Leadership Team meeting minutes August 2022

Leadership Committee Meeting August 15th

The meeting was called to order by Harve at 5:30pm, OW, Room 4.
Members Present were Harve Mobley, Cheryl Breidenbach, Joyce Noland, George Carr, Bob Fogel, Linda Blake, Faith Loeb, Ron Nelson, Mo Garcia, Jay Wilson, Marian Garcia, Heidi Abele, Froggie Rappapore, Steve Haertel, Leslie McGowan and John McGowan.

Players Feedback:

Steve said Gregg Park is doing just fine and only has good news to report! No problems with facilities, equipment, or players.

Jay stated that everyone enjoyed the RR that George Carr initiated. The next one probably won’t be held until after the new year. Mike Dickhart volunteered to bring cookies to the next Open RR. Seemed like such a good idea we thought that we would provide brownies and/or donuts for Funday Monday at Odell but were advised by the City that the items would have to be individually wrapped and could not be left unattended due to Covid restrictions.

Linda and Faith held two practices last month with participants from Ben Lacy’s clinic. There were eight present. The following Saturday they had seven individuals from Mo’s clinic. They will probably add two practices next month. Faith stated things seem to be growing due to the new player clinics.

New Business

A. Funday Monday

Joyce said it is very successful. At least eight people are sitting out waiting for a court with the six courts fully occupied. We need to decide whether to continue this in September. We will continue on September 12 for sure and then revisit in the October meeting. Marian said she has heard nothing but good comments about this Funday.

B. Pickleball as a Community

Faith stated that prior to Covid we were known as the Aiken Pickledillys and were very connected socially on and off the PB court. Now we are using Aiken Pickleball to classify all of us. She wants to reconnect with all Aiken players with a potluck at the end of September to get back to the “family” atmosphere. She stated that some people are not playing at OW due to the fee increase to $150/year instead of the $75/year rate. Perhaps we can approach the City again to decrease these fees. Mo thinks it would be a good idea to go back to the City to state our concern with the increased fees. He stated that there are other options of play currently than there were five years ago since PB is growing in so many ways….socially and competitively. Today we have twenty places to play with eighty courts in Aiken. We are bringing in at least ten new players/month. Linda stated that new players are concerned with the fees. Joyce stated that perhaps we need to talk about reducing daily fee down to $2 or $3. Steve stated that GP will not back off from the $10 daily fee. Mo has a meeting with Jessica from the City at the end of the month and will discuss the possibility of rate decreases then.

For comparison, the N. Augusta Riverview Park Recreation Center fees are $100/year for in-city residents. GP is $65/year. Only $20 per year for seniors. The City of Aiken is considerably higher at $150/yr.

C. Calendar

Presented by John. Once he has clinics and socials from Mo and George he will contact Linda for extra time slots.

D. Opportunities

We are still in need of the following positions:

Person to manage Bulletin Boards
Player Rep at 3.0H
Ron Nelson has stepped down from Player Rating, so a Rating Coordinator

There are two Leadership team positions open. Joyce and George have offered to take these positions for the remainder of the year. Note that Harve will be stepping down at the end of year. The committee was in agreement that Joyce and George will return to the Leadership Team until the end of the year or until a volunteer takes over the position.

Leslie questioned why it’s so hard to fill these positions. The answer was that it takes a lot of time and effort and dedication.

E. Financial report

Harve reported that there was $1600 in the account. We spent $400 for GP RR and will spend an additional $25 to reimburse Joyce for the setup fee paid to PickleballBrackets for the November 12th round robin.

