2020 Season Update – A Message from the President

I trust you are all staying safe and well in these continuing trying times.

I would like to update you concerning the ongoing challenges of the club and Hockey SA, as well as some positive good news concerning off-field initiatives and developments.

The current indications are that a competition of some form could be up and running within the next 6-8 weeks.  I am optimistically thinking maybe a 4th July start, provided all things go well in the next few weeks.  This will give us a window of about 12 weeks for some form of hockey competition.  Steps that will need to be taken by Hockey SA will include seeking fresh team nominations, re-grading based upon new nominations, decisions (in consultation with the Clubs) re format of competition(s), preparation of fixtures, etc.  I believe a lead time of 4-6 weeks from the time the government advises that we are able to play again will be necessary for all this preparation work to be undertaken.

There may be a possibility of some form of training recommencing in the short term provided that numbers are no larger than 10 players and appropriate social distancing requirements are met.  We will keep you updated on these possible initiatives for all grades as soon as we can get government clarification. 

The Club will be issuing a Player Survey concerning the possible resumption of playing today.  I would urge all players to complete the survey (which will only take a couple of minutes to complete) as soon as possible.  This will enable us as a Club to provide feedback to Hockey SA and other metropolitan clubs what our members are looking for. 

Difficult times can quickly lead to a negative attitude but the response of our members to the current crisis has promoted sheer optimism rather than negativity.   The response from current players, past players, parents and supporters has been unbelievable.  However, I believe we can still connect with many more of our past players and I will be making contact with numerous past players from past years asking for their support by way of becoming non-playing members for 2020.

We need the support of the Magpie family now more than ever if we are to emerge from this period in a sound financial position.

My thoughts are with all members and their families whose employment has been affected in recent weeks.  I sincerely hope that there is an improvement in the near future.  The Club is committed to providing continuing support and understanding to our members.

The Management Committee continues to meet regularly and is now conducting its meetings on-line via Zooms last week.  The club has been required to take unprecedented steps to navigate the financial impact of this global pandemic.  The committee continues to review and update its projected budget for the remainder of the 2020 season.  We are still in unchartered waters with no start date for any competition known at this stage. 

The support we have received from both Sports SA and Clubs SA has been amazing.  We are provided with up-to-date developments on a daily basis.

Since my last update I have been involved in two Hockey SA Presidents’ Forums (via teleconference), and Advisory Group comprising 4 Metro Club Presidents and 2 Regional Association Presidents where there has been much positive exchange of information. 

However, the major issue I believe on the table at the moment is not the current pandemic crisis, but the ongoing viability of Hockey SA.  It is of very serious concern to the hockey community in South Australia that the Hockey SA Interim CEO (who is also the CEO of Hockey Victoria working on a shared services basis) advised that Hockey SA is technically insolvent. 

Of the greatest concern is that Hockey SA is unable to repay levies paid by parents of players selected in State teams for cancelled national championships (estimated to be approximately $200,000) and been using these funds to run the business because of no cash flow from registrations, team nomination fees, etc.  Given the unabated losses of approximately $500,000 over the past 3 years, the current parlous state of Hockey SA is not unsurprising.

However, I believe the current situation can be used as a positive and provide an unexpected unique opportunity for the Hockey SA Board to address and repair the current unsustainable model upon which it is currently operating. 

It is a great opportunity to strip back the current structure, staff and modus operandi to a model previously used to successfully administer Hockey SA and, in particular, re-engage volunteers and bring back extensive corporate knowledge across all disciplines of sports administration.  I will certainly be leaving no stone unturned to ‘get the conversation going’ on a new sustainable administrative model for hockey in this State which hopefully will bring down player costs and significantly increase participation in the future.

In the wake of all the doom and gloom, on the flip side, there is also very positive news to report.  The upgrade of the interior of the club rooms is continuing and is nearing completion.  The work include:

  • Demolition of wall between the club lounge and old men’s change room.
  • Conversion of door of the old men’s change room to a new window.
  • Installation of an air lock for entry into the men’s toilet.
  • Installation of a stud wall to convert the old men’s shower area into a locked Cleaner’s Room.
  • Installation of a new door from the lounge area of the club into the old women’s change room.
  • Conversion of the old women’s change room into a committee/function room.
  • Installation of new double doors into the old women’s change room.
  • Installation of new stud wall and door separating the old shower block and toilet to create a new secure storage area.
  • Installation of LED downlights throughout the new expanded club lounge area.
  • Repainting the clubrooms (inside and outside).

There have been many volunteers who have been involved in various work over the summer period – true heroes of the Club.  Appropriate recognition will be given to all those who have been involved when this project is completed.

The Club will be calling for volunteers to be involved in the painting of the inside of the clubrooms.  We will be asking for members to indicate their willingness to be part of this exciting project.  We plan to only allow 4 volunteers at the club at any one time and will have 2 x 3 hour sessions a day (morning and afternoon).   On behalf of the Club l thank club sponsors Gary Johanson, of Paint Supplies for the donation of all the paint for this

We believe that 2020 still offers so much for the club.

Please take care, keep safe and thank you for your support.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further information or just wish to have a chat.  My mobile is 0416 955 082

Dennis Meredith AM

President

Port Adelaide District Hockey Club Inc.

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