Over 140 regional and country club managers headed to Cessnock recently for CMAA’s Country Managers annual conference and roundup.

Starting off with a Welcome BBQ at Paul Cousins’ Cessnock Leagues Club delegates enjoyed a pre-conference networking opportunity and catch up before the next two days of presentations and workshops.

The primary feature of this conference is a deliberate theme of contextualising the presentations and sessions to managing clubs in the regional and country areas.

This has proven to be very relevant and attractive to managers across NSW who are managing small to medium sized clubs in small communities with limited resources and access to markets which are more readily available to city managers.

An array of topics engaged delegates across country gaming, marketing, finance, legislation, sponsorship of local sporting bodies, recruitment in remote areas and industry issues and how they affect country clubs.

Two sessions, in particular, were well received according to the post event survey: the Industry Forum facilitated by Phil Wheaton from Armidale Bowling Club and the mock board meeting presented by Allan Peter, starring a mock board with David Hiscox CMAA Federal President, Phil Kelly, Jamie Gallen, Kim White, Karren Howe and Nick Brabham.

Delegates were also treated to a highly entertaining networking dinner featuring hypnotist Wayne Donnelly.

Overall the event rated very highly from delegates and special thanks go out to event host Cessnock Leagues Club which provided outstanding service, food, hospitality and enthusiasm to all attending.

Work on next year’s event in May is already under way with potential locations such as Lismore and Armidale being considered by the organising committee.