Message from the President

Posted on 21/06/2013 by: Neville Fielder

Latest news from the President regarding the new clubrooms. August could be a very special month for Henley Surf Life Saving Club...

Clubrooms update

neville fielderThe current handover date is 6th August - still seems a long way to go but Hoges can count the sleeps now so it really is getting close (47).

The builders are under pressure to achieve this date and we are now finalising the sourcing of the items that we need to supply, such as electrical items, cabinetry, tables and chairs etc.

We have done a great deal of research of other clubs here in SA that have redeveloped during the past few years in an effort to learn from their mistakes and successes. Most have made mistakes while trying to make money and have had to change direction and scale down their operations. Some had lost the family friendly environment that they had worked many years to achieve. We will avoid that at all costs.

We have also spoken to interstate clubs who, in the search of great profits, have lost money and members by taking a commercial path.

Your Committee has chosen to take a step by step approach in an effort to retain the fantastic family friendly environment that we have at Henley, whilst balancing the need to generate more income in order to service the loans for the new building and pay rent to Council when that comes in to play in a couple of years.

club jettyWe are finalising the business plan over the next couple of weeks and initially will likely open the Top Room (maybe with a new name?) from Thursday through to Sunday – this is still being determined. We have had amazing interest already from people wishing to have weddings etc upstairs and need to fit those bookings in around our member functions.

We have also had interest from the Corporate sector and hope to generate an income from business conferences and seminars weekdays. This won't interfere with members accessing the equipment storage area, change rooms or gym.

I've mentioned these points because we have the large loans to service and need a solid, regular income and must plan around that. Otherwise we will go backwards.

Having said that, I am very pleased to say that the planning we put in place some years ago - knowing the financial pressures that the new building would present, will ensure that we can repair, maintain and in some cases replace our equipment as it ages or becomes redundant.

Our main focus will never deviate from our core commitments - developing our members and providing a safe environment for beachgoers. Our membership numbers have grown remarkably over the last few years despite the condition of the old building. Evidence indicates that we will see a spike in membership once the new building opens and we need to be prepared for that - it puts pressure on Age Group Leaders, Trainers and the Management Teams, and higher demands on equipment and facilities. Some clubs have seen inceases of 50 to 90% when their new clubrooms have opened. In our case that is potentially an increase of between 250 and 450 members. You can see what I mean.

So you can see some of what we have been through. It's been stressful and challenging but we've had everyone's interests at heart - we only want what is best for everyone and hope to establish a strong legacy for those who come along after us.

We anticipate having some functions during September as we all settle in to our new clubrooms and will advise dates and details soon.Once we take possession we’ll arrange a walk through for all members to view the facilities.

We will also have a formal opening which, provided the completion date is as anticipated will be during the October Long Weekend.We also plan a reunion for past members during that weekend.

If any member has any questions please call me on 0418 631 203 or email me at as I'd rather answer questions than have you guessing.

Regards to all

Neville Fielder
President & Life Member