A Message From The Chairwoman
I would like to start by offering you all a warm welcome to Exeter University Hockey Club. To those looking to join the club, we look forward to meeting you, and to all our returners, welcome back. A huge thanks must go to our outgoing committee who have dedicated so much time to this club in a year where very little has been normal. Best of luck to you all in the future and we will always be ready and waiting to welcome all alumni back with open arms.
This past year has been challenging for us all, with the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling both BUCs on Wednesdays, and the majority of our Saturday fixtures too. Despite this, as a club, we have taken the time to continue to develop and have welcomed a new crop of freshers. While traditional competitive matches were temporarily paused, we continued to play internal matches on Wednesdays right through the season, and I for one can say that the competitive spirit is alive and well throughout the club! These games culminated in our ‘Bleed Green’ tournaments that took place throughout our third term, allowing players a different experience of playing for EULHC, with different teams each week, boasting a mix of players, from the 1s to the 7s.
Following the final steps of merging EULHC with local club Isca for Saturday league in 2019/20, the pandemic has allowed us to focus on developing this relationship further. With fewer competitive fixtures to focus on, the club has been able to plan and develop how we can achieve our goal of promotion for as many teams as possible this season. Also of mention, is the expansion of the university hockey club, with the introduction of two development squads, our new 8th and 9th teams. This will allow us a higher intake of freshers, continuing to drive competition within the club, helping us to grow and develop and to keep performing at the highest level.
Our club measures itself on its strong hockey performances, but also prides itself on the good times off the field too. With over 50 years’ experience in Wednesday weekly socials, there is never a dull moment, and while they were slightly different this year, our Social Secs ensured that we all could still have a great time on a Wednesday night – even if it was over zoom! One of this year’s key successes was Movember. As a club, through the initiative ‘Moving for Mo’, members of various teams aimed to run 60km each, and as a result we raised an amazing total of £6,840. This was no mean feat and pretty impressive as there was not a single moustache amongst us!
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each and every one of our lives in one or other forms. With the lifting of all restrictions in England we are now in the process of planning for the upcoming season, when hopefully, things will return to normal, and we can have a full season of hockey! It fills me with great pride to be part of this hockey club. Our success is built on not only the quality of hockey we play but also the attitudes of all our players. This helps to drive our development year on year, placing real value on the opportunities players gain through attaining a place in the club. Whilst abilities range from top performing international athletes to school players, we all are united in our desire to achieve good results and perform to the best of our abilities.
On this note, I would personally like to wish you all good luck for the season ahead and to encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way!
Chairwoman, Exeter University Ladies Hockey Club