AGM – President’s Report

Sandringham Baseball Club Annual General Meeting 2018-19

12th June 2019

President Rick Wills

Tonight signifies the conclusion of the 2018-19 Summer League season and the commencement of the 91st season of the Sandringham Baseball Club with the election of new office bearers.

Firstly may I take the opportunity on behalf of the current committee, members, players and supporters to recognise the achievement of the Sandringham Baseball Club and all those who have contributed to its longevity being, 90 years as a community sporting club.

The 2018-19 season has seen our club continue to grow and provide the bayside region with a sporting option that is welcoming to new members of varying age and ability as well as providing a venue for the more competitive to engage in the game of baseball on a weekly basis.

Club members should be very proud of the past achievements and also very optimistic of the future of the club, as it marches toward a centenary of existence.

Juniors are an integral cog in the wheel of the clubs existence….and again this season more new faces, and returning junior members are a rewarding endorsement of our commitment to juniors, enabling them to train, and play sport in a friendly environment with many terrific role models and coaches while at the same time, creating friendships and developing life skills along the way.

My thanks to all the Junior coaches for their support this season…I understand how demanding the role is, and how it at times, takes away your own family time, and the challenges that the role creates, however please know that the club is indebted to you for your contribution.

I also take this opportunity to thank the many parents who did offer assistance with any or many of the roles that exist with our junior sport…. I have a strong belief that when a parent engages, the player tends to enjoy the experience more.

We look forward to seeing the base of parental assistance continue to develop further next season.
Our club is fortunate to have a healthy list of juniors who have achieved selection in Southern Mariners Charter program academy programs, State representation, or All Star team selection from Little League though to Senior League with the Southern Mariners.

All these additional programs are fantastic for development of young players skills and I wholly endorse and encourage players to attend the programs even if it leads to selection or not.

At this time I acknowledge Marshall Skinner and his contribution to Junior Baseball in the past summer season. Marshall was the successful head coach of the Victorian Under 18 Blue team which delivered a National Championship Title in January this year.

He also committed to various junior development programs with Baseball Victoria as well as the role of Charter Development coach with the Southern Mariners.  Sandringham U16’s enjoyed Marshall as its team coach and our club is very fortunate to have Marshall involved with juniors and seniors.

To our club coach, Paul Rutgers and to Marshall Skinner and Tim Ballard I express my gratitude on behalf of the club for your dedication this year.

I believe that our playing list is still maturing however it is very encouraging to see some players believing that they are now able to compete at higher levels of competition and perform that way.
Opportunities have been provided at all grades of competition and I believe management of players has been excellent this season.  As the talent base of our developing players continues to emerge, and grow at the same time, the club,in consultation with our coaches will review the current senior training structure to ensure all players who seek will, receive the benefit of tuition from our coaching staff.

To Sam Street, Mat Taylor and Darren Wilcox (who managed the other 3 senior teams) my thanks on behalf of the committee for your time and dedication in assisting with both experienced senior players and development of junior players to regular senior players.

This season the Sandringham Baseball Club presented Life Membership to Mat Taylor.  Mat has been a dedicated servant of the club for many seasons both on and off the field of play and has made a significant contribution to the longevity of the Sandringham Baseball Club.

Your Life Membership is a deserved award Mat, and we thank and congratulate you once again.

Best Clubman was awarded to Andy Holten, a dedicated club volunteer who contributes in so many ways, in both Winter and Summer seasons. Andy is a very worthy recipient of the awards.

Zak Skinner was presented with the Paul “Fuzzy” Housden Junior Club Champion award.  Zak who has enjoyed a fantastic junior career, emerged this season as regular Division 1 player and was part of the U18 National Championship team.  Zak was presented with the award by Fuzzy at our presentation night.

A popular and very worthy winner of the Wonnacott Medal for season 2018-19 was Brandon Stenhouse.
Brandon, defies defeat in all aspects of his game and typifies the determination characteristics that the Wonnacott Medal represents.

I express my thanks to the Holten family for welcoming and hosting Peter Gehle this season.  Peter a mature aged player(import) of vast experience was able to contribute enormously to the team and the club this season no doubt in part to the hospitality of the Holten family.  Peter openly expressed his gratitude and the level Andy and Detsy went to, ensuring he was comfortable.

My thanks again to the Holten family.

This club is fortunate to have many members who also act as volunteers throughout the year at many and various times.

Fuzzy deserves all the recognition he receives from all including opposition players and officials for the Tulip Street diamond that juniors and senior players have to enjoy each week.  I’m sure Fuzzy would also want his band of helpers acknowledged, not individually however for fear of leaving someone out.

To Peter Macfarlane and his band of volunteers involved with the Royals Club,your contribution is enormous and envied by rival clubs.  Macca continues to drive the Royals Club initiative contributing to the club finances with generous support from the many Royals Club members who enjoy the superb meals provided by Jan Street and her group of club supporters.

Sponsorship for any sporting club is an essential part of club operations.

Buxton Estate Agents,Monjon,Highway Tyres,Connolly Wealth Management,Classic Jewellery, Church Street Butchers,Hampton Travel and Cruise,Fleetmark and Veritec provided fantastic and generous financial support of the Sandringham Baseball Club.

I’m not sure if the sponsorship is ever totally reciprocated, however we hope that our club adds value to your brand and promotes the fact that you are a supporter of a long established community sporting club.  We thank you also for your contribution this season.

To the outgoing committee of 2018-19, I thank-you for your dedication with special acknowledgement to Julie Lane who has served as club treasurer and to Michael Socic who have officially advised that they will resign their positions.

Both Michael and Julie have made considerable contributions over many years off the field of play and their involvement has assisted in the club being in such a stable position today.

My thanks on behalf of all club members.

So now to the future…hopefully the club will continue to emerge as a competitive baseball club across all grades, it will continue to search and seek out committed junior coaches, continue to provide an enjoyable environment for players while at the same develop their skills regardless of grade or age and importantly, plan for the future.

The club in my opinion needs to fully commit to the development of a women’s baseball program built on a solid foundation with the right personnel engaged.

We have girls playing in junior grades and believe that we are the first club to have a stand alone girls only junior team. The future is now, and a meaningful women’s program is a road the club needs to travel.

Sandringham Baseball Club now enters its 91st season and is arguably bigger than it has ever been in its history with plans to grow even bigger. As mentioned previously the fantastic band of volunteers who help in so many ways make the running of the club easier.  However,as the club grows so does the commitment for our committee and the associated workload that goes with it.  Fresh faces and fresh ideas are critical to the evolvement of any organisation and our club is no different.  You can add to our quest to see this club be the club of choice for new and established players if you join the committee.

It has been my pleasure to serve as President of the Sandringham Baseball Club and I trust that the Executive and committee of the 2018-19 season has served you well.

Rick Wills

President – Sandringham Baseball Club


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