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President's Half Year Report

31 Dec 2020

President's Report - Half Year

With 2020 coming to an end, I write to update you on your association’s activity and preparations for the future.

While Covid-19 has caused significant disruption to training and prevented competition from taking place in England since March 2020, clubs have worked extremely hard to keep people participating in the sport, and current registrations now total 1277 people;

 

  • Training Only                922
  • Player                           77
  • Officers & Officials        254
  • Life Members               24

 

As a result of players predominantly being registered as Training Only, the associations revenue has dramatically fallen, but in the current circumstances it is extremely positive that we seem to have lost so few players and people, that do the work to ensure our sport survives into the future. So really well done to all those people in Clubs working so hard in this extraordinary time!

 

National Development Squads

To support the efforts of clubs to keep people engaged in our sport, National Development Training for Levels 1 to 3 has been decentralised and is now delivered monthly within each region, enabled by the additional funding from each Regional Association.

This regional approach has been successful, with even more players attending sessions in aggregate than pre-Covid, so as more players and coaches are benefiting from the great job being done by our National Coaching Director (Carlos Amaral), with the help of volunteers within each region, it is likely to be continued into the future, with Levels 4 and 5 organised on the same basis as numbers grow in future seasons.

 

Coach & Referee Accreditation

Having well trained Coaches and Referees is key to improving participant experience at all levels of our sport and rules requiring each club to provide appropriately qualified referees for each team they enter into a competition, with an Accredited Coach in attendance to play (Season 2021/22) were passed at the 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Association.

Both the Committees of Rink Hockey Referees (Chairman - Karl Wilson) and Coaches (Chairman – Carlos Amaral) have worked incredibly hard to prepare courses that are now with the Marketing Sub-Committee (Andy Witton), who is putting them into a high quality online tool that can be accessed 24/7 via any computer or mobile device.

This massive undertaking is a credit to all involved and launch is anticipated as follows;

 

  • Coaching General Principals (How to Coach): Late January
  • Coaching Level 1: Late January
  • Referee Level 1: Late January
  • Coaching Level 2: Mid February
  • Referee Level 2: Mid February
  • Coaching Level 3: Late February
  • Referee Level 3: Late February

 

 

England Squads

WorldSkate Europe has advised the following tentative dates for European competitions, with eligibility based on players 2020 age and some dates may be subject to change due to Covid-19;

 

  • Under 17 Male              Portugal, Luso               23 to 30 August 2021
  • Under 19 Male              Italy, TBA                      20 to 26 September 2021
  • Senior Female               Portugal, Melada          4 to 11 October 2021
  • Under 17 Female          Portugal, Malada          December TBA

 

These events have ‘Elite Status’ under government Covid guidelines, that permit certain exemptions for athletes. The National Coaching Director is taking this into account and has created training plans that will soon be shared with squad members.

Reducing Administrative Burden

The proper functioning of our sport depends on volunteers at club, region and national level, who often end up doing far more work than they originally anticipated when taking on a role.

It’s important that we respect these volunteers and the time they invest, as much as possible, by working to reduce administrative burden and splitting roles into clear ‘bite sized chunks’, that don’t require much time each week to perform. Which in turn allows more people to focus on the priorities of Recruitment and Development of players, referees and coaches.

In preparation for the new season, subject to available funds, the association will be working to further simplify administration tasks via online forms (including secure access to registration information via ‘Drop Downs’ integrated to our Registration System), automated reports on registrations and accreditations, and improving the process of registration.

If you have ideas on what could be useful for club officers, please let me know via president@englandrinkhockey.com, so we can discuss and potentially include them.

Having seen success and greater productivity by including regions on the Referee, Coaching and Disciplinary Committees, the association will be encouraging regions to include their equivalent role holders as representatives on all national sub-committees (Marketing, Competitions and Finance), so volunteers can collaborate and support each other’s efforts, to achieve better outcomes for the sport.

