Below you can find the self-nominations for all candidates listed alphabetically by surname. As there were only seven candidates for seven places, no election is required and all candidates have been elected unopposed. The 2019-2020 UKBGF Board therefore comprises all those listed below.
Home location: London
I am standing for re-election for several reasons, including:
1. I believe I can continue to contribute to the work of the UKBGF to promote backgammon and improve the benefits offered to members. Four years ago, there was a huge surge of goodwill and support for the fledgling UKBGF. We cannot survive on goodwill alone and, although the membership renewal rate is pleasingly high, there are nevertheless a significant number of lapsed members. As well as having a desire to support our work, players should feel that it is their interests to belong and we need to work on member benefits.
2. Several members of the existing Board are stepping down for a variety of personal reasons. I have held several key roles since the UKBGF was established a few years ago and it is important to maintain a degree of continuity. I am currently Membership Secretary and Treasurer, as well as being the point of contact for members or anyone else making an initial enquiry to the UKBGF by email.
3. It’s easy to say we want to introduce the game to more (especially younger) people; it takes a lot of time and effort to try to do this. As an example of my personal commitment I organise (with Lawrence Powell) a backgammon seminar for new and improving players every month or so at my local Ealing club. I have also just started teaching backgammon as an after-school activity at a local school.
Home location: Co. Durham
Since joining my local club three years ago, I have helped to establish the Newcastle Open as an integral part of the UKBGF tour and acted as Tournament Director for this and other one day events held in the North East.
In addition to this I bring skills and experience which I believe would help the game to grow in this country at all levels. I have experience of grants and funding and where to obtain these. I would look to establish a part-time position in the UK whose sole duty would be to raise the profile of the game. This position would be funded by grants/funding.
The game in this country at the top end is in excellent shape with several grandmasters and the UK team producing some excellent results. If elected my goal would be to develop the game at an intermediate level. This could be achieved by adding intermediate sections to each tour event which would be subsidised by the UKBGF. The most successful intermediates participating in the tour could be offered free coaching also paid for by the UKBGF. A scheme to help establish new tournaments like the new club grant would also help to grow the game.
We need to encourage the areas who are not well represented in the UKBGF. Scotland and Wales have three clubs between them and the UKBGF should be doing more to help develop the game in these areas. Bringing more women and junior players into the game is something else to be looked at.
My aim would be to visit as many clubs as possible and make myself available to answer any questions from players. This would contribute to the decision making of the UKBGF.
I will devote as much time as is necessary to fulfil the role.
Home location: Cambridgeshire
Backgammon in the UK is certainly growing. New clubs popping up, new faces at tournaments. Media interest, at least around some major events. UKBGF membership is perhaps not growing at the same rate. The next Board needs to work on the mechanics of running increasingly large events; it needs to make stronger contacts with new clubs; it needs to appeal more to social players. I want to see beginners’ and intermediates’ flights at more Tour events, and more online tournaments to appeal to people who can’t reach a club. It needs to prepare the next generation of tournament directors. It needs to forge contacts with schools and universities to get young people enjoying the game. And it needs to do so without burning out the “usual volunteers” – which means effective delegation, devising ways of drawing on the talents of people outside the Board as well.
Being on the Board is not a glamorous role. You have to be a do-er. The work behind the scenes takes many forms – procuring trophies, transporting equipment, typing up results, tending to the website, writing minutes and trying to resolve disputes fairly have been part of my last two years. And I hope I’ve lived up to my intention of doing all that with good humour, good grace and with the love of the game taking priority over all else. I hope you will trust me with two more years.
Home location: London
I had originally decided not to stand for re-election this time round, because changes in my personal circumstances meant that I felt unable to devote sufficient time to UKBGF matters to justify my presence on the Board. I was persuaded to stand because of my links with the European/World Federations which I will be maintaining in any event. Both in this capacity, and as Chair of the UKBGF rules subcommittee, I have been closely involved with the development of a set of rules for tournament backgammon which is now accepted throughout Europe.
If I am re-elected to the UKBGF Board, this will maintain a close link between UK and European federations and it would also put me in a stronger position to represent UK interests at the European level.
However, it is only fair to draw attention to the fact that, if elected, I will not be able to devote as much time to other Board matters as I have previously been able to do.
Home location: London
I have been a part of the UK backgammon community for many years, and have long had a passion for supporting and promoting the game. I am probably best known to UKBGF members as the creator and manager of the national UKBGF ratings service, which since 2014 has accumulated over 85,000 results and combined them into our national ratings. The success of the site has since seen it adopted as the official ratings provider for Ireland and Australia.
I have served on the UKBGF board for the past two years and acted as a co-opted member previously, so I am very familiar with the UKBGF’s vision and the challenges it faces representing a diverse national community. I have used my formal writing, organisational, and issue-resolution skills to present the UKBGF as a serious and professional body, for example by writing various policy documents for the UKBGF, and successfully running the potentially contentious BMAB CEO elections.
Steering an organisation like the UKBGF involves hard work. It involves listening to its members, and occasionally it involves making decisions that will not be to everyone’s taste. The UKBGF is not a perfect organisation, but it has learned much in the last two years, and I have seen for myself the success it has achieved in bringing new clubs and players to the game. My continuing presence on the board will help to keep the UKBGF true to its vision, and keep it working hard for my fellow fans of this wonderful game.
Home location: London
Backgammon is an incredibly rewarding sport to study and to play. It has the power to raise us up with victory and in defeat to keep us grounded. To ensure the game has a strong future in the UK, building on the ground-breaking work of the UKBGF to date, we need to focus on key challenges that remain. We must engage the next generation of players through schools and universities while championing diversity and inclusion. We also need to look further at ways to learn from and engage with other backgammon organisations overseas, potentially pooling resources or encouraging collaborations. I also want to continue the drive to invest at a grassroots level as well as incentivise tournament participation, develop relationships with sponsors and increase the online offering of learning resources.
I am an experienced project manager by day and an intermediate player in clubs and at UKBGF Tour events. I play regularly at the Ealing club as well as in the London Players’ Backgammon League, and so far this year I have entered the London Open (Intermediates), UK Clubs Championship, UK Open (Advanced), Cambridge Open and the upcoming Bristol Open (Advanced). Though relatively new to the game, I am a determined student, especially mindful of the concerns of less experienced players. I need your vote because I want to represent the community and its opinions, bringing concerns and ideas to the attention of those who can affect change and helping to keep the UKBGF on an upward trajectory.
Home location: North Yorkshire
I have played tournament backgammon worldwide for over forty years and feel it is now time to give something back to the game.
Having retired from full time work, I intend to visit as many tournaments as possible and perform any duties required by the UKBGF as well as attend board meetings and promote the game.
I shall encourage more regional events to augment the national structure. I would also seek to improve discipline within tournaments. I feel that players should be taking a more disciplined approach to, for example, supporting TDs by respecting the timetable of a tournament as well as, actively promoting good sportsmanship and behaviour. Equally, where there is evidence, the UKBGF should deal firmly and fairly, with members who step out of line.
My professional life in education and local authority law enforcement has equipped me with the skills to be a pro-active member of the UKBGF board. In February 2019 I will be part of the Tournament Team running a new event with a new format in Scarborough and I am currently in the process of trying to establish a backgammon club in the Scarborough area.
I am committed to promoting backgammon in schools and other organisations and intend to work hard to do this. Although it would be a long term project, I aim to develop a package for use in schools or other interested groups, which could be delivered by players in their local area.
There is an opportunity to integrate players of diverse backgrounds and disabilities within the game and the backgammon community should work collectively to ensure club meetings and tournaments are a hospitable place for all.