It has been disappointing that the season was curtailed due the obvious external events. However, we have been lucky to enjoy nearly a full season’s hockey. And what a fantastic season 2019-20 has been for the junior section;
The most important statistic to any club is its membership. In the local community our children are blessed with many options for sporting clubs; Rugby, Football, Swimming, Tennis, Trampolining, Pony Club, Gymnastics, Dance – I could go on !
Hence in the face of all these options I am thrilled to report that our junior membership has grown across the season to circa 350 players and this now represents 64% of the clubs membership. Whilst growing in numbers we have operated, and will continue to operate, without waiting lists for new players. Sometimes this can cause rather busy pitches – on most Friday night training sessions we have been training, in excess of 70, u12 children.
The sense of participation, fun is palpable in our training sessions and it takes one wander around the age group training sessions to see children enjoying themselves with their hockey friends. Come rain or shine, our sessions have been phenomenally well attended – as coaches, we often think a cold, wet, Friday night or Sunday Morning will result in low numbers. How wrong we have been proven !
This attendance is amazing and backs our philosophy to provide hockey and training for all. We strive to do our best to train all ages and abilities – this is tough and a lot of thought goes into it. I think, in the main, we get this right. Across 2019/20, we have played more matches than ever before. Our move to have U12/14 training on a Friday and then have matchday Sunday has been a massive success. Apart from league games, numerous friendly matches, tournaments and inter club matches have been arranged. This has allowed all children to enjoy external matches, a chance to represent the club and put all that training to display in a match environment. The children have been a massive credit to the club, matches have been played in a brilliant spirit and I have lost count of the times an opposition coach has remarked on the kind, friendly nature of our teams. In a way this doesn’t not surprise me as it is how we practice and the core ethos of the club; to have a fun environment, where children can learn hockey and develop lasting friendships.
Some parents have commented to me that the Juniors at Haslemere Hockey is far beyond any other local sporting club for children – a really caring environment, excellent coaching and organisation but, moreover, one where the children’s enjoyment is central and lasting friendships are built. This is what we strive for ! For that I must say a huge thank you to our excellent coaches and squad managers. They are truly committed; not only providing time to train but thinking, planning and constantly trying to ensure this environment prevails – without these people we could not exist and we are blessed with an excellent team
We should also note that 2019/20 has been a hugely successful year in terms of results and Haslemere Juniors are becoming to be known as a strong hockey club and hard to beat. I over heard one Club Manager tell a parent that they had the huge challenge of Haslemere in their tournament pool, who are always “one of the strongest sides”
The season has had many highlights across all teams and we should be immensely proud. The standout highlights have been;
For the u12 Girls, their successes have been backed up by an unbeaten season !
At this stage it looks like the Regional Finals will be postponed or cancelled – which is a great shame but the boys and girls can rightly reflect and remember a brilliant season
Andrew Hart – Director of Junior Hockey