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Bristol & West Hockey Club

"Bristol's friendliest (and most affordable) hockey club"

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Chairman’s New of Season Message 2018/2019

chairman

The start to this season was no less frantic than the last, with huge efforts by the captains to get sides together for friendlies.  However, it seems it is not just us who struggle, one club this year actually cancelled at midnight on Friday!  This year the club captain and the fixture secretary decided to spend most of September on holiday; they are not daft.

As a club we do seem to be slow to get going and it would be really great one season to actually reach the end of October with at least one team with a points tally in double figures.  However, I’m confident that as with last season, we will quickly catch up.

It was a busy time for me and the committee over the summer with various preparations and plans, but there has been one particular project which has been a priority.  Some of you may have noticed that all of a sudden there are a lot more ladies about?  The reason for this is that we have agreed with Jaspers HC to work towards a merger next year.  This has meant the ladies of B&W and Jaspers training together and now Jaspers are using the Ridings as their home pitch.  If all goes to plan, we will fully merge next season in accordance with league rules.  However, for the present, league rules will not allow any exchange of players (under any circumstances!) between the clubs.  This does not extend to our social events though (I’ve checked the rules).  So bowling at The Lanes on 17th November should see some strong ladies’ teams in pink.

At the start of the season we had a very successful umpires’ evening at a hotel in Bristol.  David Elworthy of England Hockey came to speak to us and the club laid on free drinks and nibbles.  Feedback from the evening was overwhelmingly positive and we are very grateful to David for making it such an informative and entertaining evening (Adam will be releasing a video soon).  This is part of a club strategy to promote umpiring and to better support and develop those umpires we already have.  As the club grows to 9 teams and with more playing at a higher level, the umpiring also need to develop.  Dave Morgan, Adam Whitlock and Stu Bryant will now be driving the development of our umpires, which will hopefully make our umpire manager’s job a little easier!

As you will have noticed last season the club benefited from a large influx of new players and this, I am pleased to say, has continued this season.  This has been bolstered by a group of ten or so under 16 who have come through our youth program (Academy seems to be the trendy word).  It is also always great to hear of ex-youth players returning to the club several years later as their careers have brought them back to Bristol.  Most recent rejoinders are Mark Sullivan and Ethan Davies – welcome home chaps! 

Finally, for this Christmas we have something very special lined up courtesy of our Sponsor, Danco.  Look out for details released soon, but in the meantime keep Sunday 2 December free!

Andy Bryce

Club Day - Sunday 2 September

CLUB DAY FORMAT – 2 SEPTEMBER 2018 – 1PM TO 5PM
This year we will have a 7-a-side mixed tournament to take place at Winterbourne International Academy a.k.a. The Ridings.
£10 for adults and £5 for children
There will be two pools of 3 teams with round robin matches, so everyone will get a few games to get back into the swing of things for the new season.
We would love for you and the whole family to join us from 1pm so that we can arrange teams for the day before getting underway at 1.30pm.
Attractions for the family
We are very happy to say that we have been able to arrange for some family friendly fun to take place this year as well. We have organised a BOUNCY CASTLE, BBQ, GAMES, and even an OBSTACLE COURSE.
So please bring the whole family down for the day to check it out!

TIMINGS FOR THE DAY

Game Game

Game           Game        
1 A1 vs A2 1.30pm   2 B1 vs B2 1.45pm
3 A2 vs A3 2.00pm   4 B2 vs B3 2.15pm
5 A1 vs A3 2.30pm   6 B1 vs B3 2.45pm
Game      
7 Pool A 3rd place vs Pool B 3rd place 3.30pm
8 Pool A 2nd place vs Pool B 2nd place 3.45pm
9 Pool A 1st place vs Pool A 1st place 4.00pm