F. GP RR in November

Joyce stated we are out of medals. The cost is $5/medal. Harve suggested tshirt, towels, or ribbons. No one has a problem spending $750 for medals if we need to. We need to order ASAP. Cheryl is finding out how much plastic medals, which were used at Beat the Heat tourney are. Towels are approx. $3.50/towel

G. Palmetto Tournament-Bob Fogel

*143 Registered players
*Registration ends 8/31/22
*40 Volunteer shirts are ordered
*Player shirts are on order (179 total, 160 player’s and 19 sponsor’s)
*New tourney signage is on order
*New 10’ X 8’ sponsor banner is on order
*Player bag items are on order. Including cooling towel, protein bars, electrolyte drink mix
*Court Monitor training is scheduled for Aug 30, Sept 1 and Sept 6
*Volunteer lunches will be provided from Chick-Fil-A, Moe’s, and Just Julie’s
*There are 7 sponsors totaling $5250, with an additional 4 tourney partners
*We are in need of:
16 Court Monitors
3 Event Table
1 lunchroom helper
4 Check in Desk

*We will be raffling up to 6 paddles, 3 from Engage and 3 from Paddletek. The proceeds will go to our middle school PB initiative

*We will have single court separators instead of the current hinged design

*Clipboards were given out previously and it is asked that they be returned ASAP because we need them for reffing in the tourney

H. Aiken PB Website and FB Discussion revisited by Harve.

Harve stated that this was discussed last year. He went back to minutes from last year and the minutes stated “ if an Aiken PB member wants to advertise on it, it is ok provided they are contributing members”. Mo stated that Aiken PB does not want to commercialize third parties. Pros from the Reserve club, for example, should not be able to advertise a clinic according to him. Private enterprises have their own avenues to promote and support their own interests. Harve stated that he thought Aiken PB was missing a chance to promote PB in our city. The general consensus of the committee was that Aiken PB was not a place for third parties to advertise their own businesses.

We receive a lot of requests to post advertisements on our Facebook page. In April 2021, the following sentence was added to our Facebook mission statement. "The committee has voted not to advertise on Facebook for private concerns."

We use Facebook and our website to promote events that Aiken Pickleball is providing at Odell Weeks and Gregg Park, such as New Players Clinics, Practice Play and Clinics & Drills provided by our certified teaching professionals. We do not advertise anything for anyone's private concerns. Nothing has changed.

I. Ambassador Report. Mo

ADPS clinic, response was great. We had ten public safety participants. Members supported this well too.

Teacher’s Clinic. Over 40/65 PE teachers from Aiken Co. participated from the primary to HS ages. Laurie Seacrest will send out a survey to participants and see how we did and what might be needed to help these clinics in the future.

Kids’ camp clinic last Thursday and Friday. Response was great from the kids. Great participation within the community.

Meeting with the City to establish an after school PB program at Smith Hazel. The fee structure will also be discussed at this meeting. Froggie stated that there would be background checks and a possible training program on how to handle children. She wants to be sure we are not stuck babysitting.

Barnwell is installing four courts. Blackville, Williston, and Cayce want to introduce and grow PB in these communities. These will all be outdoor courts.

Mo has stated that he will discuss with the City of Aiken to have some outdoor courts semi-covered.

J. Final Comments

George stated that over 100 people were introduced to PB by Mo last week between Kids Camp, new players Clinics, teaching PE teachers…ages 7-75.

Leslie asked if someone from the City could ever be paid to handle some of the “jobs” we all do as volunteers. Joyce thinks this would split up Aiken PB. The volunteers might stop volunteering since one person is getting paid and they are not. Most from the committee agreed that this would not be a good idea.

3. Faith asked how we can bring more people in to volunteer. Mo stated that it’s the new players we need to be attracting. Joyce thought that perhaps we aren’t rating people so maybe if the ratings were back into happening, we could pull from this set of people too.

4. George asked if Mo would take on ratings from 3.5 and lower. Mo suggested that the pros do indeed take this over. Mo stated that individuals at 4.0 level and higher are usually involved in tourneys. For designated court purposes though, a rating by Mo, at higher levels, would still be needed.

The Funday Mondays might be a resource to increase rating interests.

K. The next meeting is Monday October 3 in Room 3.