President Gavin Mears, Stand Up & Take A Bow!

EL PRESIDENTE’S LEAVING LETTER TO SYDNEY RANGERS FC

I would like to thank everyone who has helped over the past few months to ensure another fun and successful Mardi Gras for our ever growing and ever more recognisable name in the gay community.

There are many people to thank and to all those not named, I thank you too.

But special thanks must go to the following Rangers:
To Dan, for keeping everyone up to date and informed in a new and exciting professional looking manner.
To Bruce, for another spectacular stand at Fair Day and making the day a success.
To Paul, for getting the troops together, keeping the sponsors happy and helping us to honour our commitments.
To Joseph, for pulling a great Mardi Gras Parade float out of mid-air and, in my opinion, turning it into our best float so far and for pulling together a month-long festival of events and ensuring it all went (mostly) according to plan.

As this was my final Mardi Gras as President it would have been nice to go out with the full blown float but alas the weather was not on our side at decision time, but I am very happy to be ending my term with such a resounding success that we enjoyed last month.

So yes, I am here formally announcing my retirement as President of Sydney Rangers FC.

For the past 2 months I have been trying to find the opening line that I wanted to start my last message with and I could not find it. But after the Mardi Gras parade and with the festival just finished, I have my opening line and that is to thank everyone who makes this Club what it is.

Yes there are problems and issues and disagreements and always someone unhappy with something, but if we all agreed all the time how boring that would be and how stagnant. How the opposing point of view is put across is what can cause more consternation, not the fact there is a dissenting view, so I ask of everyone to keep that in mind when they have something to say.

The Committee, the next President, your Coach or Manager, all welcome and encourage opposition, criticism, suggestions, and sometimes even praise, especially when it is put forward thoughtfully and most importantly respectfully. For the most part, compromise can be found and reached to benefit all. And that is what will be needed as we move forward.

A Club such as ours is only as strong as its members or more to the point, only as strong as the members’ voices and actions. Working together and knowing everyone’s aims are the same but that we may have different ways of getting there, is the basis of a strong and dynamic club culture.

I didn’t realise that it is nearly 8 years since I was handed the job as President. When that was pointed out I realised that it was time to step aside and let a new chapter begin.

Our previous President, Sherif Mouakkassa, was the right person for the job at the time, getting the games started, getting this Club organised and launched and he was the right person needed to push ahead with a fledging entity.

I was the right President for the next step in our Club’s evolution, pushing for membership growth, combining a certain flexibility with a sometimes autocratic dictatorship. I believe I was the right person to lead the Club from being that fledging group of friends into a growing Club with more teams, more competitions, more social games and events, with equal emphasis on financial stability, sponsorship and media and community awareness.

I have tried to lead the Club as I do my business, fully hands on in every aspect with no written guidelines or protocols, allowing for maximum flexibility and compromise. But that is no longer possible as the Club grows and it needs a new leadership style and approach to take the Club to the next level.

The Club needs for formalised processes implemented and for that it needs new voices and a new leader.

As Sherif was the best person to get the Club started and going, I was the right person to get the Club where it is now. Now is time for the next right person to take the Club on its next steps.

Over the past almost 8 years we have grown from not having enough to make our own team, to fielding 3 Winter Comp teams. Social soccer continues to be popular week after week. We now have Summer Night soccer. We are regular and respected entrants in the Mardi Gras Parade, Fair Day and our tournament is the biggest sporting event on the gay calendar. We have a sister club in Melbourne and an annual interstate competition, with a great working, social and sporting relationship with The Flying Bats. All this has culminated in Pride Football Australia, the only gay and lesbian interstate sporting competition in Australia.

We have a great deal to be proud of but we still have more to do. Only together can we make this Club bigger, stronger and more diverse than ever. I ask that you always put forward your comments and suggestions whether it is to your Manager or the Committee, in the same way you would like it to be put to you. Whether you agree or disagree with the leadership, know that your point of view is always encouraged and appreciated.

I am glad to be leaving this Club in the state it is. I am glad to have had a hand in that and I know I am leaving it in very capable hands. I believe that the President should come from the current Committee and as such I encourage anyone who wishes to look at leading this Club in the future to nominate themselves for the Committee in the upcoming elections. Being on the Committee is a sacrifice of more than just time. Committee members must act for the good of the Club, not self interest, and in many cases what you want is the opposite to what you know is for the good of the Club. It is hard work, it is selfless, it is almost thankless but it is also extremely rewarding as you see the fruits of your labour and the Club succeeding in many areas.

I am stepping down because it is time for new voices to be heard, for new members to step up, for our future President/s to get involved and for new ideas to be raised and new goals set.

I am stepping down because it is the right time for me to do so, time for another to lead a new Committee, and to nurture our future leaders. Thank you for the past 8 years and I look forward to still being part of what lies ahead.

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