As we close out our strangest season to date, with just 2 competitive fixtures played, we would like to take this opportunity to give a notable mention to our outgoing Club President, Caoimhe Guilfoyle.
Caoimhe is a stalwart of the Club and a valued and deeply loved member of our family. She is a strong and incredibly resilient women, a bloody fast runner and a queen in the circle for putting away some goals. Caoimhe has been a sitting Committee member for a number of years and probably some more even before that. Bray HC is incredibly lucky to have Caoimhe as part of our family and we were delighted to confirm her as an Honorary Member as a gesture of thanks and love for all that she has done for the Club over the last
Thank you Caoimhe for everything. Enjoy the time away form the Committee, good luck with your studies and see you on the pitch soon!
(Scroll down to read Coaimhe's President's Address from last nights AGM)
This time last year our president Greg O'Toole mentioned the light at the end of the tunnel Who would have envisaged that we would be here again at a second AGM via zoom! I could never have imagined that my year as president would be a year with no leagues, no spectators, and no celebrations in the Martello. I would like to thank the Men's 2nds team for giving me my one of only 2 matches I had as President!! And what a match it was! Well done to the lads on their Intermediate Cup win. In years to come that could be a great table quiz question!!
Who was president of Bray Hockey Club for only 2 matches?
The past year has been difficult, frustrating, and lonely. Our members have faced very individual experiences throughout COVID, and it can sometimes be hard to understand others coping strategies. However, this year our club has blown me away with the strength and friendship that has been demonstrated. Members have adapted to new restrictions week after week, been understanding when things did not quite go to plan, volunteered to ensure we had enough help, brainstormed to come up with solutions, reached out to others who were struggling, and overall created a safety net and support network within our community. We cannot always get everything right but when I look back over my year as president what I see is a great bunch of people who always try to do their best.
I am very proud to be part of this club and hope that all the members, friends and families realise that once you are part of Bray Hockey Club you can never really leave. You will always have someone to reach out to, pick up the phone to, or just have the chats on your walk on Bray promenade.
This year the club said a sad goodbye to one of our much-loved members Audrey. Audrey was a longstanding member of Bray Hockey Club and we have very fond memories of Audrey at Sunday league and umpiring throughout the years. The club would like to extend our love and support to the Collins and O'Sullivan families. She will be sadly missed.
Throughout the year there have many events that have kept us all going. I would like to thank all the coaches for moving to online zoom training which could not have been easy. There was some great imagination from everyone with Pictionary, 80's quizzes, a Glendalough hike, painting, baking and fitness challenges.
One such challenge that stands out was the Hooked Together fitness challenge. This consisted of 20 teams from 10 different clubs competing in all types of fitness. Hooked Together raised over €1,000 for our club with the top 3 teams donating over €1,000 to their charities of choice. It was organised by a superb team who put in so much work and we would like to say a huge thank you to Luca Dunne, Sara Quill, Ruth McDonagh, Dan Paul, Hannah O'Connor, Michelle Williams, Sam Henson, and Yani Scully-Lane.
Thank you so much to our sponsors The Martello, Millbrook Paving, Murphy McElligott Solicitors, Arcade Jewellers, Storage Systems and Enigma Design who stuck with us through a non-playing season. We really appreciate your help and support during very hard times for all businesses.
I would like to thank all the members for their time, effort, and patience throughout a very difficult season. As a committee we faced many new challenges this year. We did not always get things right, but we always had the clubs' best interests at heart. Our club has not only survived a pandemic, but I believe has grown stronger and more resilient. The challenges that we have all faced have been met head on by our community and it was through the hard work and collaboration of our committees, volunteers, coaches, and parents.
I will be stepping down as President this year, but I have had the honour and privilege to work with a dedicated and hard-working team. The work that goes on behind the scenes is sometimes underestimated. So, I would like to take some time to mention the superb team that steered us through lockdown. Thank you to Steven Jones who supported me throughout the season as Vice President, our secretary Yani Scully- Lane who managed all the correspondence, Cheryl O'Toole and Grattan Evans were superb as ladies and men's club captains providing much needed support and organisation, Megan Shelley as ladies fixtures secretary and Loreto Bray liaison, Chris Doyle as men's fixtures secretary, Lauren Casey led the introduction of Clubzap as PR, Ruth McDonagh was registrations secretary and provided backup PR support and sponsors contact, Hannah O'Connor stepped in as our COVID-19 Safety co-ordinator and managed to keep our members safe and playing as long as possible, Phil Shannon was our money man and proved indispensable as we navigated the delicate balance of club running costs and refunds due to lockdown, Sarah Finnegan managed our garda vetting. John Lush and Michelle Lambert played a blinder with this year's junior organisation and were supported by our Junior
Task Force - Cheryl O'Toole, Ruth McDonagh, Sara Quill, Kathy Lee O'Toole, Hannah O'Connor, Stephen Stewart, Jeannette Keeley, and Dean Maguire. The social committee had their work cut out this year with the restrictions and worked very hard to keep us all connected. Thank you, Lara Dawson, Suzy Kenna, Sam Henson, Dan Paul, Emma-Jane Healy, and Jack Lacey-Curtis. Trish Martin stepped in to help with maintaining the Loreto clubhouse to ensure that we could continue to avail of the facilities in a safe environment. Our kit room was blitzed in August by some brilliant volunteers, thank you so much. It is impossible to name all of the volunteers that stepped up to do the COVID-19 safety officer course and braved the elements to ensure that our players could continue to train but I would like to say thank you to each and every one of you.
I know I have probably spoken for too long, but I really think it is important for us to remember that a club does not run by magic alone. I hope that I have not left anyone out and please forgive me if I have. There are so many in our club that step up when needed that it is difficult to mention all of the good deeds. To all of you I want to say a huge thank you. Please know that all your time and effort are very much appreciated by all of our members.
Finally, I wish you all a safe and healthy 2021/2022 season. I would like to welcome the new committee, and I hope you have a wonderful season with plenty of matches, successes, a Burco boiler working overtime and a sea of Bray supporters cheering themselves hoarse. I leave you in the very capable hands of Jonsie, who will lead the club to a bigger and brighter season with lots of fun and competition to look forward to.
Bray Hockey Club has become part of me and given me so much over the years that it has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve with so many great people and be able to give something back to a community that has become like family. Thank you for being part of this very special group of people.
Tough times highlight that health and family are the important things in life, and as Ireland begins to open its doors again, I hope that we carry with us the hard lessons that we have learnt. I hope we move forward with patience, tolerance and understanding and let us build on what we have achieved this year and have a fantastic 2021/2022 season.
Date 2 June 2021