I hope that you all had a fantastic Christmas break and that you are now starting to get excited about the second half of the season. I regret that with half a season gone, this is my first message to you. I see these as a really important way of keeping you informed of what is happening on the committee and the club as a whole, and so I apologise for my tardiness. However, my excuse is that this year, so much of our time and energy has been taken up with making sure we still have pitches to play on, somewhere to have teas, and that everyone is in the right place at the right time to train and play hockey. So with that in mind, I am pleased to say that our gradual transition from Winterbourne to Mangotsfield will be largely complete in the New Year, with all Winterbourne and Colstons bookings now moved to Mangotsfield for both training and matches. The only exception will be junior training on Mondays, which is staying at Winterbourne until they rip up the pitch from under our feet.
Mangotsfield School, Rodway Hill, Mangotsfield, Bristol, BS16 9LH
Encouraging Mangotsfield School to finally re-open their AGP and then us managing to secure all the slots we need at the single pitch has not been easy, but we have done it. Summer hockey bookings have also been confirmed. I am also pleased to report that we have started to make good progress in building a productive relationship with our new host, who seem very pleased to have us. One example of this is that they have recently instructed a specialist AGP contractor to carry out a deep clean and maintenance of the pitch in response to our concerns about people slipping. We are also working hard to get dug-outs for you. Cleeve RFC have also been very welcoming and thank you to Gav Palomeque for stepping in and providing sandwiches. Please bear with us while we continue to work with the rugby club to come to a long term teas solution. One of the things that Mangotsfield have asked of us, is that we report all injuries to them. This is good practice and something we do already via the EH website. So if one of our players, a member of the opposition team, a spectator or umpire are injured at their facility, please report it, either to our welfare officers (Hannah Sabine and Stu Bryant - WelfareOfficerBAWHC@gmail.com) or to a committee member. Stu Bryant has also organised an Emergency First Aid course in January to increase the number of first aiders we have at our games. If you would like to do this course, please contact Stu as soon as possible.
INJURY & INSURANCE COVER UPDATE
On the subject of injury, I am very pleased to announce that the Club has now enhanced its insurance cover to include personal injury (including dental work) to all members. This has of course increased our insurance premium, but the committee felt that it was something that we should do to enhance the Club’s offering to its valued members. The cover is subject to the usual insurance excess and limits and a copy of the full policy can be provided on request from Ollie, our treasurer. Please note however, that the cover is subject to the injured person having taken “reasonable precautions”. What this means is not clearly defined in the small print, but one interpretation could be that protective equipment is worn.
Please be aware that with the exception of short corner facemasks for junior games (e.g. Badgers & Vixens), the provision of protective equipment is the sole responsibility of the player, not the Club.
Turning now to the hockey and looking back over the last two seasons disrupted by Covid and the trauma caused by losing our pitch at short notice, the fact that ‘on the pitch‘ we have pretty much bounced back unshaken from our strong position in early 2020, is nothing short of stunning. Not only that, we have added two additional teams (BAWJ / Ladies’ 4th XI and under 10s) which in my opinion, tells you a lot about the amazing people in this Club. Your committee remain dedicated to making your experience the best it can be, but what we ask of you is that you please continue support your team, your captain and your Club by keeping fit, attending training, maximising your availability and by being a great sportsperson and ambassador. Let’s face it, getting out onto a hockey pitch is one of the few things that makes the winter bearable; I’d certainly be very lost without it.
Finally, with an eye on the future development of the Club, a lot of work is still being done to secure our facilities in the long term. Our vision, which I think we all share, is for a home with two pitches and a nearby social facility that we have at least some stake in. It could be that this will be at Mangotsfield, but we will of course continue to explore other opportunities. I wish you all a very happy and successful New Year!
Andy Bryce Chairman