Hockey Headlines - Lockdown Edition

Posted by John Wright on 13 January 2021

Chairman’s New Year Message  

Dear Members

I hope you had a very pleasant Christmas and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and healthy New Year.  The next few months will be very challenging and I wish you and your families well.  We must all do everything we can to support our family, friends and of course the NHS.  If there are practical ways that you think that we, as a Club, can help our members or the wider community, please let us know.

Clearly 2020 was not the year we were hoping for, but at least we enjoyed some very enthusiastic hockey up to November.  It is very difficult to see how hockey in the New Year will pan out, but naturally we will be back playing as soon as we are permitted and as soon as it is safe to do so.  As always, the safety of our members and guests is of paramount importance.

I would like to thank the members of our Covid group (Jay Fox, Jamie Oxley and Sam Gayler, Simon Beckley, John Wright) who have considered the Club’s Covid requirements and compliance since the beginning of the season very carefully and diligently and have managed the situation to maximise hockey participation, but at the same time, considering the health and safety of our members.  An incredible amount of time has been spent discussing and implementing these arrangements.

England Hockey and the East League are monitoring the current situation and we will let you know, as soon as we can, about any resumption to hockey.  There are several proposals under discussion and the Leagues, as with all Clubs, are very keen to complete the season in a sensible way which may mean extending playing time into April or May.  The benefit of this is that we will enjoy better weather and I think we, as a Club, would welcome an extension to the season to enjoy as much hockey as possible.  I appreciate that may not appeal to everyone, but we are very keen to make up for lost time.  We are very fortunate to own and manage our own facilities so the Club will make every effort to provide hockey beyond the normal season end dates.

It is particularly disappointing that we have these restrictions in our Centenary year.  We are continuing to plan for 2021 celebrations and, hopefully, a Centenary dinner towards the end of the summer.  We will keep you advised of developments in that respect.

It is also unfortunate that, at the time our season was curtailed, our teams were doing very well indeed.  Our Men’s first team were in a rich vein of form and were looking to improve on their current third place in the National League.  Hopefully the revised arrangements will provide an opportunity for promotion to National League tier two.  Our Ladies first team was running into good form so, again, we hope that will continue after the break.  Our other teams were also performing very well under an excellent coaching and management structure.

The New Year will bring some interesting developments.  England Hockey are revising their Performance Centre structure and will be inviting clubs to apply for Talent Centre and after that Talent Academy accreditation.  This will involve further very positive developments to our coaching structure and we will keep you informed of developments in that respect during the course of 2021.  As a club, with our own facilities, we are ideally placed to participate in these developments.

We are also working very hard to complete the Club refurbishment works by the beginning of next season.  This will (according to current plans) involve significant improvements to the main bar/catering area and the Leonard Bone room, together with an exterior terrace and discrete facilities for the nursery.  We hope to circulate plans very soon.

I would like to thank all those who put so much time into running the Club.  Since my appointment, we have enjoyed the benefit of greater numbers supporting the management and playing side of the Club which has helped enormously.  If any members feel they can contribute to the management and development of the Club in any way, please let me know.  There are numerous initiatives which are being implemented by a number of individuals and my thanks go to them for their hard work.  That work will continue for the benefit of members in 2021.

Finally I hope you all keep safe and healthy and I look forward to seeing you at the Club in 2021.

 

Phillip WheaterPhillip in action

Chairman

January 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                              ( Phillip in action for Wales Masters )

 

 

New Year’s Day

In any normal year, on New Year’s Day morning, the thought of a long training session, freezing cold and with snow having visited the pitches an hour before, one might expect a low attendance. But, even though I advertised the unusual step of including fitness , 14 of the U16 Girls, including  a couple of guests  could not be put off and had a smashing time ,with plenty of Burpees , Mountain climbers , planks, squats  and so on interlaced with stick and ball work. Still smiling at the end -What a bunch!

 

U16's - Still smiling

 

EDIB Team - leading the way.

Our new diversity team is leading the way in so many areas, not least those documented on the England Hockey Website this week , details of which are available at

 http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/news.asp?itemid=50007&itemTitle=Keeping+Connected+Through+Lockdown&section=22

The team is to be congratulated on this excellent start to their efforts, Club Members will see more activity on this, making sure that everyone gets the opportunity to play and enjoy Hockey at our club.

For  those of you who haven’t seen the efforts around Red January and exercise – part of this is that we now have club the Old Loughtonians HC , Strava Group which has been growing steadily and can be joined at:

https://www.strava.com/clubs/808858?utm_source=com.example.android.notepad&utm_medium=referral

(if you do look at the details on the table on this, please be aware that some runners may have had to face very thick mud, their laces might have come undone and  it was raining so I couldn’t see very well).

Finally , a good time to mention , our Club Partners , The Lewin Clinic, are open across lockdown , with appropriate measures in place , and are able to help you if your added exercise is taking it’s toll and you have any injury niggles . Be sure to mention Old Loughtonians to get your discounted first visit .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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