Very much ‘Ade’s Day’ at Rotary conference


A shame, because there was a great deal of ‘good stuff’ at the Rotary District 1120 – ‘woops!’ I mean Rotary South East conference this weekend.  But the star of the show was, and possibly ‘had-to-be’  Ade Adepitan – wheelchair basketball gold medallist for team Britain, t.v. presenter, and extremely good communicator.

OK, he was talking about a subject he knew pretty well – himself – and he told the story very well.  Born in Nigeria, contracted polio aged two that affected both his legs, one totally; parents made decision to move to UK when he was three, insisted on him being in a mainstream (standard state school) school where they lived, Plaistow, East London, quite literally, ‘a hard schooling’.  Ade (pronounced ‘adi’) gained the support of his school-mates as a ‘tryer’ especially in sports.  Spotted by two physios with an ‘East End Project’ while being pushed on a sponsored supermarket trolley race who persuaded him to be involved in their programme.  Thanks to that, Frank Bruno raised money to buy him a lightweight self-propelled wheelchair.

Of his first visit to one of the Stoke Mandeville ‘Para-Olympics’ in the early days of paraplegic sport, and his vision at seeing high-end wheelchair basketball which ignited his take-off into the sport; he showed us that it was anything but ‘vertical take-off’, and his refusals for the team nearly led to us losing a para-olympian.  But it didn’t, he gritted his teeth, trained harder, completed in a scratch team in Cyprus that beat the favourites (the Germans – Ho, ho!).  And the rest, is history, or at least on BBC video footage.

But it doesn’t end there!  He has agreed to be a Rotary polio ambassador, and – thanks to Rotarian Christine Aktinson (RC West Wickham), who has persuaded him to work to publicise the polio endgame, as we should call it.  I hope to see him as a Rotarian himself, more than that, with his presentation skills –  incidentally, (on Saturday evening after Eastbourne he won ‘TV Presenter of the Year’ award at the MV Awards ceremony in London – yes folks, that evening!  It’s a tough life being a celeb.) promoting Rotary to his age-group and British professionals of African and Caribbean ethnicity.  Diversity is something Rotary – all over the UK, so badly needs more of!

And oh yes! I almost forgot, not only did he refuse his fee – but gave it to the Foundation Rotary fund, Adi not only do you have my respect, but now, too, my admiration.  He so richly deserved the standing ovation the hall gave him.  I look forward to seeing more of him, especially as he is (1120ers), ours!  ***  FH 31.10.16

Caption:   Ade Adepitan on stage at the Rotary South East conference on Saturday 29th. Oct. where he was one of the guest speakers.  Adi moved the audience and donated his £1,500 appearance fee to the Rotary Foundation polio eradication fund.

(pic. by FH . R Dist. 1120 PI)



Swim Relay Event for Children in Need – Register Your Team Now!

An exciting new event will take place this year in the swimming pool at Maidstone Leisure Centre.

Maidstone Riverside Rotary Club is proud to present the first annual Maidstone SwimRelay, which will be held on Sunday 1st November 2015 between 12.30 and 4.00pm. With the kind support of The Maidstone Leisure Trust and Serco, who manage the pool, 24 teams of between 4 and 6 swimmers will compete to swim as many lengths as possible in 30 minutes.

This fundraising event is open to teams of any ability or age with a great deal of emphasis on fun.

Each team will raise as much sponsorship from their friends, families and colleagues based on the number of lengths swum. Prizes will be awarded in several categories including most lengths swam and most money raised. Local businesses and organisations may wish to sponsor a team or even register a team of their own employees in the relay.

50% of the money raised will be donated to Children in Need, with the other 50% going to nominated charities of the participants’ choice. So if you are thinking of supporting this year’s Children in Need here is a great opportunity to do so plus raising funds for your own charity.

Registration is now open and as there are no entry fees or minimum amounts to be raised, teams will be selected on a first come first served basis. So now is the time to get your team registered – just visit the website.

