There have been a number of positive developments in the club over the last few months so I thought I’d put together a chairman’s report in the form of a bulletin to keep you all informed.
The club is doing well at the moment with over 40 members. In recent weeks there has been a spike in interest with several new members joining us. You are all welcome and I hope you enjoy diving with us. The phrase I keep hearing from new members is that they wanted to join Croydon because we are a club that dives!
And this certainly is the case. Marc Dellow will be sending around the Divelist soon and there will be a full calendar again to choose from for next year. Marc has booked dives with 4 different charters from late February to mid November. This list is coming out earlier than usual but it won’t include dives for the whole season. The reason for this is to stop everything being booked up at the outset by the usual wave of interest thereby leaving some options for others later in the season. There will, of course, be the popular Croydon staples of Scapa and Plymouth run by Alan Glen and Paul Brown respectively, but keep an eye open for some south-coast wreck sites new to the club.
Training will continue to be an important part of Croydon 23’s ethos. There are currently 6 trainees preparing for Ocean Diver, another 9 working towards Dive Leader and 2 actively pursuing Advanced Diver. With Dive Leader “identified as a key diver grade in terms of diver progression, branch and dive management as well as instructor development and club growth”, we are lucky to have so many trainees at this level. To progress this grade Alan Glen and I will be organising a training day to go through several of the theory and dry practical lessons. The DO, Roger, is also keen to organise some diver rescue revision sessions to keep our skills up to date. These will be organised for pool nights and advertised through the website.
Again on the subject of developing new divers, the club has bought several sets of training kit (BCs and regs) from James at Amphibian. The kit we had was anything but shipshape, and as far as fashion goes was decidedly more grunge than Bristol. Thanks to James Deane for putting the kit together at very helpful prices.
Since Saturday 13th August, the club kit has been in a storage facility just around the corner from Amphibian. We have round-the-clock access and the lock-up is very secure. Anyone wanting to use club kit should liaise with the Equipment Officer, Chris Vanstone, with whom they can make the necessary arrangements. Thanks to Dave Elphick who has kindly provided safe storage for the club kit for the past I don’t know how long.
Keep the evening of October 14th free if you can for a club curry night. Venue to be confirmed. Although we might be a club who dive a lot, we don’t tend to jump into social events with the same eagerness we do the water. It would be good to meet socially and also give newer members the opportunity to buddy up. I know some clubs have formal annual functions with speeches, awards etc. We might not be quite there yet but if anyone has any thoughts on the subject please raise a voice. Even better, if anyone would like to take on a committee role as social secretary they would be warmly welcomed.
By the way, the date of the next AGM is pencilled in for 9th November at 1930 at St Joseph’s. This will be confirmed nearer the time.
Croydon 23 is lucky to have a good number of very experienced divers and, in my view, is characterised by a real can-do attitude. With this potential in the club small wonder people wish to join us. If you feel you would like to make some contribution, make a change or stand for one of the committee roles, please step forward. It’s your club.
- Paul Mason, Chairman