The Southerner’s Ball was held on Friday 23rd November at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit. It had been four years since the last ball which was held in 2003. The main purpose of the Ball was to celebrate a year of sports as well as presenting sports awards for those who had been seen as valuable players by their teams. Over 250 people attended the evening and there was good support from all sections of the club. We even had travellers from Japan, Canada and Phuket. As well as our own teams in attendance we also had guests from Siam Cricket Club, Thailand Tigers and Bangkok Bangers. Our sponsors, Guinness and Crown Relocations were also present.

The evening started with cocktails in the foyer of the Grand Ballroom. The Absolut vodka was kindly donated by Kristian Harmiston and his company. We managed to convince the Sheraton to mix the vodka with Southerner colours for the pre dinner drinks. For those who did not realise we had vodka and green fanta (Did anyone actually drink these other than Barnsy?), vodka and coke and vodka and orange juice.

A very classy touch from the Southerners. What could we possibly do for the next Ball that will outdo our sophistication on the drinks front?

Everyone scrubbed up well and it was good to see team mates out of their sports uniforms and spruced up. I am sure a lot of people were not able to recognise people they normally play sport with. Rajas were there to take photos and provide evidence that club members do lead a normal life off the sports field. People mingled and had copious amounts of pre dinner cocktails waiting for dinner to be announced. Once dinner was announced the race was on to fill plates and get as much from the buffet as possible. The Sheraton provided a range of fantastic dishes which were heartily consumed by the guests.

After the long dinner came the presentations. A person from each club section was recognised for their contribution to their team. Nicole Stanners won the most valuable player for the netball section. In cricket, Chris Thwaites was awarded the most valuable player. After a long rugby preamble, Mike Gadd was awarded the rugby trophy. In touch Raphael received the award. All players received vouchers from the Londoner, Rajas or the Thai Sports Association. Vaughan McClear was unanimously voted the Southerners club person for all his efforts throughout the year. Well done to all of the teams for their wins over the year and to those who received individual awards.

Following the presentations there were several raffle draws. Thank you to Doug Ozanne for organising such great prizes from the Sheraton. Also, thank you to our sponsors on the night for donating prizes; The Barbecue Store, Essential Travel, Rajas, The Londoner, LMG Insurance, Crown Relocations and Tennis Academy of Asia.

Once the formal part of the evening was over it was onto the dance floor. Music was provided by DJ Paul Jackson and Celtic Colours and the floor was packed for most of the evening. Many impressive moves were made and hours were spent by some on the dance floor. Southerners can definitely get a work out on and off the sports field. One guest who was very pregnant managed to dance the night away and outlast many others.

During the evening there was a sighting of a Southerners rugby member attempting a parachute drop from the banister and then trying his swimming skills in the 10 centimetre deep ‘pool’. Everyone would be pleased to know that he survived the fall and continued dancing and partying until half past 6 that morning. Well done to all those who escorted him to the late night bars and made sure he did not suffer from his ‘diving’ incident. A few gentlemen were also spotted drinking at the Sheraton poolside at 7 o’clock. A big night for all!

Comments were made that Friday could probably be a good day for a ball as then you have two days to recover. It took us four years to recover from the last ball – let’s hope that we can now make the Southerner’s Ball a regular event. Thank you to Vaughan for collecting the money and making sure all finances were sorted. A big thank you goes to Doug for organising the Sheraton and making sure everything ran smoothly. Also, thank you to Nicole Hodgson, Neil Smith, Wagga, Spedo and Skinny for helping out on the night. Every little bit helps.

Thank you to all of our sponsors who help us throughout the year; Guinness, The Londoner and Crown Relocations. We really appreciate their support and generosity which helps us to survive as a club.

Sue Cuthbertson

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