Friday, January 29, 2016

Topsham RFC

Meanwhile at Topsham Rugby Football Club we had the second meeting of the Finance Sub-Committee and managed to get through quite a lot without wasting too much time. There is a fine line to be observed in chairing a meeting, between giving everyone their chance to have their say and getting through the business in a reasonable time. I always try to get through a meeting in an hour or less but over-ran on this one. Next week we have the initial (project kick off) meeting for the business planning project. So things are starting to move apace.

On the playing front, we are looking anxiously at the weather, particularly Storm Gertrude (at least she is no longer a hurricane!) and keeping our fingers crossed the pitches will be firm enough to play on Saturday and Sunday. But of course the weather is all part of the Way, so we go with it, whichever way it goes.

Friday, January 22, 2016

What is Taoism?

I was watching a program on China on the TV yesterday evening, which was very interesting. However the presented did say something that I took exception to, he referred to Taoism as a religion. Now to me Taoism (the Way as defined by Lao Tsu) is a philosophy not a religion, although some people may have tried to turn it into a religion after Lao Tsu's time.

Wikipedia defines Taoism as a philosophical, ethical or religious tradition of Chinese origin that emphasises living in harmony with the Tao. The term Tao means "way", "path", or "principle", and can also be found in other Chinese philosophies and religions. 

In Taoism, Tao denotes something that is both the source of, and the force behind, everything that exists. Taoism is practiced as a religion in various Asian communities. Its theology is not theist (even though some communities do worship Lao Tzu as the attributed founder of the 'religious' doctrine), and has more affinities with pantheistic traditions given its philosophical emphasis on the formlessness of the Tao.

So as I said earlier, to me Taoism is a philosophy. It is the way that I try to run my life. As I don't believe in religion I suppose that makes me an atheist Taoist. I'm happy with that, as it's as good as any other label.

Next week back to the project!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Life Goes On

Topsham Rugby Club
After all the games being cancelled last weekend due to the pitches being flooded by the torrential rain it's hopefully back on track this weekend. The 1st XV are away to Tamar Saracens and the 2nd XV are at home to Torquay (2:30 pm kick off).

Before that the Ladies have a memorial game in honour of Lily Partridge, one of the founder members of the Ladies team, who tragically died following a Devon RFU training session just before Christmas. Kick off at 12:30pm and the Under 9's will be playing a game between that and the 2nd XV game. We are expecting a large turnout and I will be manning the outside bar so let's hope the weather forecast (dry) is right for once!

What's this got to do with project management? Well all these one-off occasions are small projects in their own right so it's always interesting to see how they work out. Also I just thought you might like to know and it's more interesting than my day job as treasurer!

The Project
I've managed to get a project team of seven people representing the different sections of the club and have the project kick off meeting scheduled for 02-Feb. I'm working on a draft terms of reference (project brief) and agenda in the meantime.

Ah just like old times, into the great unknown, but as long as I follow the Way...

Friday, January 08, 2016

Happy New Year

Well here we are in 2016 and things are getting back to normal. Well apart from the fact that I am (as usual) going dry for January to try and recover from the excesses over Saturnalia!

On New Years Day I opened up our local outdoor swimming pool at 07:00 had a swim (water temperature 29C, air temperature 4C so great in the water, very cold running back to the changing rooms) then I opened up for the public at 08:00 and we had around 140 swimmers in for the early morning session. We are called the Nutters Club for reasons that shouldn't need explaining. So good deed for the year done.

The Project
As Honorary Treasurer of Topsham Rugby Football Club I have a 'day job' of balancing the books and not spending more than we can afford. Earlier this year we successfully paid off all outstanding loans on our new clubhouse. Now we have an excellent clubhouse our next priority is to improve our grounds and pitches. These were once among the best in Devon but recent heavy rain has shown that the playing surface quality needs to be improved. This is going to be another major project and I am currently working on getting some grants from the Rugby Football Union, Sport England and several local charities to fund the project.

One thing all the major sponsors ask for is a business plan, so the first step is to produce that. I need to get a project team together representing the three major sections of the club (Senior Men, Senior Women and Juniors) and other interested parties. We have a committee meeting on Monday so hopefully we will get the team identified there.

Then it's back to the Way. I'm looking forward to it.

I wish you all a happy New Year and may all your projects be successful.