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Why you should join the Wine Trade Sports Club

The UK’s Wine Trade Sports Club is looking for members to help raise money for charity while having fun, exercising, competing and networking.

The club, which can trace back its origins to the early 70s, performs a valuable role in fundraising for those in the wine trade who have fallen on hard times, as well as providing a good way to expand your contacts.

New chairman of the WTSC – and director at Maisons, Marques & Domaines – Charles Taverner explained the benefits of joining the club during a conversation with db earlier this year.

“It’s a social and networking club more than anything,” he said, adding that it had been a great way to increase his contact base in the wine trade, having joined the WTSC when he was in his 20s.

It also offers sporting types in the wine trade a great way to play in a range of competitions around the UK, often in great venues, and includes a wide range of sports, from tennis, squash and cricket to football, rugby, sailing and golf, with plans to add padel to the list this year – and a cycling event each year in partnership with The Drinks Trust.

There are also “socials” and quiz nights, according to Taverner, who wants to raise awareness for the club, in the hope that more people will join it, and that way increase the funds for the Wine Trade Sports Club Foundation, which supports charitable works in the trade.

“The aim is to raise money alongside The Drinks Trust,” said Taverner, noting that this trade charity is the club’s “main beneficiary”.

With an £20 annual membership fee – or £220 for life – Taverner stressed that “the more members we have, the more help we can put back into the industry”, before noting that “it’s a bargain”, with “fixtures subsidised”, and including “great lunches”.

As new chairman, Taverner is looking “to bring people out of the woodwork”, especially younger members of the wine trade, while hoping to enlist “corporate members” too – with businesses offering membership to their employees as part of the service.

Admitting that the club, which is run by volunteers, has probably been somewhat under the radar, he is now hoping to raise awareness in a bid to recruit more members as well as increase the list of sports on offer within the club.

Previous chairman, Michael Hasslacher, died in his 80s on 2 March this year, just months after retiring from the charity, which he helped establish in 1973, and then headed for 50 years, during which time he gave over £800,000 to various causes.

Hasslacher’s family firm was Deinhard, managed together by his cousin Peter Hasslacher and brother Robin who ran the business from London, with their headquarters in Koblenz. They specialised in German wine as well as being the UK agents for Taylor’s Port and Famous Grouse Whisky for many years. The company disbanded and ended up in the IDV/Diageo portfolio where Michael worked from Brick Street, the home of Morgan Furze, until he retired.

Click here to find out more about the WTSC, as well as how to join the club.

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