A warm welcome to the new season to all current, new and past members of Leeds Adel HC. This season will be my fourth season as Chairman of Leeds Adel HC and over the last three seasons the considerable success on the pitch has been the result of a lot of hard work by a sterling group of club members off the pitch. When I took on the role from Greg Hilton he advised me that it was usually a three year tenure, the first to learn about the job, the second to do it and then the third to find your successor and handover to them. Clearly, I have failed on the last part….
From the outset my ambition for the club during my time as Chairman has been to achieve the following
1. To provide a safe and secure environment for all club members and visitors to enjoy their hockey experience at Adel
2. To enhance our reputation as a club with governing bodies, opposition teams and other AWMA sections
3. To ensure the club’s stated policies are followed so that all members are treated fairly and equally
4.To improve our facilities at Adel
5. To restore the club to a single identity playing in the same colours
I am pleased to say that we have made excellent progress on all fronts but we should not be complacent as there is further work we can still do. Better fencing around the pitch will improve our safety and security, new changing rooms are needed due to the increased number of teams playing at Adel on a Saturday afternoon, the dugouts need some TLC after 20 years of neglect and this season we have the added challenge of ensuring all playing members get value for the same membership following a move to the new payment structure agreed at the last AGM.
But in the last few seasons we have seen the new astro installed (thanks to the efforts of many club members who helped remove the old astro to save costs), our teams all now play in the fluorescent orange shirts (available at All Rounder), our teas have improved (admittedly from a very low base!), we have purchased new goals (possibly the only ones in orange in the country?) and we have won awards at England Hockey and Yorkshire Hockey awards evenings for not just our playing success but also our improved hospitality. Over the last 3 seasons we have won 8 divisional titles with nearly all sides securing at least one promotion. In 2016 the ladies 1s had the perfect season winning 22 out of 22 league games and the mens 1s followed this in 2018. We also have a thriving junior section under the watchful eye of Pam Hardaker and Simon Sutton supported by many more volunteers but there is always room for more help on a Friday evening at coaching and a Sunday morning for junior matches. Please shout if you are able to get involved.
For those who don’t know me, I joined Adel in 1986 and have played in the Mens 1st to 8th teams, indoor team and veterans team. I have seen the club colours change from green/gold to orange to black and back to orange again! I have previously overseen some of the junior teams when my children (both still involved at Adel and probably familiar to most of you already!) were playing junior hockey and I have also been a mens captain, social secretary and umpire for the last 10 or so years. I also act as the hockey section rep to AWMA, the charity that oversees all of the activities at Adel for the 12 different sports sections.
Over my time at Adel the club has gone through the usual ups and downs on the pitch but I think this is the first season when we have had both mens and ladies 1st teams playing in the North leagues. Please come along to support both teams and watch some high quality hockey at Adel. However, I firmly believe success on the pitch is a by-product of having a sensible structure off the pitch and this is dependent on a band of willing and enthusiastic volunteers who give sterling service over many hours across a season. Over the course of the season I will introduce you to each of the current committee members and the role they do so that everyone is aware of who to ask for any queries or perhaps offer support based on your own experience.
This weekend sees the first league games for most sides (other than the ladies 3s who were quick out the blocks last weekend) and I wish all teams and skippers every success for the season ahead. I hope to umpire all of the senior sides at some stage this season to meet everyone and be available to chat about anything you want to share to improve the Adel experience.