 

Season 2020/21

It seems likely that Covid-19 will continue to impact the operation of our sport until at least the summer, but, in preparation for an improved situation, the National Competition Secretary (Tony Czifra) is working on a proposal that may allow clubs to organise small tournaments of a few teams within their region to be held when conditions allow. So more to follow when this is resolved and appropriate.                       

 

Season 2021/22

The association, in expectation of return to competition from September 2021, has prepared for the introduction of the changes to the national competition programme, per the Bye Laws approved at the 2020 Annual General Meeting, with the following of particular note.

National League – Senior

From September to May 2022, Premier and Division 1 Leagues will be organised, as previously, with clubs entering responsible for Hosting ‘Home’ matches and tournaments respectively.

National League – Youth

From March to May 2022, new leagues will be organised for the top 2 Club teams from each region league (6 teams total);

 

  • Under 13’s
  • Under 15’s
  • Under 17’s
  • Under 19’s (changing to Under 23’s is in consideration due to player numbers)

 

Fixtures will be played at Tournaments

 

  • Region Derby: The 2 qualifying teams from each grade will attend and play the other team in their grade twice, with at least 2 match break between matches. e.g. EC1 V EC2, EC2 V EC1
  • Tournaments: The 2 qualifying teams from 2 regions in a grade will play each other region team (2 matches per team,  with at least 2 match break between matches e.g. NC1 V SEC2, NC2 V SEC1, NC2 V SEC2, NC1 V SEC1

 

There will be no cost for Teams (players and teams officials) to enter the competition or attend matches, other than travel to tournaments.

The association has purchased a Veo Sports Camera (veo.co), that does not require an operator and through AI focuses on the proximity around the ball. Subject to the successful conclusion of trials being undertaken by SEC President (Arran Bowyer) with the help of the National Coaching Director (Carlos Amaral), the intention is to supply a camera to each region so that every match of the league is recorded and published online within 24 hours, for fans to watch and so coaches have a valuable resource to prepare their teams.

Spectators will be charged admission and at the end of the competition, after the association has recouped its costs, any profits (by Grade) will be distributed as follows, financial accounts will be presented at the AGM;

 

  • 10% to each Team (6 Teams)
  • 10% to each Region (3 Regions)
  • 10% to the National Association

 

The Association's goal, through the efforts of the marketing sub-committee, is to grow new revenues from spectators, trade booths, merchandise and sponsors, so that profit sharing will enable the best teams in the nation to participate in National Leagues, without the burden of cost and with potential for clubs to make a profit from participation.

National League - Female

Almost 30% of the association player base is female and the National Executive Committee is keen to introduce National Leagues for them, following the establishment of qualifying region competitions and the successful introduction of National League – Youth, where males and females may participate together.

 

UK Youth Grant

The association is delighted to announce that we have received a grant from UK Youth, funded by the DCMS, Pears Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, to help support our work and deliver more positive activities for young people.

Our application was considered to be in the top 10% of over 1,200 applications received, seeking a grant from the available £2m, which shall be used to;

  • Support the delivery of the National Development Training at a Regional level
  • Purchase safety related goods and equipment for use at Youth Training 
  • Fund the transition to online Coach and Referee Accreditation courses  
  • Reduce administration burden on volunteers
  • Allow the association to offer free online Coach and Referee Accreditation courses to Under 18’s for 3 months, following their launch

 

I’m advised that this is the first time since 1988 that the association has received any form of grant funding, representing a significant milestone, and we are incredibly grateful to UK Youth, and its backers, and have learnt significantly from the process.

Going forward, much greater attention will be given to seeking grants that will allow the association to accomplish more for its members, and we are seeking to confirm arrangements with a specialist to assist.

Should you have any questions about anything in this report or ideas you feel can improve our association, please don’t hesitate to get in contact to share them with me, via President@englandrinkhockey.com or WhatsApp +44 7835 224170.

Best regards and wishing you a very happy New Year.

Kos Galtos

President

National Rink Hockey Association of England

president@englandrinkhockey.com

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