For full details and registration visit

Rotary GO Phase 3 Comes to District 1120!

Many of you I know will have read in the latest edition of Rotary South East (July 2015) about the exciting new Rotary GO (Growth Opportunities) membership programme that RIBI has been championing over the past 6 months. Indeed a number of clubs within District 1120 have already started looking into how these initiatives can be put to good use to help invigorate their own clubs.
The RIBI Membership team has recently announced the launch of Phase 3 of Rotary GO. What does that mean for District 1120? Well, it will mean identifying and appointing District Rotary GO Champions and 10 “Membership Enthusiasts” from across the District. This new team will receive a series of training workshops on how to form new clubs, how to introduce satellite clubs and how to enable existing clubs to innovate. They will then be able to communicate the messages about these programmes and provide assistance and guidance to the clubs and help them set up their own local programmes aimed at growing membership and strengthening their own clubs.
As District MDR Committee Chair I will be directly involved in coordinating the implementation of this new phase across the District but if you would like to know more or be part of the District 1120 Rotary GO Championing team please let me know. We are looking for club enthusiasts to cover the West, South West, South, South East, East and North Central areas of our District.
The club enthusiasts’ training session will take place on Saturday 14th November at Canary Wharf, London. More details to follow.
I personally believe that these new membership initiatives are the most exciting I have seen in my 20 years as a Rotarian and I am convinced that if they are communicated effectively to clubs then everyone should be able to benefit from them in some way. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Colin Norgate
Membership Development and Retention Committee Chair
District 1120
Maidstone Riverside Rotary Club

“Let’s do this again!” Much pleasure at RC Sidcup’s Special Needs Bowls Day

sidcup - adam conie bowls in SN bowls cup

Sixteen teams entered for the First RC Sidcup Special Needs Bowls Competition held this month at the Swanley White Oak Bowls Centre.  This is Bowls as played on a green, not the Ten Pin variety! and 34 adults with learning special needs plus carers and helpers all combined for an integrated and inclusive competition.

The competing teams came from the Dodgers Boccia Club, Ken Boyce Day Centre, Smerdon Day Centre Bromley SN Ski Club and the Carers Support Service.  These were up for the Wheelchair and Severe Learning Difficulties Competition, won by Michael O’Toole and Liam Prosper (see pic. below), here being given their awards by RC S President Norman Hamblyn.

sidcup - Prosper & Michael are given their awards by Pres. Norm

Perhaps the real story is the co-operation between RC Sidcup who have a ‘Sports Interest Group’ – hey! and the Sports Development Team of Bexley Council.  If my memory serves me right Sidcup are rather good at co-operative projects – did they not run young adult training in co-operation with the local Job Centre?  (See Rotary 1120 blogs passim).  Sidcup Rotary members provided both coaching input and stewarding for a highly successful day.

Bromley Ski Club sound rather good at this sort of thing – two participants returned recently from the Los Angeles Special Olympics with gold and silver medals.  See pic. below of Karinna Beckett (left) and Laura Mitchell (right) proudly showing off their Olympic gongs!

The man in the middle?  That’s President Norm again, – he was delighted with the day, the message was:  “It’s been a great day, and well organised.  We must do it again.”    Well done RC Sidcup, and I feel sure you will.

sidcup - Karinna & Laura show their medals

PS – You’re all asking – “What’s Boccia?”   Well, it is a bowls-type sport specifically designed for wheelchair users.  It has coloured balls, mainly red and blue, and is played now at local, regional and national level.  Initially devised for people with cerebral palsy it is now played by a wide range of players with physical and learning special needs.

August is Membership Month!