PRESENTATIONS – 4.30PM

Rules
1. All games will be 10 minutes – one way only
2. All teams will have a minimum of 7-a-side, with rolling substitutions
3. There will be at least one lady on the pitch for each team at any time
4. Short corners must have first strikes by ladies, or with pushes from the top “D”
5. Long corners will be taken from the half way line
6. Green cards will be 1-minute (hopefully not required)
SUNDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2018 – 1PM TO 5PM

Ladies Summer Success

Bristol and West Ladies squad pulled off an amazing unbeaten summer league season, coming in as not only league winners but 7 points clear of the #2 in the league. 32 goals scored, lots of laughs had and some good winter league prep completed for both new and seasoned players! Bring on September!

ladies summer

Women's World Cup

Great news the final and bronze games will be streamed live to the big screen in the Millennium Square and it's happening!. It's a free event for the hockey family and the public. Wear your club colours with pride!

womensworldcup

Chairman’s End of Season Message 2017/2018

chairman

Thank you to all of you who attended the AGM and awards night on 18th May, it was a smashing evening and a fitting end to what has been one of our most successful and enjoyable seasons ever.  Just to recap (again!);

  • Three teams promoted.
  • Three more top half finishes.
  • Ladies’ team safe in their new, more competitive league.
  • Lots of smiling faces.

As I highlighted in my 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 build on this success next season (and if you are reading this on our website as a prospective member – please do join us!  Last year’s new members had a phenomenal impact on the club – you can help build on our success!).

The Club’s accounts made very satisfying reading this year and showed that through the diligent collection of fees by the captains and the generosity of many with their time and donations, we accumulated a surplus.  The committee felt that as a “thank you” to everyone, we should propose a reduction in the membership fee for next season by £10.  This was voted on and carried, so next year’s subscriptions will be;

Adults £50

Juniors £25

This does represent incredible value, I’m sure you will agree.  Can there be any other club in the land that has done this?  I doubt it!  The second part of the motion was to introduce a slightly more onerous penalty for not paying on time.  This was also carried and so next year, anyone not paying by the deadline will pay an additional £10 match fee (total £20) until they have also paid their full subscription.  There will be no excuses as we will even have a card reader available at the club next season for easy payment!

Please be in no doubt that although we have lowered the membership fee for next year, this certainly does not mean that we will not be continuing to invest in the club, as and when we see the opportunity.  We already have a good surplus available for that investment and as has always been the case at B&W, anyone who wishes to develop their skills by qualifying as an umpire or coach, or attending any other England Hockey course will have their fees paid, just so long as they commit to using the qualification for the good of the club for a minimum of 1 year.

One area of investment already planned for early next season is an umpire’s development and social evening.  I had tried to arrange this last season, but I did not manage to find a guest speaker.  With Adam Whitlock’s help I am delighted to announce that we will now have David Elworthy, England Hockey Officiating Relationship Manager, coming to speak to us early next season.  The club will lay on an evening of food & drink for our umpires to allow them to share experiences and gain knowledge –along with having a great evening with friends!  At B&W we flippin’ love our umpires!

Junior training went well last year with good numbers attending in all age groups.  It was boosted by a number of newly qualified coaches, but we are always looking for more.  If you are interested in having fun and prepared to commit a modest amount of time to develop the players of the future, please let me know.  Before the start of next season I hope to arrange for the junior coaches to get together to plan how make next season even better.

During the AGM I also spoke about our playing pitch at the Ridings.  Our pitch is obviously vital to our club and with the many changes to the school and sports facilities over the years, we’ve not always been clear what the future held.  We recently participated in the study by South Gloucestershire Council into their sports facilities study and their draft action plan document “South Gloucestershire Draft Playing Pitches, Indoor and Built Sports Facilities Strategies” can be found here;

https://consultations.southglos.gov.uk/consult.ti/sports_pitch/consultationHome

Encouragingly, the action plan for our pitch is;

“Retain as a hockey pitch and explore funding opportunities to resurface. There is a need for an additional pitch in the Rural Area to accommodate displaced midweek training demand from Bristol & West HC.” 

