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Chairman's New Season Message 22/23

Last season’s ‘slate is wiped’ and the new season is very nearly here. With hard work from the committee over the last few weeks we are, apart from a couple of posts left to fill, organised and ready to get this season off to a flying start!

I’m sure that for many, the end of summer can bring with it a little melancholy, but for lucky people like us who play, umpire, coach or just love hockey, this time of year is full of anticipation of meeting up with clubmates and getting back on the pitch. This season more so than ever with the excitement of Premiership Hockey coming to Mangotsfield!

I don’t know whether it’s because of the success of our women’s and men’s first teams last season, or whether it’s just that word is spreading that B&WHC is a splendid club, but the number of new members that have joined us already this summer is the highest I can remember. This is fabulous, but I say it every year, please remember that one of the core strengths of our club is our welcome and friendliness. In the coming weeks, if you see a new and unfamiliar face it is almost certainly a new member and so please be welcoming and at the very least say hello! It is potentially the single most important thing that we can all do for the future of our club.

For some of us I know that the thought of playing on the Mangotsfield School pitch is perhaps not high up on the list of things you are looking forward to, but I am really pleased to be able to report that after much encouragement from us, the school have told us that they intend to re-surface the Mangotsfield pitch next summer. We will need to find an alternative venue for summer hockey next year while the work is done, but that shouldn’t be difficult. The school have also just bought a new pair of good quality practice goals, so we are starting to get at least some of the facilities a club like ours deserves. We still have a little way to go until we have two pitches side by side, a sumptuous club house and grandstand, but we just need to keep hold of that dream and keep trying.

The Hoopers Farm pitch development at Winterbourne is still alive, but unfortunately there has been little progress of late. This has not been helped by the person responsible for the project at South Glos Council resigning and the post being vacant until recently. I have a meeting with the new ‘Regeneration and Development Manager’ soon, when I will again be making our case strongly and pushing to get the project moving again.

Finally, one of the last posts to be filled for this season was our new social secretary Dave Cadman (aka Disco). A big thanks to Leanne for everything she has organised over the last few years and also to Dave for taking it on. Please give Dave your support and if you have any ideas for an event you would like organised – just let Dave know.

Have a great season!

Andy Bryce

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