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CHAIRMAN’S REPORT ON THE 2023 CHAMPIONSHIPS AT SKEGNESS In my first year as Chairman, the weather was the major challenge that we had to deal with, and in the true spirit of the EBF, we managed it. In this my second, it was the state of the greens at Skegness which dominated not only the National Executive Committee’s thoughts, but was the main topic on everyone’s lips, and understandably so. If I had a magic wand, for sure I would have used it, but what we had was all we could work with, and we had to try and make the best of it all. Unfortunately, we are getting to the point of ‘no return’, and I can assure all EBF members that the NEC are doing everything possible to put pressure on East Lindsey District Council to rectify the years of neglect at the Sun Castle greens, and if we cannot get the assurances we require, then next year could be the last time we use Skegness as a venue. I sincerely thank all the players and officials for the patience shown and for playing on rinks that were certainly not up to Championship standard.

Getting back to business, and with anew format for the opening Saturday, we were honoured not only by the presence of the Mayor of Skegness Councillor Pete Barlow, but also ‘Jolly’ the Fisherman, who officially opened the Championships. The Mayor then in the customary fashion rolled the ‘first woods’ of the tournament, before he was then introduced to the teams playing in the days Finals before he and ‘Jolly’ left.

The popular Reg. Jackson competition took place on Sunday and Monday morning with the winners this year, after a close race coming from Suffolk. We were blest with good weather all week, and this was some consolation for the state of the greens (but enough said about them for now).The habitual and ever increasing number of duplications again was one of the biggest issues in trying to organise the Championships. This has been mentioned now many times before and unfortunately is a problem that is not going away, and it ultimately leads to many TBA’s on the semi-final and finals schedule which is never a good situation, but unavoidable. Again I thank the Tournament Committee for their organising ability (and late night scheduling during the week) and the players involved for their patience.

This year’s ‘Young player of the Championship’ chosen by our two Presidents was Jorgia Jackson (Huntingdonshire). As always, thanks to the sponsor Fred Winter (Winter and Co. Insurance) for his continued support. To conclude the Championships on the final Saturday and just before the concluding trophy presentations, addresses were made by our Presidents and by East Lindsey District Council’s Chairperson (Councillor Dick Edginton).

My very grateful thanks go to: Dave Woods (National Secretary), Ty Roberts (Hon. Treasurer) and Beryl Beresford (Hon. Secretary EWBF) who do work tirelessly, not only during finals week but all year round and do their very best to keep me in order (as much as possible). Barbara Rushbrook and Brian Bevans (Tournament Directors) who manage to always cope with issues and problems as they arise, and in most cases keep a smile on their faces. To all of the Officers of the Federation, Umpires and Markers. To Stuart Croxall who kept our website fully up to date. To Richard Coles (our official photographer), Elsa (our first aider) and all the District Council Staff. To our willing volunteers who sell programs, raffle tickets and keep us supplied with tea and coffee, all the players and supporters around the greens who do make Skegness a special place, and I sincerely hope it will continue to be so in the future. Finally our sponsors, viz. Potters, Winter and Co. Insurance and the Suncastle.

Mike Carr. Chairman.