We hope to be working more closely with the Ridings in future to secure tenure and to have a greater a say in how the pitch is managed and improved.  With ever tightening budgets that is going to be a challenge, but as our club develops it is also going to be vital.

After the AGM we moved on the glittering awards ceremony with some very entertaining speeches by our captains.  A full list of the all the award winners can be found on this website at the “About us” tab by clicking on “Roll of honour”.

That is all for now and I hope that by now you are all enjoying your summer hockey and festivals  - and don’t forget to support our own Badgers (junior) tournament on Sunday 24th June! 

Andy Bryce

3 CLUB PROMOTIONS

Congratulations to the Mens 3rd, 4th and 5th teams who all achieved promotion from their leagues this season, making it a huge step forward for the club.

The rest of the club also had success with 3 other teams finishing in the top half of their league and no relegations from any of our 7 senior teams.

Well done everyone

Chairman’s New Year Message 2018

chairman

A very Happy New Year to everyone!  I hope you had an enjoyable festive season and that like me, you are really looking forward to the second half of the hockey season.

Looking back at my Message at this time last year reminded me that at that time the men’s first team were riding high at the top of the league.  Happily, they then powered on to secure promotion, just as the ladies’ had done the season before.  However, other teams were not faring so well and it was a pretty tough end to the 2016/17 season for some.

Over Christmas I had the pleasure of chatting to the Club Captain over a beer or two, and he told me that he thought that this year was shaping up to be a very good one indeed across the whole club.  As a result, people were in general “happy”.  The reason for this rush of endorphins is on the face of it simple, all of our teams are highly competitive in their leagues and led superbly by their captains. 

That got me thinking, surely the most important measure of a club’s success has to be the happiness of its members?  Get that right and success naturally follows.  So if Rob is right and I think he is, it should be very gratifying to all those members and volunteers who work so hard to make it happen.  It may be a simple thing, but it’s not at all easy to achieve.

Of course there will always be individual exceptions for one reason or another, but overall I think that Bristol & West Hockey Club is a great thing to be part of as we head into 2018.  That said, we can never rest or be complacent and one area that I want us to focus on this year is supporting and developing our umpires, some of whom have not always been blissfully happy this season.

I am in the process of arranging an umpire’s evening with a guest speaker which I hope will be well supported and help bring the team together.  We are also acquiring headsets for all club umpires to use (thank you Danco for sponsoring this).  Remember, our umpires are fundamental to our club both in terms of enabling us to play and to our reputation, so please do your part to encourage and help them.  Abuse and inappropriate criticism of umpires damages your club in so many ways. 

Turning to operational matters, it has been busy as ever for the committee this season but one thing I want to mention is “shirts”.  I know some of you are patiently awaiting a new one and we desperately need a set of away shirts.  You might think, like me, that ordering new sets of shirts that match our current strip and at a reasonable price, would be a very straightforward thing to do?  Therefore, quite how the committee has managed to discuss this for hours beats me - but please bear with us, it will happen!

Finally, I’d like to once again thank Karen Bryant for organising another Christmas party.  I had a great time and once I’d woken up the DJ (literally) and given him my playlist (available on request), the evening was a roaring success.  Next year we are looking to do something a bit different as we have done the hotel-dinner-disco thing for quite a few years now.  I would be really grateful for any suggestions?

Andy Bryce

Dates for Christmas.

The last men’s games before Christmas are Saturday 16th Dec.

The last ladies game is Saturday 25th Nov.

The last Badgers game is Sunday 3rd Dec.

The last training is Monday 18th Dec for the juniors and Wednesday/ Thursday 13th/14th Dec for the Adults.

Training resumes on Monday 8th Jan for the juniors and Wednesday/Thursday 3rd/4th Jan for the Adults.

The first men’s and ladies games are Saturday 6th Jan.

The first Badgers game is Sunday 7th Jan.

Have a great Christmas and New year!

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CLUB DAY FORMAT – 2 SEPTEMBER 2018 – 1PM TO 5PM
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