After the 2020/21 season was brought to an abrupt end just before Christmas, I can only imagine the joy, mixed with pain and exhaustion that returning to hockey after so long is going to be like! It is not long to wait before we will be training and playing again, and it must be over 35 years since I had such a long break from the game. I am dreading an injury and I’m sure many of you might also be in a similarly wretched state - so let’s please be careful out there and at least to start with, take it easy! I am pleased to report that our fixtures team of Alan and Jess have been working very hard to ensure that both before and after Easter, there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone to play. Thank you both. For the first time this summer we are also hoping to run a mixed team.
We had quite a long committee meeting last Monday finalising preparations for the coming months. Amongst topics for discussion were the resumption of socials and the AGM. But no Awards Night of course this year, however fabulous you’ve been in lockdown. We have provisionally booked the AGM for the end of June, when we are hoping that we might be able to combine it with a summer party. One other topic for discussion was the possibility of a rebate of our membership fee, given that we have only been able to offer hockey for half of the winter season. Unfortunately, this is not a straightforward matter as I hope to explain (as succinctly as I can) below. As part of running the club we have a large number of fixed costs that we have to pay, regardless of whether or not we play. These include EH affiliation (about £2,000), insurance, league subscriptions, first aid kits, courses & DBS checks etc. We also currently have an asset of about £3,500 of unsold (and written off) club kit that we need to turn into cash. Therefore, as you can hopefully see, simply refunding half of the subscription to every member would potentially leave a big hole in the club accounts. It is possible that we may get rebates on some of these fixed costs and so what we have decided to do is to wait until we can finalise the accounts before the AGM. We will then be able to see our opening and closing balances for the season and look to return any “profit” back to the membership. One exception to this is money from fund raising, which the committee agree should remain separate and added to our development fund. Assuming that there is a reasonable amount of profit, I would like the membership to then decide at the AGM what we should to do with it. Some suggestions are:
The club retains some or all the money for future development;
The money is divided amongst the membership and offered as a discount on next year’s subscription (note - which the committee will not be proposing to increase); or
The money is used to fund a club social.
Whatever we do, it will be totally transparent, and the accounts will be circulated for everyone to consider and then vote on at the AGM. Any other suggestions for what we might do with any money can of course also be put forward. Just two final notes on this. Firstly, if you have not yet paid your annual subscription you must please now pay it in full (via the website is the most convenient). You must do this if you wish to continue to play hockey in April and through into the summer league and be eligible for the benefit of any future discount, social subsidy etc. Secondly, please also remember our hardship promise and if anyone cannot afford to pay, please speak to a committee member in confidence. I hope that this is clear but do feel free to speak to me (or any other member of the committee) about it if you would like to. Finally, please don’t forget that if you have not done so already, start working on your fitness now as we have a lot of hockey to play! Andy Bryce - Chairman