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BHHC Women's Forum - the feedback

By David Chappell

April debrief features wide ranging discussion about the club, its structure, aims and future development

Brighton and Hove Hockey Club Women’s section debrief - April 27, 2018

Methodology: Three groups took part in the debrief session and this report combines the results of the three sessions. The session was completed by asking participants about 4 areas:

1. What 3 things would you change about the club?
2. What 3 things require improvement?
3. What 3 things would you keep the same?
4. What is the 1 thing that should be the focus of the club?

After the first session participants’ feedback was that questions about changes and improvements overlapped and so the following two sessions were conducted with questions 1, 3 and 4 only.

Individual thoughts were recorded using a Post-it note. These were put up on a board in clusters of similar answers and then discussed as a group with a facilitator managing the discussion and exploring further meaning of comments made. The following report summarises those themes and discussions but also considered some recommendations, which will be made public soon.

1. What 3 things would you change about the club?

Summary: This question provided a wide spectrum of answers across a number of themes. Communication was a common theme, as was selection and progression of players, social opportunities and training. The new clubhouse was also a common theme, some smaller areas of comment were noted and there were a number of individual comments that were included in this area.

Detail: Under the theme communication there was a clear message that communication from the committee to players needs to be improved; this was also to ensure that club vision and transparency in decision making should be communicated down. Whilst the theme was dominated by a need for better communication there were also a number of comments about the make up of the committee - in particular the size and representation across the Women’s section - with a suggestion of a playing committee.

Further discussions about committee makeup made it clear that although the committee is fairly represented by women, club members are not aware of who is on the committee and goes back to communication across the club. There was a clear desire for a set date of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) - this year it is Tuesday June 19 at 7pm at The Nevill pub: for more information click on the link below - so people can plan attendance, plus also the desire for transparent accounts as well as transparency across the committee.

Training and coaching was also highly commented on. There was suggestion that the progression of juniors through to adult teams be addressed, the teams should be reviewed and movement between teams be more common, with clear and published selection policies in place. Also that the team structure was understood and clear to all, an example being about whether the 2s is a feeder team for the 1s and where the juniors sit within the team structure.

Further discussion clarified that currently the gap between the 1s and 2s does not allow for this feeder team effect and that the 1s squad is not strong/deep enough to encourage competition for places or allow for drawing from a 2s team that currently does not have players ready for first team hockey.

In relation to coaching, there were comments regarding the commitment of players to training but the more general theme was that there should be more coaches to offer more support for those already in place. Requests to split the sessions for lower teams to allow for more focus on teams allowing players to develop and progress. The crossover theme about training and coaching also covered the watching of other teams by coaches to assist with selection.

A common theme mentioned in this session concerned the social element of the club. Whilst it is noted that a commonality in the question about things we should keep the same clearly indicated that the social side of the club was a positive element of the club. The improvements suggested ranged from more socials, women-only socials but also more combined socials with the Men’s section. The appointment of a club social secretary is pivotal to the success of this element.

The clubhouse was again commented upon in this section; although mentioned in question 4 it is commented upon more heavily in this section with a number of participants saying this was something that should be changed about the club, with 8 comments in this area alone.

Other comments in this section were more singular. Mention was made of more organisation around the umpiring, having kit sorted out, more hot teas on occasion, having a club mascot, a reward scheme for those that volunteer, better match fee collection (using Slate as the men do), playing all through the year, better matchday organisation and finally diversifying so that BHHC reaches those in need.

2. What 3 things require improvement?
3. What 3 things would you keep the same?

Summary: As mentioned earlier this is a combined commentary on both questions 2 and 3, looking at things that are effective and should remain the same with BHHC. The majority of comments raised concerned the junior section and how the success of this set up should remain the same plus the social side of the club being a very positive thing.

Detail: The largest volume of comment has been labelled under social elements of the club, where there was overwhelming agreement that this is something that should not change and is a positive element of the club dynamic. This can be seen in other areas of questioning as well as in the section. Within this heading has been included comment about the welcoming of new players into the club.

Secondly within this section was another heading that formed a close second to the social part of the club - the Junior section. Participants commonly mentioned the successful junior section as being something that should not be changed/kept as a club and following on from this was a more specific section that named people who should be kept: this included coaches such as Wendy but covered wider coaches and then Graham and Jenny, who were mentioned on a number of occasions.

The other comments in this section were quite separate. There was comment for support of the forum/debrief being held by the Women’s section, also the progression of the youngsters into the W1s. Mention of timely captains’ meeting was included and the commitment to giving players a voice

4. What is the 1 thing that should be the focus of the club?

This was included to capture singular thoughts on what BHHC should be focused on if there was only one thing allowed. It is clear that BHHC can operate on a number of aims and priorities but was designed to draw out the one driving consideration of current Women’s players across all 7 teams.

Summary: There were some very common themes here, the overriding being that the club should be focused on the support and progression of all its teams.

Detail: This was grouped into three more distinct areas, the majority being that the club should be focused on unity and provision of sport for all across all teams. Particular mention was made of equality and unity with community hockey being the focus.

Other comments were more neutral and called for collaboration as a club with the best provision for all members regardless of team; a clear message about professionalism and progression was shown within this question. There was also some clear focus on investment and concentration, pushing teams towards higher leagues, and investment in W1s. Within this section the progression of juniors as a priority came up three times and has been grouped in as part of this section.

The second highest area within this question was regarding the clubhouse. This was mentioned 5 times as the club focus within this question; however it was also commented upon in other question areas when asking people about what improvements/changes should be considered.

Another theme was that BHHC should focus on the engagement and transparency with its members, looking at clear goals/vision/strategy that has been developed as a club with its members.

An isolated consideration was regarding a community outreach by BHHC to improve Brighton; whilst it should not be discounted as a theme it is a singular area that came from this session.

Updated 10:44 - 6 Aug 2018 by Matt Sale

Where next?

BHHC's first junior mixed festival a success 75 girls and boys from local clubs and Nuneaton enjoy bank holiday hockey
No cup joy for BHHC women in Sussex finals Horsham win 2-0 against battling 1s while 5s lose out on penalties to Southwick 1s


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Sat 15 Jun
Boys U10 (year 5) End of season paintballing!
Friendly 09:00


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