Each August we celebrate Membership Month, an opportunity to thank our members for their commitment to Rotary. We begin 2015-16 celebrating strong membership growth globally of nearly 25,000 members this past year. The hard work and support of our members has led to successes such as the recent polio eradication milestones in Nigeria and on the entire African continent, both of which marked one year without a case of polio caused by the wild poliovirus. Those achievements wouldn’t have been possible without members’ dedication and their continued support of Rotary and The Rotary Foundation.
We hope you have an opportunity to participate in Membership Month promotions and activities, which are listed on Rotary’s social media pages, in The Rotarian’s August issue, and on We encourage you to share these features with your clubs to help us show our appreciation to all members. And we invite you to watch the 2 minute membership message from RI President K.R. Ravindran at a club meeting.

Show your pride in membership

This month, we are collecting stories from members about why they joined Rotary, and why they stay. Tell us your story on our Rotary International Facebook page or send an email to You may see your story featured in a future issue of Membership Minute!
You can also show your pride in being a Rotarian with a Proud Member window cling for your car or home, available for purchase at Share these with new club members, those celebrating membership anniversaries, or as a fun giveaway.

Proud Member

and display your pride in membership by using the Proud Member graphic on social media.

My Rotary – yes it is for you too!


My Rotary is an area of the Rotary International website where you will find Rotary related information for members only. To access this you will need to sign in first, or create an account.

Signing in to My Rotary gives you a customized experience and easier access to tools and information that are relevant to you.

If you have not already done this registering is easy with this How to Create a My Rotary Account Guide (pdf).

Once you’re registered and signed in you can access further links below.


As a Rotarian you will hopefully wish to be engaged with all that goes on in Rotary. You can find many Rotary Groups with people that may share your own interests. There are also Rotary news items, online magazines and newsletters.

There’s an area offering you rewards for just being a Rotarian – see Rotary Global Rewards

You will also want to check that your personal information on the global database is correct.

As a Foundation Committee member you will undoubtedly wish to have access to information about District and Global Grants, and see what your club’s Rotary Foundation giving trend is.

Club Secretaries are able to amend club information about your meeting place as well as adding/terminating members to the global database.

Marketing, PR & Communication Committee members may access the Brand Centre and download guidelines on Rotary branding and also images and logos for club use in your newsletters and other publications.

Presidents and President-elects are able to enter your club’s annual membership and service project goals within Rotary Club Central, whilst all club members will be able to view these and keep track of your club’s progress in achieving them.

Looking for new project ideas? Then have a look what other clubs are doing around the world in Rotary Showcase. You can also place your own projects on Rotary Showcase and be proud for what your club has achieved.

If you are a new member or newly elected club officer or committee chairman, then there’s information available within My Rotary to help you understand your role. There’s even a Learning Centre with a range of online programmes that aid Rotarian development.

There’s much more too.


Go on, take the next step now and register on My Rotary if not already done so. It will enrich your Rotary understanding.


How to Create a My Rotary Account Guide (pdf).

Rotary Global Rewards


Over 6,100 Rotarians have accessed Rotary Global Rewards in the first month since the 1 July, 2015 launch.


The Rotary Global Rewards program offers Rotary club members discounts on products and services for travel, entertainment, and merchandise. Rotarians can access the Rotary Global Rewards program from the Member Centre of the Rotary International website.


Rotary Global Rewards offers discounts on car rentals, hotels, dining, and entertainment. You will find Holiday Inn, Hertz, and Apple as well as Official Rotary Licensed Merchandise (pins, shirts, etc.). See local offers to you.

More products and services from companies around the world will be added throughout the year. Check back often to see what’s new in Rotary Global Rewards.


Rotary President K.R. Ravindran (see 1 minute video) and Rotary’s Board of Directors developed the idea for the rewards program to help clubs enhance member satisfaction and retention. The program is also a way to thank members for their service and their generous support of The Rotary Foundation.


Every active Rotarian is automatically eligible to participate in the Rotary Global Rewards program.


If you’re an active Rotarian with a My Rotary account, you already have access to all special offers and discounts. If you need help creating an account, review the How to Create a My Rotary Account guide (PDF).


