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Communication to Friends and Members of EGHC

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As we rapidly approach February and the "run in" towards the end of the 2015 / 2016 Hockey Season, we would like to communicate that our Chairman, Simon Longhurst intends to stand down at our forthcoming AGM, following six years in the role.  The AGM is scheduled for April 28th 2016.


Over recent years, East Grinstead Hockey Club has developed significantly.  Our Junior Section has grown in numbers, our Ladies' 1st Team compete at the same level as the Men's 1st Team Indoors and Outdoors and the core of the club has become overall younger while rising up the local hockey leagues.  In parallel with this the club has raised its profile, introduced a number of innovations and strengthened its financial management to enable long term infrastructure improvement.


The scale and complexity to which the club has grown is the outcome of work by a strong and driven volunteer group.  In order to best manage a handover of the Chairmanship carefully, the Committee has co-opted Chris Gregory into the post of "Chairman Designate" and he has already participated in a number of Committee Meetings in 2016.


Chris began to Chair the Board from our most recent meeting on Friday January 22nd, and will do so until the AGM where the membership will be able to elect the new Committee in the usual way.  Chris has been a member of the club for 40 years and was the Chairman of the Sports Club from 2000 to 2005.  He will work closely with Simon and the existing Committee to finalise the update to EGHC's Governance, Operational and Financial structures with a view to spreading and sharing the workload among the volunteers in the club.  Chris has commented "The Club has grown to such an extent under Simon's leadership and needs to ensure the innovations put in place are exploited while continuing to look for ways to improve the management of the club's affairs.  There is such a new and diverse set of challenges involved in operating our club now, ranging from running the "heart and soul" of the club for the women and men and our large and growing junior membership, to operating the high performance 1st XIs, and developing our own new EGHC Academy.  These are exciting times for the Hockey Club as it continues to grow and develop."


Simon has commented "I have been honoured to be asked to chair EGHC's Committee and to work with such a focused and committed group of Committee members and volunteers since 2010.  What that group has achieved together is quite simply staggering; including the growth of our junior section from approximately 60 members to where it stands today, hosting two European Club tournaments in 2012 and 2014, elevating our Ladies' 1st team up 5 levels both indoors and outdoors to reach dual premiership status, maintaining a high level of performance in our Mens' 1st Team, replacing our astroturf in 2013 and providing the financial foundations to do the same in eight to ten years time.  I would like to thank all those volunteers who have helped in the development of the club.  Without such a talented group the club would not have achieved so much.  The opportunity to handover the Chairmanship to Chris Gregory is immensely important for our club:  a seasoned Financial Director, an Honorary Vice President of the club and a part of the fabric of our club for many years, Chris will bring a blend of skills and experience that will help us maintain our momentum as we constantly develop and grow.  I look forward to working with Chris during this handover period and supporting various facets of EGHC moving forward."


Chris adds by commenting on Simon's contribution as Chairman "On behalf of the club we cannot thank Simon enough for all the time and effort he has put into the club's affairs.  It has been an extraordinary period in the history of East Grinstead Hockey Club and his leadership and innovation has moved the club into a new dimension where we must now try to capitalise on that platform."


Donna Sadler

Honorary Secretary, EGHC


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Guest Sunday, 26 March 2017