STOP PRESS. To all members of the Eton Fives Community: The FiveStar Project Arrives!
The Eton Fives Association Board at its meeting in October agreed an historic, seven-year strategy to create many new centres across the United Kingdom.
Why The FiveStar project?
Under the plan there will be a step-function increase in Eton Fives activity in five areas:
- Community Centres
This cannot be achieved without a large sum of money and the target is £4 million, to be raised over the first 2-3 years of the project. The following years will be taken up with the implementation of the plan using the funds raised. New courts will be built and paid organisers and coaches will be recruited to spread Eton Fives into new communities and areas of the U.K.
The Board has taken the view that the game is played by far too few people. With our existing resources we can move forward only slowly and we will continue to do that whilst the money is being raised.
We feel that we should be more ambitious in the longer term. The FiveStar project will represent a major expansion, dramatic but carefully controlled and over a manageable timescale. We need to allow many more people to play our wonderful game and, once the targets are achieved, Eton Fives will have significantly greater critical mass and presence. Without such an expansion we may not be able to guarantee a viable existence; any game where the grassroots playing membership is low risks gradually disappearing. We need new centres to retain the many players that play at school and to attract new players who at the moment do not have a local court to play on.
The fundraising will be a major challenge. We are very fortunate in that an anonymous donor has given a sum of £100,000 to be spent on a professional fundraising capability over the 2-3 years. That support gives us great confidence that the Eton Fives community will get behind this project in a major way.
In the first six months of 2017 the Board will be communicating in a professional and thorough way to everyone in the Eton Fives Association the aims and objectives of the FiveStar project and the detail of the way forward. This will be the opportunity for you all to learn more about it, add your views and suggestions so that the plan can be finalised by June 2017. The fundraising will start as soon as possible and the suggestions and united support given by members of the Eton Fives Community will be essential for the success of the project.
I wanted to let you all know of this momentous decision and that each and every one you will be consulted about the way forward during the course of 2017.
If any of you want to discuss this with me, please feel free to contact me any time.
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