Message from your new Chair ahead of 2018/19 season

Posted by Tim Sutton on 6 July 2018

A message from your new Chair – Helen Sargeant

Thank you to all of you who attended our Awards night on 12th May, -  it was a great evening with good food and even better company - and those that contributed at our AGM on 17th May – of which more on the outcomes of this below.

In all this was a fitting end to what has been one of our most successful and enjoyable seasons ever. 

Promotion

  • Two Ladies teams promoted (both teams have now been promoted twice in successive seasons)

Academy now over 170 players

  • Strong growth in our junior academy with 15 competitive teams in action this year, with this already feeding strongly into our performance in the Ladies leagues

Online selection and membership system

  • A leap forward in how we run the club, with a new (and 'GDPR-compliant') online membership system, giving each player a personal itemised statement and straightforward monthly direct debit payment.

Importantly now your Captains will no longer chasing be around collecting and keeping records of cash, when they should be organising the team for a win. The tools for organising matches online are also more convenient so further reducing the burdens on the captains.

AGM highlights

As highlighted in Iain’s speech on the evening, I am so grateful for all the hard work put in by the committee and volunteers to help bring this about.  Let’s now get ready to build on this success next season.

While many assume that the season is now over, in fact Sunday juniors, Ladies back-to-hockey, Mixed evening hockey and shortly Friday Night ‘Lights’ social hockey are all busy happening. Just ask one of the coaches if you wish to get involved.

Our hockey club has grown significantly to over 300 members, and now plays in a whole new range of competitions year-round, from U8's league hockey to vets, and throughout the summer. 

The Club’s financial accounts highlighted that while adult hockey this year produced a small deficit, the continued expansion of activities in the academy juniors has helpfully more than offset this.

Creating 3 additional new academy 11-a-side teams has been possible this year, and this will feed into adult squads next season. There is potential to do more with recreational hockey, both summer and ladies back to hockey, all of which could help rebalance the books in the future. You'll hear more on these initiatives shortly.

We have recognised a big opportunity for the club to attract larger grants if we can generate our own matching funds. and we have been in discussions with the town council, sponsors and Longsands about the future of the club, focused on the benefits to members by creating a clubhouse facility.  

New Clubhouse Fund

We proposed to members to kickstart this by raising a clubhouse fund over 3 years to improve the whole hockey experience, to enable the clubhouse that we recognise will act as the home for the club, and will open up new social, community and additional hockey opportunities for all our players. 

One part of this will be an increase in player subscriptions. We have benefitted from lower than average subs in past years, so this still makes our club subscriptions one of the lowest in the area and we remain competitive.

The below amounts were voted on and carried. New subscriptions will be charged on 1st September:

Adults £80                     U18 (non-Academy) £40

It was also agreed overwhelmingly at the AGM that the club will fully adopt the new direct debit system for every player, after a successful year of operation.

All players must have their direct debits in place by 10th September. The subs payments will be spread equally over 2 dates: 1 October and 1 November 2018

If you have an existing direct debit in place you need do nothing more. Setting up a direct debit is a 60-second job by logging into your membership account. If your payment fails and we have to chase you for payment, you may be required to pay a significantly higher match fee before you can play again – I’d be grateful if you could get this sorted now as we have a new Treasurer who has plenty to do already.

As part of this rebalancing it was also agreed that for those Goalkeepers who provide all their own kit will have an annual discount of up to £80 as a club contribution towards these costs. 

Thanks to everyone for supporting this investment. It was agreed that the additional funds raised would be held in a special fund secured for the clubhouse project

A core team is being established to steward this - if you think you can bring something to this project please let me or anyone on committee know. 

 

And finally - on facebook? - please could everyone like and follow our new site for player news - the top one in this picture:

 

Yours,

Helen (Chair, St Neots HC)

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