A fantastic 2018 for London Wayfarers, and there’s more to come in 2019.
It’s that time again and I must say it’s been a rather busy but good year. The other day someone asked us about the future of the club and our ambitions. ‘Playing hockey on the moon’ was the half-jokingly answer. In some ways the growth and development of our club has been near stratospheric in recent years.
London Wayfarers are very lucky to have so many volunteers working hard to make it all happen year round.
I wanted to share some highlights from 2018 with you:
• The Ladies 1s got promoted to South Division 1
• The Men’s 5s and Boys U14As were both crowned champions of their respective leagues
• Tim Davenport was appointed as our new Director of Junior Hockey
• Phil Ball and Kaye Goulding joined us as head coaches of our senior performance programme
• The Wanderers Juniors joined London Wayfarers to create better pathways for their players together with many children on the waiting list
• Over 150 newly qualified umpires thanks to 6 more EH umpiring courses all organised by Dion Oliver and Matt Dean
• 40+ juniors now represent the club at county level, more than double the number in 2017
• 40+ junior goalies involved in the Goal Keeper Academy run by Barbara and her team
• We have added more sessions at Battersea Park and Crystal Palace and are actively investing in equipment.
• Many of our senior and junior teams have been on form this side of Christmas and we hope you all continue to do so until the end of the winter season!
More hockey, for more players
We have quite rapidly gone from a hockey club with mostly wintertime activity to offering hockey on most days, 52 weeks of the year.
• Our new Skills Squad sessions has allowed us to introduce many more children to hockey and our club.
• Back to Hockey has proven to be a massive success with 30+ players attending every week and even a waiting list.
• Indoor hockey is being played by our U12s, U14s and U16s for the first time with several tournaments still coming up between Christmas and New Year.
• The introduction of Summer 7s was also well received by many of our senior players and new recruits.
• Our Ladies Trailblazers went from being an academy team, introducing junior girls to senior hockey, to providing an opportunity for our Over 35s to compete in the England Hockey O35s competition, a double first inside 12 months.
• Particiation in summer junior hockey more than tripled with hockey being played 5 days per week from April to July.
• We launched the Schools Outreach Programme with 100s of school children being able to try out playing hockey.
All that next to our 59 teams and all the minis in action throughout the year.
Where we’re heading
We’ve had nearly 30 members and volunteers help develop a road map for the next 5 years. Our new club strategy (read more here) is ambitious and we have already rolled out a new committee structure and we’re working on new partnerships (announcements to follow in January).
If you are keen to get involved do drop me a line via [email protected]
London Wayfarers Hockey Club continues to welcome new members with nearly 300 new Wayfarers joining us since January, growing our membership from 994 to 1387.
We are still looking to strengthen some of our senior teams and have spaces across several junior age groups. If you have any friends, family or colleagues looking to join a hockey club make sure they get in touch with us.
What can we look forward to in 2019?
There’s plenty more happening in 2019 but here are some of the new initiatives coming your way.
In January we will officially launch our Elite Performance Programme to offer a pathway for our junior players into the national system.
We will be giving special attention to Coach Development with the introduction of a programme backed by England Hockey to reach our goal of a skilled coach for every team within 5 years.
For the first time, we will be hosting an Invitational University Tournament with universities from around the country being invited.
And there will be further expansion of our summer hockey offering and Back To Hockey programme for seniors and juniors!
A big thank you
I would like to thank all umpires, coaches, committee members, captains, junior volunteers, team managers, social secretaries and active members who have given much of their time to the club on behalf of all players – senior and junior, and parents.
I have worked with and/or met many of you throughout the year and without you we could simply not provide all we do. It’s been amazing to see so many fantastic contributions being made.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank Sarah Kenny who is our latest Honorary Member and recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award. View the full list of 2018 Club Award winners here
One thing I would like you all to do in 2019 is to say thank you to those who make this all happen for all of us. Simple words that will be much appreciated by the many volunteers. Also have a think about what you could do to make this club even better.
On behalf of the Executive Committee, I wish you all an enjoyable festive season with family and friends. Happy Holidays and have a fantastic 2019!
Marcel van Eldik
Chairman of London Wayfarers Hockey Club