Initially, the program will include discounts on car rentals, hotels, dining, and entertainment. More products and services from companies around the world will be added over time.


The rewards program is for Rotary club members only.



Yes. Simply sign in to your My Rotary account using your smartphone or tablet.


For questions related to a specific offer, please contact the company directly using the contact information in the offer. If you’re unable to resolve the issue with the company, please tell us so we can troubleshoot the problem. Select the flagged link under Claim Offer.


Download instructions for using Rotary Global Rewards on your desktop computer

Download instructions for using Rotary Global Rewards on a mobile device (smartphone, tablet)


You can find Rotary Global Rewards by using the URL: – Remember to bookmark this link once opened.

District 1120’s 1st Corporate Member Announced!!

One of RIBI’s 5 Rotary GO (Growth Opportunities) for growing club membership which I have been promoting recently is the concept of Corporate Membership. The District Membership team has been working with Tenterden Rotary Club on this idea following interest expressed by a travel agency business in their locality. I am pleased to report great progress and on 1st April the club welcomed their first Corporate members – Travelux of Tenterden (Part of the Baldwins Travel group).
As part of the Corporate Membership arrangement Travelux will work with Tenterden Rotary Club to the following ends:
■ Promoting Rotary on their web site and in their publications, thus enhancing their image as supporters of charitable causes
■ Providing volunteers from their staff at Rotary events when requested and demonstrating their involvement with the local community
■ Providing support for fund raising and Promotional events such as Tentertainment
■ Offering personal development opportunities for their employees through the liaison with the Rotary club members and their professional and business skill sets
■ Generating business networking opportunities

4 members of the management team of Travelux were selected by the company to become the designated Corporate Members of the club. Within a short time of joining members of their staff took part in the High Street collection in aid of Shelter Boxes for the Nepalese earthquake disaster. The Travelux office was the central point for collection boxes and tabards for the activity as can be seen from the attached photo.
Bridgit Hovel at base in Travellux
Corporate Membership offers great potential opportunities for many clubs across District 1120. Many of us have contacts with local businesses and organisations who are interested in developing and nurturing Corporate Social Responsibility within their company by working with the local community and Rotary can be that catalyst and link to provide the support in achieving these goals.
If you want to have more information on Corporate Membership then please contact me directly.

Colin Norgate
District 1120
Membership Development & Retention Committee Chair
Rotary Club of Maidstone Riverside

Hette Stainer – If you took a ‘selfie’ of District 1120 what would it show?

Rotarians – ‘Anything’ owes you an apology.  He has been away on planet “Яркая звезда” until recently, so my brain etc. has taken time to readjust to the atmosphere, 15 pounds per square inch on the old body etc. and getting round to see what has been troubling the Wonderful World of Rotary in the last few weeks.  I have to say that it is looking a bit on the thin side except for Tim Cowell, Press Officer for RC Folkestone Channel, who has been sending quite a few e-mails.  He is what one of my ex-employers used to say – “Made up”.  Is this a Sussexism I wonder…..   In plain English  he is pleased and proud, and with good reason.


Hette Stainer in Ecuador – a selfie

Hettie Stainer, A student from the Folkestone School for Girls she has with her portfolio of pictures has become the National Senior Winner of the RGBI ‘Young Photographer’ competition.  And of the pix I have seen they do her and her photographer’s eye much credit.  Her pictures were taken during a visit to Ecuador recently when she was undertaking charity work (unspecified in Tim Cowell’s press release) and thus the photos were right up the Rotary alley.  The one I liked best was the one I append below entitled  ‘Jess the Angel’ with Ecuadorian children.

If young Hette is not already in the movement either Interact or Rotaract – enrol her! somebody do so, quickly, we need young people with talent, badly.

