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Chairman’s Lockdown Summer Message

Spending too much time in the garden!

The main purpose of this message is to bring you news from the committee and reassure you that the club is still here, and that we are busy preparing for next season. However, last season is not quite done with yet, because we still have the Awards to present and of course, the AGM. As you know we sadly had to cancel the actual Awards Night, but we now have the Virtual Awards taking place on Saturday 18 July (7:30pm). A lot of people have put a great deal of effort in to bringing this together and so I know it will be fantastic, so please do watch it with a celebratory glass of something in hand - you might even be a winner! Details on how to watch will be posted soon.

It is now clear that we don’t stand a chance of having a Club AGM ‘in person’ and the committee have decided to cancel it for this year. However, there are three important governance aspects to the AGM that need to be decided which are committee posts, confirmation of the accounts and setting the membership and match fees for next year.

Dealing with the last one first, the committee decided unanimously that in the current uncertain and stressful times, we will keep the membership and match fees unchanged for 2020/21. We have maintained a solid cash reserve and so we have the financial headroom to be able to do this. We also agreed that we wanted to make it a priority not to lose any members because of the hardship that some may face in the coming months; we all understand how important team sport is not only for our physical health, but also to our mental health. Therefore, if anyone is concerned, please do speak confidentially to a committee member.

The accounts for last year have been more or less finalised. However, there are unfortunately still a few debts to chase. Once Ollie is happy that we have everything collected, he will put away the baseball bat and circulate the Club accounts for your perusal and of course, any queries that you might have.

We have asked the current committee members to stay in post for the time being if they possibly can, and I’m pleased that most have kindly agreed to do this. However, some are clear that they do wish to step down and please see details on the Club social media for what posts are currently available. However, if you feel strongly that you wish to be considered for a currently occupied post, please let the committee know and we will see if we can find some constitutional means of considering this.

On other matters, if you are a coach or umpire you will have already been asked by the committee to carry out some learning over the summer and England Hockey are currently offering all sorts of on-line courses. Some of us have already done this and as always, the Club will reimburse you (although contributions gratefully received). If we all do this, it will be a sure way of turbo-boosting the Club for next season.

New umpires can also now even get qualified from the comfort of their own home! Please speak to Al Coles or Stu Bryant for details. Note that we will support anyone who does this by having some assisted sessions with an experienced umpire as soon as we can (and what better way of securing an invite to the next ‘Crapping Monkey’ umpires’ social?).

Finally, what about actual hockey you might be asking? Well you may have seen from the Club Website and our social media, that we are still currently at “Stage 2” of relaxing restrictions. This allows for coaching in small groups. However, we are keeping a close eye on developments and will move to get some form of hockey going as soon as we can for both seniors and juniors.

I know some of you have also been attending evening fitness sessions; please do come and join in. Or maybe if you are not feeling energetic - just come along to say a socially distanced hello!

As a final note, I’d like to say how proud and uplifted I am by the dedication and work of so many members since the end of the season and throughout these depressing times. By doing this they have given us all something to look forward to and are at the same time ensuring that the Club will come back better than ever.

Thank you.

Andy Bryce

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Are you sure its not the "Clapping Monkey" 😀

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