All change at the RFA!

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This year’s AGM saw big changes on the Board of Directors of the RFA. Bernard Atkinson (centre) was elected to the post of President in succession to Bob Dolby. David Bawtree (right – wearing the RFA tie!) was elected as Bernard’s Deputy. It was the first AGM for Philip Atkinson (left – no relation!) who had taken over as General Secretary from Ian Fuller in April of this year. Ian remains, however, as Treasurer.

With Dick Warner retiring from the Board Chris Burrows and Kathleen Briedenhann were also invited to stand and were duly elected.

Bernard Atkinson: Bernard learned the game at Christ’s Hospital and Cambridge University. After a break from serious play for some years he returned to the game to pair up with Bob Dolby (once) and John Robertson (twice) to win the Vintage Doubles. He then won the Masters Doubles five times with David Bawtree between 2005 and 2011. Bernard was most recently seen in competitive play doing the running for Dave Butler as they won the T-Pot at Merchant Taylors’ in December. Expect to see him dashing around on court at many of the upcoming events in the RFA calendar!

David Bawtree: David learnt his Fives at Christ’s Hospital when our President was a few years behind him but had to leave it behind as there were no fives courts on Royal Navy ships! He started playing again some 25 years later and teamed up with our esteemed President for the Masters competition, which he initiated and which they won in the early years. There are now about 12 active members of this over 65s group, with numbers increasing annually. David still plays at Christ’s Hospital, particularly encouraging the girls, who have been increasingly successful in national tournaments.

Philip Atkinson: Phil started playing Fives as a boy at Bedford Modern School. He has been a stalwart of the Old Bedford Modernians since those days and is probably best known to Fives players for his annual participation in the President’s Cup, which he has won twice, most recently in 2007 with Jon Abecassis. Phil is bringing to the role of General Secretary a wide experience of administration and management in both the private and public sectors, as well as a familiarity with the work of various local clubs and councils. He has specialised knowledge of employment law and business restructuring and says he is “well used to organising meetings and supporting associated activities in a timely and efficient manner”.

Chris Burrows: Learned his Fives on the new courts at Oundle. He has been pursuing his doctoral studies at Imperial College, during which time he has also been organiser of the National U25s championships. He will bring valuable organisational and IT skills to the Board.

Kathleen Briedenhann: Kathleen, a keen player of both Rugby and Winchester Fives, has been our National Ladies Singles champion twice and National Doubles champion for the past three years. She is about to embark upon a Level 2 Coaching course under the care of Wayne Enstone. Kathleen is also captain of the Great Britain Ladies Wallball team who recently won bronze at the European Wallball championships.