If we were to take a ‘selfie’ of our work recently and how this District is faring what would it show?  Much good work, yes, most Rotary clubs in the area are committed to their communities, however, I do get the feeling that sometimes what we do is somewhat, how can I put it – ‘uninspired’.  Having worked ourselves  into a good groove, we are reluctant to stand up and shout and scream about our frustrations with the slowness of the Rotary system – the frustrations of getting grants out of TRF, and yes, the unwillingness of some (quite a few) members to spend time to give service – especially at short notice.

I was always at pains when talking to the press or putting out material to stress we were not ‘just a group of middle-aged men enjoying the dining aspect of Rotary but-not-much-else’.  But oh lordie, despite the recent changes and new clubs with younger members I am not sure if we can generate the energy and enthusiasm we need if we are going to get the new, young idealist members we so badly need.  Ho, hum, not a rant, but when you come back to earth you just wonder, where are we going?  A new Rotary year now only days away, let’s hope we will take a selfie that inspires us – please!


Jess the Angel plus young Ecuadorians

PS.  I did not mention that Hette’s trip was part funded by a contribution by RC Folkestone Channel.  Well done guys!

FH =- 24.6.15

What’s This? Rotary Central? Never heard of him….. You have now!

You know how it is, you wait all day for a blog to turn up about something you are interested in!, and then two turn up at once.     Partly because Richard Joy whose entry, ‘Rotary’s Best Kept secret’ was posted on Sunday.  On Saturday he was the moderator for a training seminar in Eastbourne, that is Eastbourne, East Sussex, in case there are any other ‘Eastbourne’s’ lurking about on this planet.

This was useful, partly because, as a seasoned observer of these things, I suspect Rotary Central   is going to become a great deal more central to us than most clubs, and certainly most members suspect.  Members, and clubs are always bleating about ‘lack of communication’.  You may have done so yourself, even well connected people on the District Executive don’t know everything, and even those members who, like myself, try to attend District Council Meetings and District Assemblies, conferences etc. only get a ‘snap-shot’ of what is passed on from the Rotary or Rotary GB assemblies.

Here, really for the first time, is a way that every member in every club (who cares to register on the RI – That is the  site,) can access their club’s details.  This however is just the start, and this, I suspect is where many club members will start to quarrel with the new system.

It is important because on the data your club secretary, (or whoever he delegates to be the ‘Club Executive Secretary’) – i.e. the person who is tasked with keeping the club data up-to-date, needs to be quick because all changes in, and out, of the club need to be notified within 30 days.  It is on these figures that RI will now levy the RI club contribution.  Thus if you don’t keep it current you may be charged for more members than you have.

However, it is the ‘goal setting’ part that members will find irksome.  Now, for everybody to see is how many new members you are going to try to recruit during the current Rotary year, and questions about you club ‘Diversity’ – how many women you are planning, or have already recruited as members.  How many members take part in fund raising and social activities.

Now, many clubs have got good records on most of the above, some haven’t.  Items like, ‘Foundation Giving’ which will show trends will throw light to others in the District – yes folks, anybody else can access your club’s details! So clubs will want to show that they are doing the Right Thing.  Won’t they?

So the benefits – well to RI, the men and women at the core of Rotary Central, will see who and where the achieving clubs are, and, naturally the converse the benefits are clear.  But for clubs too we will be able to see what it is that will earn us a ‘Citation’,  and no, the answer isn’t – “Whatever….”

So thank you Richard for getting up early last Saturday, and coming down to tell us about it.  I suspect you have just made yourself ‘Mr. Rotary Central’ for District 1120,  and next time, ah yes, next time, I shall remember to bring my Rotary dot org password with me.  PS. When I got home I logged on and, guess what,  my club has got fat round zeros for all the goal setting targets, I think I feel a club meeting devoted to the subject coming shortly…!

Hailsham newhaven & R central meeting 011

Richard Joy, assisting a puzzled Rotarian logging on to ‘Rotary dot org’ – a new experience for many I feel, still, old dogs, new tricks!

FH – 16.4.15