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Annual Report delivered at the 2019 AGM
7th July 2019
The 50th Cup Final was the culmination of another successful year for the League. The six leagues, Solo Sports and Arena, all went the extra mile to make the Cup Final an extra special event.
The loyal team of workers were given additional challenges with guests from those involved in the league in previous years. The arena team from Italy also sent three representatives and used the occasion to launch a new pair of goggles, which was enhanced by the presence of Adam Peaty. Also Adam opened the Cup Final alongside the President of Swim England, and then signed autographs for the athletes and had photographs taken with the swimmers. Arena kit was presented to the best in age-group athletes, and trophies to the best male and female athletes, all supplied by Solo Sports, the UK arena distributor and our sponsor. Trophies were also presented to the winner of the Relay Challenge and the winner of the Cup-Final, bannerettes going to each team for the place they achieved overall. These were presented by Liz Sykes, the Swim England President and Richard Townsend, Sales Manager Solo Sports.
Guildford City were the winners of the Relay Challenge, Millfield were runners-up and Plymouth Leander third. Plymouth Leander were the overall winners of the 50th Cup Final, with Millfield seven points behind them and Guildford City a further six points behind so a very close and exciting event.
The previous day at the 19th B Final Mount Kelly took charge of the competition, winning both the Relay Challenge and the overall B Final. Bromley were the runners-up in both competitions, and teamipswich were third in both competitions. Solo Sports had also arranged for Alys Thomas to attend the B Final, and she signed autographs and participated in photographs with the athletes and spectators. It was great to have these quality athletes as guests at the galas.
Each of the leagues had the opportunity to bring special guests to the celebration dinner on the Saturday evening. With 66 attending, it was a great evening. Impromptu speeches gave a bit of banter to the evening and everyone enjoyed a great meal. The Holiday Inn at Cardiff North look after us well.
We had a special logo for the 50th Cup final and this was added to the branding. It appeared on the poolside and in the programme. A pin badge depicting the logo was presented to every athlete, official and poolside helper.
The virtual gala this year threw up an anomaly in the Western league. Mount Kelly beat their rivals Millfield in the last two rounds, and in the Western final beat Millfield by six points. When the results of the six league finals were added to the virtual gala, Millfield beat Mount Kelly by seven points in the 36 team contest. Consequently Millfield achieved the Cup Final, but Mount Kelly just missed out and were invited to the B Final. There was obviously a lot of controversy at the time, but the coaching team at Mount Kelly co-operated very professionally.
Since the death of Alan Doyle we have struggled to keep the website up to speed. John Dring stepped in and maintained the site but we struggled with the host company. Solo Sports offered to set up a new site with their own web people and whilst it was live for the finals weekend, the pages for the leagues is still being worked on. The intention is to have each of the leagues shown in a similar set up, so we look from the websites point of view one league. A big thank you to Solo Sports for this additional support.
Brian Smith has been working on the results package, to make it more user friendly. He has created a package for those users of Hy-Tek to create the team entry a lot easier than before. The 2019 documents are already on the new website ready for the 2019/2020 season of rounds.
A massive achievement completed in time for the 50th Cup Final was an updated History of the League. Roger Guttridge was commissioned to write this, and he has done a brilliant job.
This was also sponsored by Solo Sports.