Firstly, if you are in your first-year congratulations on being selected to play for the number 1 ranked university hockey club in the country, but more importantly welcome to Exeter. To all returning members, welcome home and to all outgoing members thank you for your years of service to this club, best of luck with all your future endeavours and always know that the University of Exeter Hockey Club, The Nando’s and Timepiece is a welcome home. Please keep a close eye on the content as one of my primary goals for the year is to establish a real foundation for all alumni, including an old boys’ weekend.Off the back of the 1st XI producing the most successful season in University hockey history, it is an extremely exciting time to be a part of this club. Last season we became the first ever University hockey club to retain their England Hockey Premier League status, we won BUCS gold on flicks following a last-minute winner in our Varsity match against Loughborough University, and we also won our BUCS league with such comfort that the boys were able to enjoy a mince pie and a couple of sherries over the Christmas break. This incredible effort means we are the current BUCS champions and number 1 ranked university team in the country and as if this wasn’t enough, we also achieved 4 indoor promotions.
As for the wider club across our 7 teams we had no relegations, a total of 5 promotions and we continued to be the highest contributing club to Exeter’s overall BUCS ranking. A special mention must go to our 2nd XI who are the only 2nd XI to be playing in the National League following last year’s promotion and to our 7th team who achieved their 4th promotion in successive years.
Our commitment to hockey at Exeter outside of the club was also incredibly important to everything we did. The introduction of the IMS 1st XI gave those who missed out on the club an opportunity to grow and develop their hockey in a competitive environment. With numerous GB and international athletes taking sessions for both the IMS 1st XI and the wider Intramural group we expressed our desire to grow hockey for everyone. This was taken one step further with the first ever inter-university intramural tournament being organised by the hockey club and held at Exeter. We welcomed teams from Bath University, Camborne School of Mining, Bristol University, UWE and Exeter in a non-BUCS affiliated tournament.
However, last year wasn’t just about the hockey. Off the pitch our efforts were unparalleled with the club raising a university topping £9,500 for Movember which was more than any club across campus and more than the majority of universities around the UK. We raised an additional £1,500 for our voted charity of choice MIND through team fundraisers, this saw each team partake in fundraisers throughout the year which included Pub Quizzes, park runs, car washes, raffles and green hair dye. We also arranged a charity hockey match with the brilliant Hockey4Heroes which saw two fantastic fixtures played and a cheque of £750 handed over to Hockey4Heroes. The total of this effort means we raised just shy of £12,000 for the year.
It fills me with great pride to be a member of this hockey club, where we are able to produce the best results in England, grow hockey in our area and have a hugely positive impact on the wider issues facing society that are bigger than any fixture or any sport.
The Catalan phrase ‘Mes Que Un Club’ was and is intertwined with everything we did last year and will continue to be this year. I hope this yearly review and welcome allows you to see the family that we are. This is no ordinary sports club; this is no ordinary hockey club. This is more than just a club.
This is Exeter and this is the University of Exeter Men’s Hockey Club.
Chairman, Exeter University Hockey Club