Welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed our glorious sunny Ulster summer. Meanwhile, we ran 4 summer leagues successfully and I can only see more leagues at this time for next year. (see below for league winners)

AGM: The AGM was held and several changes were made: occasional (not named) subs are no longer able to skip; secondly, if your rink only plays with 3 players instead of the usual 4, your rink will lose one third of the score and not one quarter. For the 9.30 leagues only – a bell will ring at 10.20am signifying your break is over and you should be back on the green.

One other proposed change: the popular leagues are the 11.30 ones—we are considering establishing in the future 2 sections in each morning league, with promotion and relegation. Please let us know what you think on this one.

In your rinks please try to name 5, or preferably 6, when submitting the form – it makes the business of subbing a lot easier. Changes in your named rink MUST be notified to the Office i.e. if you are adding names to or deleting names off a rink.

Subscriptions: The AGM also agreed to raise the annual sub to £60. At the same time however we are offering members the chance to take out a 5 year membership at £200 – a huge saving. This offer will be limited to the first 160 members. The money raised from this venture will be ring-fenced as an emergency or contingency fund.

REMEMBER: all subs MUST be paid by Wednesday 12th October. Any subs paid after that date will incur a £5 late fee.

NOTE: RINK FEES have not been raised.

Committee: Chris Mulholland has replaced Neil Mulholland on the Management Committee; the new Officers and Sub Committees will be elected at the meeting on September 5th.

You all must be aware by now that the Club will be hosting the UK Championships and Internationals in March 2017.  I have already appealed to members in the Summer Newsletter for all sorts of things, but more details on this later on. We will be looking for volunteers in many categories, but initially, if any of you have a valid first aid qualification and would be prepared to do a few hours during the Championships please get in touch.

Monthly Newsletter: any suggestions, poems, songs, diatribes etc are welcome.

COACHING: this year we begin on October 10th for 8 weeks. I would seriously encourage all our present members to think of possible new members and to encourage them to come along on those Monday nights. It is not compulsory to attend all 8 nights! Remember if you introduce a new full member you do receive a bowls voucher.

I am also going to run in October a one-off Clinic for those members who feel they could do with a little help.

Short Mat: The short mat bowlers, the IIBA, are with us again and I enclose the dates below for your information:

October 1st – Masters pairs

October 15th – Champion of Champions

November 5th – Club Championship

November 12th – Club Championship

January 7th – Junior 2 rink competition

February 18th – Junior Inter Zone

March 4th – National Play offs

Summer Pairs Leagues :

Monday Morning Winners : Alan Graham and David Bell

Wednesday Morning Winners : Billy McConkey and Derek Brown.

Thursday Evening Winners : Mervyn Vicary and Sam Malcolmson.

Friday Evening Winners: Alan Graham and David Bell.

League Fixtures: the fixtures have been prepared and are up on the website. As always, please keep an eye out for changes that may occur due to changes in skips’ name or rinks pulling out.

Postponed Games: games postponed at the start of the season between 12th -30th September can be re-arranged and played before November 1st.

Games postponed during the Xmas period between 12th and 31st December can be re-arranged and played before February 1st2017.

ALL other games have one month from the date postponed to be played.

BYES: if you have a bye and wish to keep the rink you MUST inform the Duty Officer the previous week, otherwise there is no guarantee the rink will be retained for you.

Pairs Leagues: we are keen to run more mixed pairs leagues, due to the success and demand for entry into the Friday 11.30 league. If you are interested in playing in a mixed pairs league, please leave your name, and that of your partner, at the Duty Office. The sessions available to run such leagues are: Monday to Friday 9.30 to 11.30am; or Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 2- 4pm.

Provide we get a minimum of 8 pairs for a particular session, then we will run the league.

The Club will be hosting a young team from Jersey. They will be arriving on Friday 23rd September, and will play on Saturday 24thand Sunday 25th. Our BIBC team played earlier in the year in Jersey and this is the return match; gold and silver cups will be presented along with medals. We are grateful to Jim Magee for generously sponsoring this event. We really would appreciate a good turnout to support this annual venture. We DO need to encourage our younger generation! If you are prepared to volunteer to help in any capacity on this weekend please talk to John McCullough.

May I wish all our members, and all our visitors, a happy and successful season ahead.

Yours in sport,