New chairman takes the helm at The Meadows

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The Meadows Sports centre has a new chairman, after Jack Nixon stood down from the post at the monthly meeting of The Meadows Trust on Tuesday night.

New chairman Eddie Graham said: “I am honoured to be considered for such a role, and will strive to provide the highest level of endeavour to ensure the future success of the Meadows Sports Centre.

“The chair of the Meadows is a role that brings with it great responsibility, yet also a lot of personal pleasure,” he said. “Jack will be a hard act to follow - he has been a most enthusiastic leader, and a pleasure to work with over the past three years.”

Mr Graham is a key player in the Ellon Athletic Club, one of the eight trust member clubs who use the 21 year old facility. He represents the club on the trust’s board.

He pointed out that the next two decades would not be easy at The Meadows, given that Aberdeenshire Council has withdrawn grant support, though he added that he is looking forward to the challenge.

“The opportunity exists for The Meadows to reach out to its users and the community to ensure continued success.

“In doing so it must reset its strategy, refocus its services and realign itself with those who have yet to use it, but make no mistake the financial challenge is massive,” he warned.

Mr Nixon - whose column appears weekly in the Ellon Times - expressed disappointment at not having achieved all the targets he had set for the centre, though he added that he had enjoyed his tenure as chairman of the Trust.

“It has been a great privilege to head up the team at the area’s number one sports facility.” he said. “I am in particular very grateful to the staff who have backed me all the way in helping put sport on the map, combined with the enthusiasm of the Trust clubs. The centre will go from strength to strength under its new, younger chairman.

“Eddie will be a force for change. I just wish it had been possible to do more in my term in office, but I have no real regrets and will watch the progress the centre makes. I will continue to use this splendid facility.”