South East Council Constituency
Candidate Elected for 2021 - 2024
I have been playing croquet for about eight years. I took up the sport following retirement and I started playing at West Worthing Croquet Club which is part of a large multi sports club. I subsequently became chairman of the croquet section and then vice chair on the board of directors of the main club. Posts that I still hold. I am also a member of Sussex County Croquet Club.
In 2019 I became part of the organising committee for the GC World Championships and West Worthing lawns were used for part of the early stage of the competition. Subsequently I have taken on the roles of Treasurer of the South East Federation and then Chairman following the retirement of Bill Arliss. The Federation has membership of over forty clubs and, as well as providing them with advice and support, runs several leagues and tournaments each year.
My background is in banking having been a senior branch manager before retirement. I have also taken on various voluntary roles including working for the Citizens Advice Bureau and The National Trust.
West Worthing Club has a membership of over 1000 and sitting on the board of directors has involved me in many strategic and significant financial decisions. One of my responsibilities was to incorporate the club and convert it into a Community Interest Company.
I am particularly keen to see croquet become more recognised by the general public as a serious sport and for it to be played by a much more diverse group of people than we have at present. Young players are key to the future of croquet and must be encouraged at every level.
Proposer: Jonathan Isaacs Seconder: Ian Cobbold
Ian Cobbold (until October 2022)
I started playing croquet some 15 years ago at Reigate Priory. In 2011 my wife and I were invited to start a croquet club in Cheam when a bowls club closed. The club started the following year with 80 members, including a small bowls section; most members had never seriously played croquet before. The club has thrived, and with a great deal of coaching, has won SECF tournaments and leagues - both Golf and Association. The club tries hard to cater for both social and competitive players and for GC and AC.
I later also joined Sussex County and now play Golf for it and Association for Cheam. Eighteen months ago I became the Development Officer for the SECF and so a member of the CA's Development Committee. I am an Examining Referee and Championship Referee for GC and a Grade 2 coach. I have been appointed as Tournament Referee for the GC World Championships.
I strongly support the change to a smaller CA Council with a more strategic role. I am keen to help the CA to foster the growth of croquet by appealing to all ages and standards of player, to encourage more women to progress to higher level competitions, to promote the playing of both codes and to make the organisation more effective in meeting the needs of individual members and clubs.
My career was spent in the Bank of England, latterly specialising in banking supervision, and when the Financial Services Authority was brought into being was one of those who transferred to the new organisation. I have strong analytical, organisational and management skills and a good knowledge of budgeting and financial management to assist my work on the Council if I am elected.
Proposer: Jonathan Isaacs; Seconder: Michael Hague
Jonathan Isaacs (until October 2021)
Jonathan has a background in the Food Industry where he held several senior management positions in a large corporate company before creating a successful food sales and marketing company.
In the croquet world he held several positions on the Governing Body including Chairman of Council and chair of several CA Sub Committees before being appointed a Vice President.
In 2006 he introduced the Croquet Academy.
At club level he became Chairman of Sussex County Croquet Club for several years before becoming its President.
To secure a strong long term future for SCCC he developed a Strategic Plan to make the club a leading National & International venue for AC & GC Croquet. The plan included creating additional income for the club through coaching, hosting of corporate events, developing new large tournaments & improving the catering function. The proceeds have been re-invested in upgrading the facilities of the club including completely re-laying all their lawns. This has now been completed and the final phase will be to modernise their club house facilities.
In 2017 he stepped into the Chair The CA's Governance Changes Working Group and gained the agreement of Council & the Association to implement the new Governance structure.
When asked why he wanted to stand for the new Council he said: " Having fought hard to bring change to the CA's Governance, I want to see it through and help the revised structure to effectively develop croquet in our country."
Proposer: John Bowcott; Seconder: Clive Hayton
Samir Patel (until October 2023)
I have been playing croquet since taking up the sport in 1994 as a student at Oxford University. I am now a member of Surbiton Croquet Club, with Association and Golf Croquet handicaps of -2 and -3 respectively. I have represented England and Great Britain in international matches since 2007, including as team captain since 2013. I have won the President's Cup and two Open Doubles Championships.
In support of croquet administration, I joined the Publishing committee in 2002, with an initial focus on the CA Website. I have since joined multiple committees, including International, ICT and Tournaments. The latter has included responsibility for maintaining and improving the CA's Tournament Regulations. I also manage several tournaments each year, ranging from Handicap Weekends to the Open Championships.
Internationally, I have been a member of the World Croquet Federation's Management Committee since 2015. As part of this role I created, and now run, the WCF Facebook Page (@WorldCroquet), and been the event lead for several AC and GC individual and team World Championships.
If elected to the CA's Council, my aim will be to ensure that the CA has a strategy to grow croquet in England:
- Attracting and recruiting more players from a wider demographic.
- Coaching available for those who want to improve.
- Improving facilities, particularly in regions which are currently not well served.
- Increasing the number of people playing competitive croquet.
- Making a greater proportion of our money is available for investment in our sport, rather than for day-to-day running costs.
The new CA governance model offers us the opportunity to change how we run croquet. We need a new council to set strategy and direction, with measurable targets and goals, to get the best from the work done by volunteers within our committees in support of our sport.
Proposer: Hugh Carlisle; Seconder: Alison Maugham
The South East Council constituency covers the area of the South East and London Federation.
One of the three members of this constituency is due for election each year.