Thank you to all of you who attended the AGM and awards night on 18th May, it was a smashing evening and a fitting end to what has been one of our most successful and enjoyable seasons ever. Just to recap (again!);
- Three teams promoted.
- Three more top half finishes.
- Ladies’ team safe in their new, more competitive league.
- Lots of smiling faces.
As I highlighted in my speech on the evening, I am so grateful for all the hard work put in by the committee and volunteers to help bring this about. Let’s now get ready build on this success next season (and if you are reading this on our website as a prospective member – please do join us! Last year’s new members had a phenomenal impact on the club – you can help build on our success!).
The Club’s accounts made very satisfying reading this year and showed that through the diligent collection of fees by the captains and the generosity of many with their time and donations, we accumulated a surplus. The committee felt that as a “thank you” to everyone, we should propose a reduction in the membership fee for next season by £10. This was voted on and carried, so next year’s subscriptions will be;
This does represent incredible value, I’m sure you will agree. Can there be any other club in the land that has done this? I doubt it! The second part of the motion was to introduce a slightly more onerous penalty for not paying on time. This was also carried and so next year, anyone not paying by the deadline will pay an additional £10 match fee (total £20) until they have also paid their full subscription. There will be no excuses as we will even have a card reader available at the club next season for easy payment!
Please be in no doubt that although we have lowered the membership fee for next year, this certainly does not mean that we will not be continuing to invest in the club, as and when we see the opportunity. We already have a good surplus available for that investment and as has always been the case at B&W, anyone who wishes to develop their skills by qualifying as an umpire or coach, or attending any other England Hockey course will have their fees paid, just so long as they commit to using the qualification for the good of the club for a minimum of 1 year.
One area of investment already planned for early next season is an umpire’s development and social evening. I had tried to arrange this last season, but I did not manage to find a guest speaker. With Adam Whitlock’s help I am delighted to announce that we will now have David Elworthy, England Hockey Officiating Relationship Manager, coming to speak to us early next season. The club will lay on an evening of food & drink for our umpires to allow them to share experiences and gain knowledge –along with having a great evening with friends! At B&W we flippin’ love our umpires!
Junior training went well last year with good numbers attending in all age groups. It was boosted by a number of newly qualified coaches, but we are always looking for more. If you are interested in having fun and prepared to commit a modest amount of time to develop the players of the future, please let me know. Before the start of next season I hope to arrange for the junior coaches to get together to plan how make next season even better.
During the AGM I also spoke about our playing pitch at the Ridings. Our pitch is obviously vital to our club and with the many changes to the school and sports facilities over the years, we’ve not always been clear what the future held. We recently participated in the study by South Gloucestershire Council into their sports facilities study and their draft action plan document “South Gloucestershire Draft Playing Pitches, Indoor and Built Sports Facilities Strategies” can be found here;
Encouragingly, the action plan for our pitch is;
“Retain as a hockey pitch and explore funding opportunities to resurface. There is a need for an additional pitch in the Rural Area to accommodate displaced midweek training demand from Bristol & West HC.”
We hope to be working more closely with the Ridings in future to secure tenure and to have a greater a say in how the pitch is managed and improved. With ever tightening budgets that is going to be a challenge, but as our club develops it is also going to be vital.
After the AGM we moved on the glittering awards ceremony with some very entertaining speeches by our captains. A full list of the all the award winners can be found on this website at the “About us” tab by clicking on “Roll of honour”.
That is all for now and I hope that by now you are all enjoying your summer hockey and festivals - and don’t forget to support our own Badgers (junior) tournament on Sunday 24th June!