We hope that you are keeping well. Sadly, the third lockdown has brought the 2020/21 West League season to an early end. Although EH has not yet made a decision on how the National League is to be finished, we know that there will be no relegation and promotion, and any remaining matches will be conducted on a friendly basis.

Adult Leagues and Training

Our usual training pitches at Cheltenham College and Balcarras School are either partially or fully re-purposed to tennis in the summer months. The usual training evenings at Cheltenham College are also allocated to another user.The Club Executive, having taking soundings amongst club members, has decided that the Club will not conduct any further adult training or participate in non-National League friendly matches. While we recognise that this will be disappointing for some, it was felt that it would be better to concentrate on the mixed Summer League (see below) given that a good number of members will in all probability wish to pursue their normal summer activities and, as pandemic regulations ease, catch up with friends and family. If EH does organise National League friendlies, then a decision will be made on whether to participate.Looking forward, as a result of a change in structure agreed at last year’s England Hockey AGM, all leagues in England will be run under common rules in 2021/22. There will be some re-structuring to the leagues but the impact on us is minimal. A statement from the West Hockey Association can be read here:
https://www.wswhl.co.uk/handbook/handbook87.pdf?20210227044644For information EH’s latest return to play guidance is available at the link below. Unless regulations change, we will return with a free pre-season open to everyone in August.
https://www.englandhockey.co.uk/media/news/return-to-play-latest-update-march-2021

U16/U18 Training and the National Championships

As previously notified to U16/U18 players, there will be combined training sessions for these players on five Fridays in April and May. The information will be made available on Teamo. EH is yet to announce details of the proposed National Championships that would run between late April and early June.

Summer Hockey

In recognition of the lack of hockey since Christmas, the Club Executive has this year entered 2 mixed teams in the 11-a-side Gloucester Summer League.  There are 2 divisions thus enabling players of all abilities to participate.  We have a team in each division.  Each squad has one match a week, which takes place either on a Tuesday or a Thursday at Oxtalls (Plock Court) or King’s School Gloucester.  The first matches are on 13 April.  Participation is open to all members.  If you would like to sign up for one of these squads please contact play@chelthockey.org by 6 April.

In addition, the U16s/U18s have separately been asked if they would like to participate in Hockey Fever 6-a-side mixed and ladies league squads at Cheltenham College.  The mixed league is on a Thursday evening and the ladies league on a Tuesday evening.  Leagues start in the week beginning 5 April.  Matches are 36 minutes long.  The rules are here – there are no GKs.  U16/U18 parents should contact Phil Robson using academy@chelthockey.orgby 30 March.  Club members may wish to form their own team for either league.  If you wish to do so, then please organise yourselves into squads but note that the deadline for entries is 1 April.

Alternatively, you can register for Will Carter’s Big Stick Energy mixed squad (https://www.chelthockey.org/club/bigstickenergy/), winners of the mixed league 2019, or Tegan Lodde’s ladies’ squad by emailing play@chelthockey.org

Dinner Dance and Awards

The 2021 Dinner Dance has been cancelled and the 2022 Dinner Dance will take place at the Queen’s Hotel on 2 April 2022. There will be no awards made for the 2021/22 season. The 2020/21 awards that sadly could not be given out at the 2020 Dinner Dance will be issued to winners at the earliest opportunity.

Membership Fees and Match Fees

Even though the season has been cut short many of our overheads (eg. affiliation fees and competition entrance fees) are unchanged and we have not been able to generate income from a summer camp, sponsorship or donations.Instead of offering partial membership refunds, the Club Executive intends to support a programme of hockey over the summer and provide a free extended pre-season for 2021/22. As always all of the money raised by the club will be spent to improve what we do, and we will remain flexible with the ongoing developments with COVID and return to play.We do, however, recognise that the pandemic has affected everyone differently, therefore if you find yourself in need, please contact the Club Treasurer, treasurer@chelthockey.org, by 15 April to discuss the possibility of a rebate.There are a number of members that still owe match fees on the Teamo system for the period before Christmas. We would be grateful if these debts are settled ASAP so that we can continue to make informed decisions.

We look forward to seeing you all back on the hockey pitches soon to make the most of what’s left of the season. Until then keep up the personal fitness, stay safe, and stay on the lookout for more hockey news on social media, teamo & chelthockey.org