Firstly, as a club we would like to pay tribute to Robin Nettleton who sadly passed away recently following a long illness which he fought with dignity and determination to the last.
Originally a cricketer Robin took up hockey with great success and enjoyed an illustrious career whilst still able to don the whites on occasion in the summer. As President his drive and passion in support of both sections of the club will be challenging to replace but his enthusiasm will go forward with those he inspired with his advice and guidance.
Robin will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends.
Under normal circumstances many of us would now be preparing for summer stick training and pre-season friendlies. However, while this is not currently possible, the club is preparing as much as possible for a return to play, and pre-season fitness sessions have been running for a number of weeks (adhering to government guidelines).
As a club we are following the guidelines set out by government and also England Hockey. Unfortunately, whilst these guidelines do allow for small group based sessions to run, we have been unable to do this due to our restricted access to the astro. We hope to be able to begin some of our own club training soon, which will of course strictly follow the relevant guidelines. England Hockey have submitted their Return to Play proposal to the government and are awaiting their response. The outcome of this proposal will impact on the return to play guidelines for clubs, as well as possible League start dates and any potential adaptations to the structure of leagues and fixtures. For now, the advice from England Hockey and our relevant leagues, is to "prepare for a normal start to the season". We will update members as soon as we have any further details as we are aware there are still many questions regarding returning to play.
Over the next few weeks our website will be significantly updated due to new features. This will allow us to build a more dedicated Junior Section to provide weekly updates for players and their parents/guardians. Information about Junior Coaching will be released as soon as we hear from England Hockey regarding the Return to Play. We will be using the website far more to inform parents of any changes to training and provide some skills and games children can do at home - we therefore encourage all parents to register to enable them to have full access to these functions.
For those who wish to read more about England Hockey's response please follow the link.
As a Club we are also looking to run Hockey Heroes sessions (similar to the Cricket All Stars) and details of this will be shared once we know further information from England Hockey etc.
Due to Covid-19, like many other clubs, we were unable to hold our AGM. As a Club we have been exploring options for this and we hope to be able to hold some form of AGM soon - again, subject to guidelines. Similarly, the Junior Awards night was postponed, along with our annual dinner. Again, opportunities to provide our excellent juniors with their certificates and awards in a safe and responsible way are being looked at now that we have received the trophies.
In the meantime, we hope all our members and their families are safe and well. We also hope you are all able to enjoy some form of a Summer whilst staying safe. We would also like to thank all our members for their patience and understanding during this time - as a Club we want to get back to hockey as soon as is possible, but the safety and health of all our members is our main priority.
For those that are signed up to the website you should start to receive more detailed weekly email updates.
Finally, whilst the club house remains effectively closed, we are pleased that our Cricket teams have been able to get back to playing. A significant amount of time and money has gone into getting the clubhouse, ground and teams ready to play. Spectators are welcome at Saturday games but adherence to social distancing and club guidelines is required from all. There will be access to toilet facilities and an outside can/bottle bar, but we ask that anyone who comes to watch takes the necessary precautions for the safety and wellbeing of us all.