To all LX members
At the time of my last update the Committee’s plan was to formulate our Return to Play strategy at a Special Committee Meeting on Thursday 4th March, based on England Hockey’s (EH) interpretation of the Government’s COVID Roadmap published on 22nd February. In the event, EH have not yet provided any specific interpretation; their latest guidance can be found on the EH website at https://www.englandhockey.co.uk/media/news/return-to-play-latest-update-march-2021. They have also generated two surveys which Club Captain Richard Slator circulated to LX members last Friday.
Against this background the LX committee has drawn up the following plan of action, designed to give members as much clarity as possible and to facilitate the most effective return to hockey consistent with Government rules. Inevitably this is rather complicated and subject to various caveats but please take the time to read it and to make your own plans accordingly …
- March fixtures : All cancelled
- 29 March – 11 April : Unless otherwise advised in the meantime, we plan to go ahead with the friendly Intra-club games in Bristol on 7th April and with the friendly against Iceni Rex in Braintree on 11th April. Our reasoning is that we should all have had our vaccinations by then (we hope you have!). It is most important that you understand that car sharing is not permitted and that there will be no facilities for changing, teas or socialising at either venue. COVID protocols will be followed strictly on the day (see LX members’ website for full details). Members should use their own discretion regarding the distance travelled to these venues since Government instruction is to “stay local” until 12th April at the earliest. Subject to all of this, please post your availability for these fixtures via the LX website in the usual way. The Match Managers will then contact you nearer the time with further details. If you are unsure whether or not you have already registered you can check on the WHOS’ REGISTERED FOR A GAME page of the website.
- 12 April onwards : As far as we can tell at the moment we will be returning to something like normality, in mainland UK at least, on 12th April. Thus unless/until we hear otherwise, all UK fixtures from 12th April onwards remain valid and we would encourage members to register their availability for as many as they wish, again via the LX website in the normal way. However please be prepared for further cancellations / restrictions as yet unknown!
- Additional Fixtures : We currently have quite a number of “Spare Sundays”; dates which had been set aside for EH national and international competitions which have now been either cancelled or postponed. In the next couple of weeks I will be looking to fill most of these dates, probably with a number of regionally-based intra-club events so we can renew old acquaintances and get back into the swing of hockey. Watch this space!
- Jersey Tour (7-9 May) : has been postponed to the weekend 9-11 September 2021. Further details later.
- Eburons Tournament (13-15 May) : We have been forced to withdraw from this as UK nationals are not allowed to travel abroad for leisure purposes before at least 17th May.
- Bra Tournament (Italy, 1-5 July) : This is very much still “on” and might well be the only opportunity for overseas hockey this year. LX have entered teams at over 60, over 65 & over 70 and each squad can have up to 22 players. (Note that St Albans are also going, as are LX Ladies with two squads). Full details may be found on the dedicated website https://www.hockeymasterbra2020.club. If you are interested please register your availability via the LX website in the normal way. Team managers will be appointed and further details provided in the near future. Our Foreign Secretary, Rob Oakley, will be coordinating accommodation (and guidance with travel?). Of course the big caveat revolves around COVID restrictions on international travel and each LX member will have to take responsibility for their own arrangements in this regard.
And finally … the LX Website now includes “OUR OPPONENTS STANDARD INFO” in the FIXTURE INFORMATION section. This is designed to help you in choosing which games to play and might be of particular interest to our newer members who are not as familiar with some of our traditional opponents, tours and tournaments. Please have a browse through this, speak to the nominated LX contact for further info. and get in touch with me if you can add anything further.