Well, we did it! We’ve almost made it through lockdown. Thank you to everyone for your continued support and understanding of the nation’s situation and the impact it has had on hockey training and matches. This has been as unprecedented for us and England Hockey as it has for the rest of the country.
In the interest of honesty, this has been a difficult year for Witney Hockey Club. Our committee have been working hard to ensure our finances are tight so our club can continue to operate. We have run the numbers, scenarios, and discussed at length. Although we would love to be able to offer everyone a partial refund on membership fees, this is sadly not financially viable. As a club we have expenses which have had to be paid even though we are unable to offer you any hockey, which we will also not receive a refund on, and paired with lower club numbers due to Covid and the loss of revenue from our junior tournament, we’ve had to make the difficult decision not to refund any membership. However with your support and understanding we can make certain the club can continue to run and offer the excellent hockey we pride ourselves on.
There is, also, excellent hockey news on the horizon.
To make up for the half season we’ve lost, we’re putting on extra hockey for our members (Covid permitting, of course). We will be running additional training for juniors in April, additional training for seniors in August and fitness sessions across the summer. Summer League will go ahead this year for seniors with extra teams submitted. We will also be playing interclub friendlies on weekends through April and May for some seniors and older juniors.
Read on for further details.
We will be running 4 weeks of Junior training from w/c 29th March. This will follow the same weekly sessions as previously, and will focus on skill and team building for a successful upcoming junior season. This will include lots of games as we know how much the juniors enjoy them. We’d love to see as many numbers as possible here! We know how important it is for our juniors to socialise and get back to hockey. U14 Boys can join the U12s on Tuesdays 7-8pm.
We hope to host the Witney Hockey Club Junior Tournament again this year. This (usually) yearly event is a huge success not only for our junior players but for the club itself, bringing in much needed revenue as well as bringing together the club community.
This season we are looking to establish a Junior Committee which will feed directly into the main committee, giving our junior section an even stronger voice within the club. Our juniors are our future and we want to invest in them. Roles for the committee will be announced soon, but if you’d like to be involved in any capacity please get in touch by replying to this email or filling out the contact form on our website.
Summer league will recommence this season, and we’ll be back with vengeance! This year we are entering:
2x Ladies’ Teams
1x Men’s Team
2x Mixed Teams
We’re entering these additional Ladies and Mixed teams so there’ll be ample opportunity for members to play multiple games mid-week, depending on interest. We are conscious of how many men play cricket so for availability we're only entering one Men’s team as normal.
With the success and fun of last year, we will again be running 8 weeks of social fitness sessions at Witney Rugby Club over the summer. This will start sometime in July with all seniors and applicable juniors (year 13 and over, plus those that already play in senior squads) welcome and encouraged. These sessions will culminate in a club BBQ to start off the new season with a bang.
We’re delighted to announce we’re launching a 4th Ladies team this year! With a dedicated coach, training session and league, the creation of this team will allow as many players as possible to have a weekend game. It will also give our elder junior girls a chance to play senior hockey sooner and become integrated into the adult side of the club which will undoubtedly improve their hockey further.
This year we are proposing to start club senior training early at the beginning of August to give members more opportunity to play hockey over the summer. This will also help bed in the Ladies’ 4th team and prepare all teams for a big promotion push for 21/22. Dates will be announced soon.
In conclusion, we can do this. The trials and tribulations of the 2020/21 season will not see Witney Hockey Club fold and, on the contrary, we are hoping to thrive as a club in this coming season. But we need your help. Keep coming to training, keep investing in the club, keep the word of mouth going.
If the announcement of no refunded membership has affected anyone who has struggled this year, please get in touch. As a club, we’re proud to help those in need keep playing hockey and unique situations merit special measures. You can either reply to this email, contact us via the contact form on our website, or get in touch with your captain if that’s how you feel most comfortable. By not refunding membership this allows us to protect the club’s small annual hardship fund which helps families going through severe financial hardship, and we can use this to help. We pride ourselves on offering such a fund, therefore we hope the rest of you agree it is essential as a club that we continue to offer this facility for families in need.
We’re excited about the upcoming season and we hope you are too.
Witney Hockey Club