Steve Beaty, founder of the club in 2000 when it was Killingworth Rockets, has stepped down from his role as Chairman to take up the honorary role of Club President.
After seeing the club grow from a small band of teenagers in Sunny Delight sponsored-strips on a soggy pitch in Killingworth to its current state, Beaty has decided to step aside to allow the club to continue to grow under new guidance and enjoy being part of the club without as much responsibility.
“I felt that is was the right time to move on and the President role allows me to still be a part of the club and continue to be an ambassador for the club and the sport” said Steve Beaty.
“It fills me with immense pride to see where we are now considering where we started. It is a world away from that pitch in Killingworth where all I wanted was somewhere for my three boys, Steve, Nicky and Matthew, to go to keep fit, have fun and stay out of trouble!
After 14 years in the role, it is time to step away and let some fresh blood take the reins and keep pushing the club forward. I wish Jeff all the best in the role and will continue to be an active member of the club and as vocal a supporter as ever on the sidelines.”
Jeff Ball steps into the Chairman role after seven years with the club in which he has progressed from assistant coach to currently head coach of the U13’s and an active member of the committee, helping oversee the move from Killingworth 5 years ago.
“I'm massively humbled to replace Steve, a man who we are all massively indebted too” commented Ball.
“Without him, none of us would be here and there are hundreds of local people, including me, whose lives have been enriched by Steve, either directly or indirectly.
I’m very grateful to the Committee for electing me and I’m under no illusions about the work that will be involved. I said I would only take the role if Steve agreed to stay on as President and be on hand to offer his support and guidance. It would be silly not to make use of his experience and knowledge given the impact he has had on the region and the sport, an impact rightly recognised when he won the national RFL In League Together award in 2010.”
Coming from a professional background through his job as a charity investment management specialist for leading Wealth Manager, Brewin Dolphin, Ball spoke of his plans for the future: “We want to keep growing and being successful, quite simply. Every year we get bigger and better and the aim is to maintain that and keep pushing things forward.
Part of my plans is to use the professional experience I've garnered over my years at Brewin Dolphin to develop the off-field side of things through expanding the Management Committee and putting some more procedures in place that increase the professionalism and efficiency of how we work.
I'm fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with some of the foremost not-for-profit organisations in the region through my job and intend to take the best practice from those I have encountered and use it with the club.
We are all volunteers at the club but we are blessed with both quantity and quality in that area. The fact we are an amateur club is no excuse for giving out members the best possible experience in their time at the club, be it making new friends as U9's or going on to play for a Super League team as an adult.
To use an old cliché, we’re all on a journey together and we’re still very early in our journey, as a club. Respect, commitment and fun have always been and always will be our bedrock.
With the Academy starting in September and plenty of other plans afoot, we’re feeling extremely excited and ambitious about the next 14 years and beyond and hopefully I can bring as much success and happiness to everyone involved in the club as Steve has brought before me.”
If you are interested in joining the Management Committee or have any ideas for how the club can improve, Jeff Ball can be contacted at 07809114905 or firstname.lastname@example.org.