Well the summer is nearly over and the new Lacrosse season is upon us. I look forward to seeing all those girls who are returning to us and wish a very warm welcome to our new members.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to say a few things about the coming season and remind you of a few important rules I would ask all of you to take note of. It’s a bit lengthy but I would ask you to take time to read all the way to the bottom and if nothing else remember the following key points:
- Junior training starts on 12th September not before. Ladies 10th Sept.
- Must bring Mouth guard
- Wear non-school labelled sportswear
- Respect coaches and each other. MAKE NEW FRIENDS AND HAVE FUN!!
- Strictly No Parking or Drop Off at Fairmile Pub/Covenham grounds.
- Please respond to mails from your age group co-ordinator.
- Avoid dropping out at last minute from matches you committed to
- Look at the Website for information: www.cobhamlacrosse.co.uk
- Can I get involved in any way to help run the club?
1. First training session 12th September - 1.45 Drop Off Main Club House
The first training session starts on Saturday 12th September. As last year we ask that all girls are dropped off at the main club-house by 1.45 ready to walk across to the grounds with the coaches. There will be road crossing marshalls between 1.45 and 1.55 to help the girls cross the road safely but we would remind you that you as parents you remain responsible for your daughter while she is at the club. If you are late then you must still park at Munro House and walk your daughter across and not be tempted to drop off at the grounds. (See below). This first training session of the season is always a bit hectic as the girls get settled into the various groups and the coaches start to get to know the girls and try and bring some order and discipline to proceedings. So please bear with us especially as we may be a bit light on the ground next week due to a Senior Girls School Tournament taking some of our coaches!! More on coaching later below.
Drop Off and Collection – Munro House
For those that were with us last year and for all those new members, I would remind you that when dropping off or parking you must do so at Munro House and NOT drive into or park at the Fairmile pub or the small parking area by the grounds. I’m afraid this includes times when it’s raining, hailstorms, ‘my wife/husband did not tell me’, ‘I’m just a friend and did not know’ , or just being late from a school match or coming back from shopping ! The terms of the lease arrangement forbids this and is closely monitored by the Pub management and the CSA. Last year, the majority abided by this but we did have a few that, despite persistent reminders, felt that they could ignore this. We even had a few who pulled into the side of the road by the entrance because they could see the girls already walking across which caused cars behind them on the main road to swerve to avoid them. Highly dangerous. If we find persistent offenders we will have no option but to cancel your daughter’s membership. If you are going to stay and have a drink at the Fairmile while the girls are playing I would kindly ask you to still abide by the same rules. It makes it easier for all. Please pass this message on to your husband/wife/friends who you may ask to collect your daughter.
2. Mini Field Lacrosse - U11s (Ages 9 to 11)
The time will be same as last year, 2pm to 3pm. Field sticks will be provided for those who do not have them but as the ball is a proper lacrosse ball girls will be required to wear a mouth guard. Without a mouth guard I’m afraid your daughter will not be allowed to play. Given the young age we would ask that parents of this age group to help escort their daughter across to the grounds from the main club house and stay in or nearby during the hour. I would remind you that you remain responsible for your daughter’s safety at all times while she is with us.
3. Main Field Lacrosse – U12s to U15s.
The time will be the same as last year, 2pm to 3.30 pm. Normal playing rules apply, mouth guards are mandatory and only wear appropriate sportswear. We want all the girls to mix together across the different schools and feel part of the club and not to remain just wedded to school groups. To help create this we would particularly request that your daughter wear the Cobham Lacrosse Shirt or other non-school sports shirt. It’s easy to change in the car if you are coming straight from a school match!
4. Behaviour and Welfare
We expect the girls to be respectful to the coaches and to each other. Fortunately it happens rarely but where bad behaviour is spotted or reported our coaches have authority to deal with it appropriately. Persistent offenders will be reported to the Committee if necessary. In addition please do feel free to contact our Welfare Officer Marta Chinniah in confidence if your daughter is upset by anyone’s treatment or behaviour, players and coaches, which you believe is unacceptable and having an impact on your daughter’s enjoyment of the club.
5. Zenith South East League Fixtures-U13 & U15 and Ladies plus U12, U11 Friendlies
We have just finalised the fixtures for the U13 and U15 and Ladies leagues. These are now on the website. For the U11s and U12s we will endeavour to find friendly fixtures throughout the season. All fixtures related information will be channelled through the respective co-ordinators who are:
Julie Langley U11, Karen Saraiva U12, Sabina Sherlock U13, Lisa Duncan U15 and Nicky Williams and Sophie Allan Ladies
The first matches of the season will be on Sunday 20th September at the SE Junior Kick-Off Rally to be held at Caterham Lacrosse grounds. This is for age groups U12, U13 and U15 and is a friendly opening season warm up for the girls and game rules will be flexible on the day. It’s a fun event so if you can make it please do keep an eye out for the mail from your co-ordinator. All details can also be found on the web-site.
6. Coaching Update
You would have heard from me back in early August about the suspension of the Overseas Coaching Programme by the UK Immigration Service and I know many of you responded by joining the Campaign #SOSLacrosse. I had hoped that by now I could have brought you some positive news on that front as the ELA had a constructive meeting with the Immigration Service a couple of weeks ago. Indeed following the meeting the Immigration Service had told the ELA that they would give a final response by the 7th September. As of today however I have yet to hear whether any response has been received. In the meantime, while our two US based coaches are still hoping to come and join us, we have been exploring different options with both the ELA and our own contacts in the event the suspension is not lifted.
I am delighted to say that as a result of those efforts we have recruited to the coaching team a new senior coach, Sophie Allan. Sophie is a member of the England Women’s Lacrosse Team and is on a placement year from Bath University. Sophie who has a level 2 coaching certificate will co-lead the Saturday training sessions with Nicky Williams who has lead our U12 year group and has been with us since the club started. Sophie and Nicky will be supported by our talented pool of senior girls who now play for the Ladies team as well as our fantastic group of volunteer parent coaches. Both the girls and parents have all taken the Level 1 Lacrosse Coaching Programme. We are also hopeful that the ELA would be able to allocate to us one of the UK based Coaches that they have recruited and trained since the suspension announcement if the Visa suspension is not lifted.
That’s about it for now. I and the rest of the Committee look forward to seeing you all in the coming weeks and a number of us will be around next Saturday to take questions etc. so please feel to come and say hello.