Several people have been asking about the plans for our return to hockey activity, following the Government announcement a couple of weeks ago about the return to grassroots sport from 29th March.
We have had a couple of previous situations like this to address, back in June when we came out of the first lockdown and then again in December when we came out of lockdown 2 for a short period of time so we have a rough idea of what to expect.
England Hockey as our sport’s governing body need to get agreement from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) as in previous release from lockdown situations. This then provides the framework and guidance for how we can operate as a club back at the pitch. At this stage we are still awaiting definitive advice from EH but this is due to be given by the end of this week. EH are having a busy week as its their AGM tomorrow evening and then on Wednesday they are holding 2 club forums to present on the return to play activity.
Our committee at Adel are meeting on Thursday evening to then consider all of the updated information so we can plan our schedule for a return to play from 29th March. This will cover mens, ladies, mixed and juniors as all sections are keen get back and play again.
At this stage, no competitive organised matches against other clubs is likely to be planned due to the continued risks from shared travelling. So we could just look to set up a spring/summer league for our own members only. I don’t think there is any desire to begin formal coaching again as the next league games are unlikely to start until September so getting out and playing games would be the most likely way forward in the short to medium term.
During this latest lockdown it has been a challenge to keep the local youths off the pitch and sadly there has been some damage in a few areas. We do have our half yearly pitch maintenance visit booked in on 26th March so hopefully the playing surface will be up to scratch for our return and I know Sam has been keenly trying to complete some of the paving behind the dugouts. Thanks to those of you who have used your permitted walks to check on the pitch and evict unwanted trespassers too.
You may also have had an email from AWMA advising that the bar is aiming to reopen on 8th May but this will initially only be possible for outdoor beer tables. Please look to support the club as much as possible once Eszter and her team are back in place.
Hopefully, we can provide a fuller update on Friday this week, share what we all need to do as regards registering etc. so go and find your sticks, wash that kit that has been left in your kit bag since December, and get ready for a return to the pitch…. we have some catching up to do!