Welcome to the 2014 AGM after what has been a long and challenging season!
The year started very early for quite a number of volunteers who put their hand up to remove the old pavers under the Stockwell Clubroom verandah and help to pour the concrete later that week. A big thanks must go especially to Travis and Nerida Burzacott, who lent the use of their mini excavator and ute to dump a lot of the existing concrete on behalf of the hockey club. Although the clubrooms no longer see as much use as previous years, you would have to agree it tidies the area and makes it easier to keep the changerooms clean.
Then the season started, 4 weeks early for the Senior competition to make full use of the new artificial turf pitch, which was finished in late March. This introduced Friday night games for the first time in the BVHA – it depends on how you look at it to if this was a winning idea or not! We had canteen for the first round which proved quite profitable, with a lot of people out for a look at games on the new surface. A big thanks for Matthew and Celeste Waechter for organising a bulk of this seasons canteens. The pitch also bought with it a higher cost to play, to help cover the mammoth cost of the project. We dealt with it by raising subscriptions and charging members playing senior games a $10 match fee. It seemed to work well, but the committee will be reviewing this during the off-season.
It was great to see two under 9’s teams this year – it would be great to be able to extend this to three, and one under 11s teams. All three teams were very competitive in their respective grades, with a lot of enthusiasm and skill being shown for such young tackers! The only shame is that the two U9s teams never got to play each other on the Saturday morning comp!
Under 14s also had a great season, especially considering the very young and somewhat inexperienced age of this side. But they made the preliminary final and went down to a solid Trinity outfit. Definatly a side to watch come next season if we can keep them all together. The Under 17s also had a cracker season, but with an easier path due to the sad fact that only the 3 Barossa-based clubs entered teams. They went down in the Grand Final to a very skilful Nuriootpa opponent, with a score that does not do justice to how well they played and held their heads high. It was also great to see a large percentage of our junior members participating in SAPSASA and the Regional competitions
The seniors also could not produce a Premiership for the club, and only the second year since 2004 that at least one of our Womens sides hasn’t won the flag! The B Women were in with a chance going down to Tanunda in a goal-fest GF, while the A Women bowed out one week earlier in a close encounter also with Tanunda. B Men could not quite manage to make finals, although they had one of the most consistent years in many, while the A Men proved most opposite, posting some of their biggest loses since amalgamation.
On very much the bright side I must congratulate Aiden Schenk, who represented SA in the U13 squad at Hobart and also to Darryl Barnden, Warren Ihms and Rik McIlroy who represented WA and SA respectivley in the Mens Masters in Perth. Well done!
We also held a number of events during the season including: A juniors/family bowling and minigolf day, our Rump and Red night, a Trivia night, a bonfire at Munchenbergs and presentation day. Some of these events we really struggled to get good numbers at and the same amount of work goes into preparing for them weather we have 10 or 100 people show up. I would love for feedback on how to improve this, as these are generally our major fundraising opportunities and a chance to get some money in from people outside of our own club. It helps to keep fees as low as we can, purchase equipment the club needs and invest into projects that the committee sees fit.
We are also voting on a new Constitution this evening, which has been a long time coming. It helps to bring us into the 21st Century with a lot of our legal obligations as an Incorporated Body changing in recent years. I hope you have all had a chance to study it and please bring to our attention any questions you may have of it.
In looking forward, we really need to focus on junior development and recruitment to bring our numbers back up to sustainable level long-term. We also need to encourage these young ones to embrace the club so we have a solid future. It would also be nice to see abit more of a permanent ‘AMU’ area for our club to utilise at Stockwell Park.
In closing, although the year has been a challenge, as long as we all go out on a weekend and enjoy a game with our mates, it is all well worthwhile! Having a great committee helps and this years has been no exception, so a huge thanks to you all. Special mention to Darryl Barden as Secretary, who took on a huge workload this year behind the scenes, going well beyond what his role suggests. I hope everyone has enjoyed the season and I look forward to many more with you all!
Yours in hockey,