclusively junior girls.  Cults had won the league, with our girls’ team coming 3rd.  This was a great development experience for them.  Cults had now taken over the running of the Deeside league and Carol had handed on the organisation of the Aboyne teams to Judith Brown-Kerr.  There were to be 3 Aboyne teams in the league again in 2018.

8. Membership Fees.

Andrew introduced the report on membership fee proposals.  He reminded members that in 2017 the fees had been frozen at 2016 rates to compensate members for the disruption caused by the court refurbishment.   However, the AGM in 2017 had undertaken to increase fees at an above inflation rate for the next 5 years to bring Aboyne’s fees in line with other comparable clubs and to ensure we generate sufficient funds to be able to set money aside each year for future court refurbishment.  He pointed out that the new fees would include a levy to cover the cost of electricity for the floodlights thus avoiding the need for a token meter. Concessions would be charged at 50% of the full rate for each class of membership, in line with Aberdeenshire Council policy on concessions.  The same criteria would be used to assess applications for concessionary rates. Judith Brown-Kerr was administering the system.

Andrew noted that previously, boys who were members at Torphins were able to join Aboyne as a second club for a nominal charge to allow them to play for Aboyne in the NESLTA leagues.  It was agreed to increase this charge to 50% of full rate and open it up to any member of another Deeside club. Multi-year memberships would no longer be available.

A motion to accept the recommendations in Andrew’s report was proposed by Julie Mitchell-Mehta and seconded by Brian Howell.  The motion was carried by a show of hands.