Dear Members,

We approach the start of the 2020/21 season with a range of emotions reflecting these unprecedented times! On the one hand, there is rightly excitement: the news last week from England Hockey that our sport could move to Stage 4 of recovery means that subject to some stringent precautionary measures internal club matches and match training can resume heralding a strong chance of resuming the league season to schedule.

By contrast, it is clear from wider restrictions that remain in place nationally that it is unlikely that our full programme of sporting and social activities will be able to take place in entirely the ways we are familiar although we are confident that we will continue to adapt over the coming weeks and months successfully.

Whilst the end of last season arrived abruptly, from a medium-term perspective, the timing of lockdown was such that it has had the least impact for the club that we might have expected thus far. Although we haven’t run the full programme of summer hockey that we would have expected, the impact of Covid-19 on club finances thus far has been much less significant than if it had fallen in the midst of the season.

I’m pleased to report that the Treasurer updated the Management Committee last week and gave us some reassurance about our financial position as a club going into the next season.

Equally, by now, your section leads and club captains will have been in touch to start to share plans for the start of the season based on the best of our knowledge to date.

We are particularly mindful at this time that a key part of our vision is promoting hockey for all participants and ensuring we are inclusive. It is inevitable that in a club of our size and with such a range of members, that the economic and other effects of Covid-19 and the associated lockdown will regrettably have had a disproportionate impact on some of our members more than others. We have worked hard over the summer to develop some general proposals around memberships subscriptions and match fees to reflect the ongoing uncertainty about the months ahead which we will put to you at the AGM. However, if your personal circumstances have changed significantly and this is causing you to reflect on whether to continue as an HC member, please do contact your club captain or section lead – or indeed any member of the management committee – so that we can look at ways we can help.

Had things gone to plan, we would have had our awards night and celebration at the end of March, the Dinner Dance at the beginning of May and the AGM in June. All would have reflected on an incredibly successful year on the pitch (especially for the Ladies) and our first season in our new home at Beldams Lane.

Because of the ongoing Covid restrictions, it’s still not clear when an event like the Dinner Dance may take place. However, it is important both that we do celebrate the success of last season and some notable individual contributions as well as conduct the formal business of the club so that we’re on a strong footing to move into the new season.

The management committee took the decision to defer the AGM when we met in May and have left it as late as we felt able ahead of the new season so that we could bring as accurate a picture of the coming season to the membership as possible.

With that in mind – and reflecting the current restrictions more broadly – we propose to hold a short Virtual AGM followed by an online awards night on Sunday 6th September 2020.

Both will take place via Zoom and more details will be sent nearer the time.

Should you be unable to attend, apologies for the AGM can be sent to Amy Duffy on [email protected].

More info can be found here.

Categories: Club News