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‘To be given this awesome responsibilty is indeed an honour’

St George’s Cricket Club president Neil Paynter (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Re-elected St George’s Cricket Club president Neil Paynter has laid out the plans for his forthcoming tenure.

Paynter, who defeated former vice-president and club cricketer Mishael Paynter in a two-men race for the presidency at the annual meeting last week, has spoken of his intent to ensure that the club’s senior cricket and football teams continue to thrive.

“One thing that I have always said to my cricket and football coaches is that once we get our programmes within the club stabilised and organised, the club can only go from strength to strength,” he added.

With the football team top of the Premier Division and the cricket team enjoying considerable success after winning the Athene T20 Premier Division title for the past two seasons, Paynter is keen to ensure that Cup Match is not the only barometer by which the club is judged after two successive heavy losses.

“When it comes to cricket, most people look at Cup Match and say that’s all that St George’s is about,” Paynter said.

“No, we are also about creating programmes for the whole community and our junior programme has in the last four years gone on the up and up, it’s only a matter of time before it transfers to the [Annual] Classic.

“When it comes to football, we have our youth programmes back up and running and our senior team is doing exactly what I believe they could have always done.”

Paynter is also delighted to see the club increasing its female representation in sport in the Bermuda Netball Association Senior League.

“Under the sports chairman, Mishael Paynter, and under the direction of Nicole Smith, from North Village although she is the wife of a St Georgian [Clay Smith], who has put that team together and we do appreciate all the hard work they have done,” he said.

With success starting to be achieved on the field, Paynter is keen to thank those who supported him in his successful re-election campaign.

“Every year that I have been elected, I have always stated that it’s at the discretion of the members because if they thought someone else should lead, then I know they would have made that decision,” Paynter said. “I am very honoured that they have allowed me to serve another term.

“To be put in this position by the membership and be given this awesome responsibility is indeed an honour and one that I don’t take lightly. I would not be in this position without the committee members that I have had in the past and now and those members who have allowed me to be here.”

Paynter, who was elected to the post in 2002, is the club’s second-longest serving president and remains committed to the progress of the club.

“All I want to do as president, along with my management team, is to continue the upward trend for St George’s,” he added. “The club is on its way up and in a good position.

“I think we are well positioned and, with the programmes that we have at our club and the general membership along with their assistance, we are just looking forward to another good year and ensuring that the club remains viable for the next 130 years.”

While Paynter is back at the helm, Mishael Paynter opted not to seek re-election as vice-president, with Damon Walker running unopposed for the vacant post and it now remains to be seen if they will retain their positions as sports chairman and Cup Match selection committee chairman respectively.

“I haven’t formed my subcommittees yet, so that remains to be seen,” said the president, who has his work cut out as the club prepare to host Cup Match at Wellington Oval in the summer.

“I am definitely looking forward to that, especially with the new committee and also the fact the last one we had in St George’s had so many restrictions due to Covid,” he said.

“This time it’s opened up and we are looking forward to putting on a good show for the whole community and the world. We just hope that Bermuda will come out and support not just St George’s Cricket Club but the Classic itself. We are looking forward to two great days.”

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Published February 17, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated February 17, 2023 at 7:56 am)

‘To be given this awesome responsibilty is indeed an honour’

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