It's hard to believe, but the first half of the season has flown by and as I write this we are less than a week away from Christmas. I hope you've all enjoyed it so far, even if there have been a couple of unexpected lie ins with the cold weather the last two weekends! When I took over as Chair in the summer I wrote about the importance of volunteering and community involvement, and I want to focus on that in the first part of this message.
Both volunteering and community involvement are critical to the continued success of Wapping Hockey Club. It's a simple fact of life that without volunteers the club wouldn't function. Equally, it is our involvement in the community that ensures we retain access to John Orwell and Lee Valley. It's also the right thing to do and I'm incredibly proud to be part of a club that plays a positive role in it's local community.
So firstly, a huge thank you to all our volunteers, from the Exec, the Committee and captains, through to our coaches, umpires, and Kidds assistants. You all do so much to keep everything running smoothly, often without recognition. I'm really keen that we do appropriately recognise our volunteers, and one change we have made this season is to run a Team of the Year competition where points are awarded for various contributions to the club. At present, the Mens 7s have a narrow lead over the Ladies 3s and Ladies 4s. It's all still to play for though, with loads of points still up for grabs in the second half of the season!
On to community involvement. We started the season by putting two teams out in the Sports Aid charity tournament at Lee Valley, we've run a charity collection for and donated a lot of old kit to the Whitechapel Mission, participated in a Physical Activity and Sports workshop for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and sung carols at the Wapping Christmas Fair. Our sister club, Wapping Kidds, has also gone from strength to strength. There are regularly 35-40 kids in attendance on a Saturday and over 70 on the books overall, all with no publicity so far. For the first time we took a side to the U10 7-a-side Essex Mini Hockey tournament, with the team having a brilliant day and gaining valuable experience. We've also launched a bursary specifically aimed at helping disadvantaged youth in the local community, which has been generously supported by both current and former members.
We've also run a club wide survey for the first time in a few seasons to make sure we are catering for the needs of all our members. You can have a look at the results here - http://www.wappinghockeyclub.com/documents/206383. Keep an eye out for more on this in the New Year as we look forward to next season and beyond.
Finally, a quick word on performance. Special mention to the Ladies 3s, Mens 6s and Mens 11s for sitting top of their respective leagues at the Christmas break, as well as the other six teams in the top 3. And as it stands no team is in the relegation zone - not bad for a club of 19 Saturday league teams! Well done also to our two mixed teams and our two vets teams for their performances to date.
I wish you all very happy holiday break and will see you in the New Year. There's a lot to look forward to in 2018 - the Super 6s in the Copper Box, two newly relaid pitches at Lee Valley, and the Women's World Cup. Not to mention three club derbies the first Saturday back!
Updated 20:03 - 21 Dec 2017 by Matthew Patterson
Chairman, Wapping HC
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