Avoca HC – Introduction and update

Hi fellow club members.

It is a great privilege for me to send you this note in the role of Avoca Club President.  Avoca has been a core part of my formative years and my more recent return to hockey has been a fantastic and rewarding experience.  I joined Avoca as an ambitious teenager keen to build on my short schoolboy international experience and immerse myself within a club to learn and grow.  I happened to join a team growing in talent and with a pedigree that went on to be exceptional. Those glory days included 3 European championships, multiple cup and league successes as well and a bond with friends that has far outlived the on pitch achievements.  The running of the club was not on any radar – it ‘just happened’ and I enjoyed it fully!

Fast forward a ‘few years’ and my two daughters started playing hockey.  I ended up on the side lines and it didn’t take long before ‘crossing the white line’ again.  I’ve been playing with the Men’s thirds for the past few years and have loved being back in the heart of the club.  It’s a club that has gone through significant change and over the past 2 years I have been getting involved in every side of the club as Vice-President alongside the exceptionally talented Caroline Daly who recently passed over the chain of office.  Recently Caroline was awarded Leinster Volunteer of the month – richly deserved recognition for the endless support and help which she generously shared across the club – high standards to follow.

I wanted to share these points to introduce myself and commit to you and all club members that I will do my best within this role and beyond.  Hockey is growing and Avoca is part of this however we need to do this in a way that brings benefit to all members and their families.  Success on the pitch is important yet success within your own club and attachment to it is critical.  We all want Avoca HC to be something we are part of and proud of.

On the pitch
This weekend many teams returned to competitive matches and I’m sure like myself, many are feeling aches and pains after an over-enthusiastic return.  Training was always a means to an end for me – important yet a warm up for match day which I have always loved! Fortunes in the Men’s and Women’s groups were successful ahead of a breath of Junior matches across so many junior teams on Sunday.  It’s been brilliant to see and hear about the smiles and passion on show over the weekend.  I am sure everyone loved it as much as I did.

Avoca AGM
At the end of May we held a wide ranging AGM which included an extensive update from our Committee representatives, noticeable award winners (congrats all) and took steps towards changes in our future operations.  Despite missing out on so many games and training sessions, your committee has been working harder than ever to plan, adjust and plan again (and again!) to navigate through what has been an exceptional period for all our members.  This time has also highlighted the importance of sport and community for all of us and the challenges have brought us closer together.  The final piece of the AGM – a proposed change to our Club structure and formation brought healthy debate and an adjournment to incorporate feedback before a second meeting last week.  While there was positive support for many of the proposed changes this was short of the 75% of members support required.  The Board and Committee are now looking at how best we can provide information and guidance for club members so they can fully support these changes in the future.  It’s been a great exercise and will only lead to a better future outcome for us and our club.

Thank you
Avoca is run by an exceptional group of volunteers.  Today’s committee and board would be the envy of many board room and the parents and club members who generously give of their time to support hockey and it’s development in our club are exceptional.  I will not call out anyone (for fear of leaving anyone out!) but do want to say a big thank you for your contribution to our fellow members, our community and our club.  Over the past years we have attempted to broaden this group so as to share the workload and continue to raise our standards.  We have also invested in exceptional talent to run critical parts of our club – which I am sure you will agree is paying dividends across the club.  In the coming weeks we will be running sessions to share more about your club and encourage you to join in.

Looking ahead
Over the coming weeks we will continue to support our club members with a breath of ways to get involved and back to the game we all love.  Summer hockey continues with some fantastic competitive matches to look forward to, juniors will wrap up before the summer break and volunteers will renew their energy and passion before the season ahead.  We have a broad and diverse membership with a love for the game of hockey and together we will achieve exceptional results.  We also have ambitious plans for the future of our club – outlined in our club member’s developed 5 year plan – and are working to exceed these both on and off the pitch.  Exciting times ahead and I’m delighted to have so many on this adventure together.

Finally, I would love to hear from you on any topic – about your thoughts and ambitions for the future, areas you would like to help / contribute, ideas and suggestions as well as the things you love about your club.  Today we are specifically looking to bring in a new Women’s Club Captain following Kate’s brilliant work – shout if you are interested in contributing here.  As a husband, parent and busy with work commitments etc, volunteering at Avoca is rewarding yet there is never enough time in the day but as above, I commit to do my best.

Yours in sport,

Ben Geoghegan
Club President, Avoca HC

Ben Geoghegan
Ben Geoghegan

EuroHockey Championships

The EuroHockey Championships starts in 2 days and our mighty girls in green take on the hosts Holland on Saturday 5th June at 2.30pm. All the matches are being shown on RTE2.

Look out for number 17 Hannah McLoughlin and number 30 Sarah McAuley in particular who started their hockey career at Avoca Hockey Club.

It’s going to be a tough encounter as the Netherlands are the World Cup Holders; but this is excellent preparation for the Olympics next month when the two sides meet again in Tokyo!

