CEO UPDATE to AKH Stakeholders October 2020
What a season! The final weekends was a huge success and a fantastic way to end an unprecedented season in our Association’s history. Congratulations to all players for your commitment and perseverance in the difficult circumstances of coming in and out of lockdown. A huge thank you to the AKH Board, Umpires, Club Presidents for your leadership during the crisis. Our collective decision to extend the season was vindicated over these last four weeks with the smiles seen on player’s faces proving how important sport is in Kiwi’s lives.
To our full time staff, a sincere thanks for all the countless hours of planning, replanning and then planning again. Your work was truly appreciated and evidenced by the messages of thanks we have received this week from members of our community.
Hockey rolls on after Labour weekend. All the very best for those of you involved in the Masters Summer Hockey competition and as you head towards Nationals in Tauranga early next year. Best wishes too to all AKH Premier players who have been selected to play in the upcoming inaugural HPL. I trust you will put your best feet forward with Tokyo selection on the line.
Xmas will be upon us soon, in the meantime we are busy planning for 2021, and trusting the glorious summer weather continues!
I look forward to seeing some of you at the AKH Prizegiving on the 6th November. In the below update I have tried to highlight a few important pieces of information you may be interested in as Auckland Hockey community members.
Take care and enjoy the summer break.
2021 Pre-Season Event for 13s and 15s – we have been successful in securing some funding from ATEED towards an event for 2021. A staff planning session is scheduled for the 30th October. Parents and players in the u13 and U15 School of Hockey and Holiday camp cohorts have also been recently polled about their Rep preferences for 2021.
AKH Prizegiving 2020 – Alexandra Park Fri Nov 6 7pm-12pm incorporating Masters 2020 Nationals prizegiving . Cover charge of $15 pp covering canapés. Cash bar and DJ for dancing 9-12pm. Set aside the evening.
Indoor Hockey – not enough teams expressed interest to make a viable competition. The bookings will be used by the RPC athletes from Nov 2. A Taupo Indoor tournament will be advertised shortly on our Facebook page.
Watercare Restrictions – AKH continue to explore a bore option at LEP for 2021 and beyond. Manual watering is allowed again from October 12th but this may change between now and the beginning of the 2021 season.
These are locked in for November. 17 months of communications with the Council by James finally coming to fruition. Thank you James for your incredible patience with this workstream.
Auckland Council funding for our project has been deferred to the 2021/2022 Council financial year largely due to COVID. We are optimistic for a build beginning October next year. As indicated earlier this year resource consent, landowner approval and a Community lease have all been secured.
James and myself met with the organising committee online last week with two important matters on the agenda from our perspective:
- Implementation of the Double Round Robin format that was communicated at the end of 2019 for 2021
- Seeing where NHHA are at with respect to a Premier Reserve Intercity Competition for 2021 in line with the format used in the early years of the current Intercity Premier competition.
- A draft comm will be sent by Gavin Hawke to Clubs in the first week of November incl a draft 2021 calendar for feedback and consultation. Final format for 2021 to be communicated in early December.
- A separate piece of consultation will be communicated with a possible 2021 calendar for the Premier Reserve grade.
Wrt Item 2 regardless of whether this happens for 2021 we believe our clubs should all have open entry to the AKH Premier Reserve Competition from 2021 to safeguard our clubs if Premier Intercity criteria is put in place in future years dictating that Premier clubs must have Premier Reserve teams.
Last year we decided that some time was required to embed some recent year changes and so a review bi-annually would be undertaken. This means our next full competition review will be at the end of the 2021 season. This does not preclude Clubs from submitting any pressing competition issues to AKH between now and December 1st for consideration. The Premier Reserve U15 rule will be simplified making any player turning 15 during the season eligible to play in the grade from their birthday onwards.
OCTOBER SCHOOL HOLIDAY DEVELOPMENT CAMPS
These were a big success, with over 160 young players aged 11-18 participating in some local derbies and training days. Feedback has been excellent with 94% of players indicating they learned something new. As a 53 year old I even learned something new !!
The camps reinforced our belief that next year we can better develop our rep players via camp days(mainly Sundays- back to the old days in a sense) as opposed to the traditional traipse across town to LEP for 1-1.5 hours of weeknight training amongst club and often school commitments. The upshot of doing things differently will mean there will be more “ normal “ hour turf time available for hire for clubs midweek at LEP and club teams able to train without players from U18 down having to miss sessions, as well as happier club and rep coaches and parents avoiding peak hour AKL traffic congestion. Shortly we will sit down and nut this out so any potential Sunday Camp day clashes at U15 and U18 level with Prem Reserve and Youth Hockey are managed in our 2021 Calendar.
2021 AKH REP PROGRAMME
Stakeholders in this space clearly missed REP Hockey in 2020 and we are currently working through some options (Plan A – with travel allowed and Plan B – with no travel allowed ) that we will communicate shortly. Most 2020 appointed coaches will be rolled over to 2021.
CLUB LEAD COACH PROGRAMME
COVID precluded us from starting officially with the practical sessions in clubs but we did manage to do 6 tester sessions which has better shaped our methodology for these sessions going forward. All coaches have now been appointed. I believe this is a high calibre group of individuals. Last week they enjoyed a zoom meeting with the current WORLD Number One Coach, Shane McLeod from Belgium. Next season AKH is looking to roll this programme out to a sample of Auckland Secondary schools.
UPCOMING HOCKEY OPPORTUNITIES
– Summer Masters Comp – after labour weekend
– School of Hockey for 9-14 year olds – Sundays from Nov 1st.
– AKL REP Masters – November trials tbc
– Summer Hockey Social comp – November
– RPC Block 1 – from Nov 14