Ireland Ladies on RTE2
Ireland Ladies on RTE2

Give Hockey a Go!

Last year some 42 Mums & Chums/Dads & Lads gave Hockey a go and many signed up to play hockey at Vets (Over 35s for Men, Over 30s for Women) level and some signed up for regular senior Hockey. Unfortunately, due to Covid19 no competitive matches were played but the growth in player numbers allowed us form a 2nd Ladies Vets team and a 5th Men’s Senior team. Starting 7th June for 4 consecutive Monday nights we are running another mixed Mums & Chums & Dads & Lads programme at Sion Hill from 8 pm to 9.30 pm each night. See more here.

COVID-19 eLearning Course

Sport Ireland have updated their ‘Return to Sport COVID-19 eLearning Course’ and it is now available on their website.

The course, which can be accessed here, aims to continue supporting clubs to return to sport in a safe & practical manner.

The course is structured similarly to the previous version with additional lessons included to reflect updated guidance. We would encourage all club Covid-19 Compliance Officers to complete the course, as well as active volunteers and members in your club.

The course should be completed and interpreted in conjunction with the Governments latest public health measures provided at www.gov.ie/coronavirus along with the public health advice provided on the Health Service Executive Coronavirus webpage.

Updated Sport Ireland COVID-19 eLearning Course Content:

  • Introduction to the Sport Ireland COVID-19 Return to Sport e-Learning Course
  • Protect yourself and others from COVID-19
  • Hand hygiene
  • Equipment hygiene
  • Face coverings
  • COVID-19 Medical Considerations for Sports Activities
  • Safe Return to Sport and Physical Activity Checklist
  • Recommendation for specific populations
  • Stay Safe in the Outdoors
  • Sport Ireland COVID-19 Officer Return to Sport e-Learning Course
  • Recording Attendance at Activities
  • How to manage a participant with COVID-19 symptoms?
  • Stay Informed

John Sharpe

John Sharpe (pictured back left)
JOHN SHARPE (pictured back left)

One of Avoca’s most inspirational figures sadly passed away last Friday. John (James ) Sharpe was a terrific hockey player and represented the school and club at all levels .

Having won two consecutive Minor Cups, followed by Junior and Senior honours he will be remembered for scoring many goals by diving headlong on the old grassy surface at Newpark.

His bright and jovial outlook, combined with a passion for life was an inspiration to all that were lucky enough to know and enjoy his company. Sadly we have lost another truly committed Avoca man.

May he rest in Peace

NK/ 10th May 2021

Return To Hockey

Dear Club Member

It is with great excitement that we announce the return to hockey for our senior players from Thursday 13th May

  • Sign up via Clubzap. Pre-booking is essential as numbers are limited.
  • The COVID form must be completed before your first session. We must stay in pods of 15 for the duration of the evening and can enjoy 7-a-side training matches within the pod of 15. No crossovers with other pods.
  • ‘Social Mixed Hockey’ in Sion Hill is for players from 3rd, 4th, 5th  & 6th teams in both men’s and ladies’ sections.
  • Arrive with mask on and only remove when you are on the pitch. Hand sanitiser is still being used at entry and departure.
    • Entry to Newpark remains via the basketball courts and exit via the sports centre. Please note, Trojan swimming club are on the astro from 6-7pm on Tuesday and Thursday.
    • For entry to Sion Hill, please wait until the pitch has been vacated.
  • There are no toilet facilities at either venue!!

For insurance purposes, all players must have completed their membership and can do so here. If you are unsure of your membership status, get in touch with Al on clubsecretary@avocahockeyclub.ie

More bookings may appear depending on interest so keep an eye on Clubzap!

Tue        7-8.30pm M1/M2  |  8.30-10pm L1/L2
Thu        7-8.30pm L1/L2  |  8.30-10pm M1/M2

Sion Hill
Mon      TBC (Dads & Lads / Mums & Chums)
Tue        TBC (Social Mixed Hockey)
Thu        7.30-8.30pm Social Mixed Hockey  |  9-10pm Social Mixed Hockey
Fri           8-9.30pm Mixed Vets

See you on the pitch!

Caroline Daly

President Avoca Hockey

20/21 AGM

Avoca Hockey Club’s AGM takes place on Monday 31st May at 8pm via Zoom and it is open to all Members, Life Members and Parents of our Junior section. Email Club Secretary Al Robinson to request a link to access the meeting; registration is essential. All members have been emailed documents to review prior to the AGM, it may be in your spam if it’s not in your inbox. Get in touch with Al if you have any issues.

Free online Zumba Class for O55s

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown are delighted to partner up Colette Burke to roll out a 6 week Zumba Gold programme for adults over the age of 55 years.

These are free online classes which take place through zoom and can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. This class is an easy-to-follow program that lets you move to the beat at your own speed. System is the total-body wellness program that feels like a party while it revitalizes your mind and body.

Sign up here