Start of Season Welcome Letter 2019-20
Welcome back to all our returning members and a very warm welcome to our new members. We have set out below important information for the forthcoming season.
The club is run entirely by parent volunteers and we have worked hard to provide members with a high quality website, which can also be easily viewed on mobile devices. Please help us reduce our email traffic and use the website as your first port of call for queries.
The website provides information on:
Membership – how to apply via the website
Please carefully read all the tabs on the website and the Twitter feed on the Home page before contacting a member of the committee.
We are delighted to retain our own experienced coach and former Cobham member Nicky Williams as Head Coach. You can read Nicky's Bio on the website under ‘About Us/Committee and Coaches’. Nicky brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the club, having played and coached here since she was a junior. Nicky has oversight of all coaching at the club, and welcomes chatting with parents about training. Heather Macrae, Scotland International and Women's Coach at Loughborough University (while studying for an M.Sc) remains on the Committee as Coaching Development Officer. Heather will be working with Nicky to deliver coach education.
We are delighted that Schyler Neale continues as our Firsts Coach this season; she will coach our Firsts at most matches, and occasionally take to the field with them too! This autumn term sees us extend our Firsts training to include, on a trial basis, Saturday coaching as well as coaching on match Sundays. Saturday training will take place from 330-5pm at Covenham; this trial will run till half-term and continue on in the season if it is taken up by our players. It will be run principally by Phil Collier, assisted by Kaitlan Biondi. Phil is the Head Coach of the Senior England Women's team, and brings many years of experience in coaching at the highest levels to his work with our Firsts. We know therefore that our girls will receive the best of the best training from Schyler, Phil and Kaitlan! Why not take a look at the club Twitter account on our website for biopics of our First team coaches...
Our Junior Section has gained some new coaches for this coming season, and welcomes seasoned coaches back to coach for us again. We are super delighted to welcome Kaitlan Biondi back to Cobham where she first worked some years ago. Kaitlan returns after time as Head Coach at Stowe School, and as Head Coach of the Swedish National Team. She will bring depth of coaching skill and experience to our U15 section, where she is principal Coach this season. Lindsay Biondi will be joining us this year also; Lindsay is an experienced player and coach; she has played both Div 1 lacrosse in the USA and BUCS Ladies Northern Premier Division here in the UK. Lindsay will coach across the Junior section. Senior Coach Georgie Harfitt will also work with the juniors this year - we are delighted to welcome her back this season. Biopics of our Senior Coaches working in the Juniors section are on Twitter via our website.
We welcome parent volunteers - if you would like to help coach as a parent volunteer, please do get in touch. Training can be provided. We do have parents who have enjoyed this so much they are now qualified coaches and umpires. Lacrosse is a magnet sport, and we love parent participation. Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or catch me at training for more information.
Guest Coaching sessions
We are organising specialist coaching sessions during the forthcoming season. The first session to be offered to the players will be on 14th September 2-330pm with our guest Goal Keeping Specialist Erin Walters-Williams ( Wales Senior Women GK, All-European GK and Advanced Lacrosse Camps). Erin fired up our players last year with her clinic, and we know she will do the same again this year.
England Lacrosse Individual Registration
It is a requirement that all players who play in League matches are registered with the England Lacrosse Association. This applies to Firsts, U15 and U13 members. Other age groups only play friendly matches and therefore don’t need to register. Only those with an Individual registration Number will be eligible for match selection and this year Registration Cards must be shown at the start of each match. Directions for registration can be found at www.englandlacrosse.co.uk/join.
Our seniors play in the SE Women's Lacrosse League, Division 1. We placed well last year, and hope to maintain this placing this year too.
Under the Junior League structure, there are two age groups: U15 and U13 ( there is no separate U14). U14 and U15 girls play together in the U15 team, which will ensure a very competitive season for this age group. U13s continue to play within age group. This year, the League hopes to offer some friendly matches for the U12s within the League remit.
League rules have changed recently so that at any one time only 10 players are on field; the draw set-up has also changed with only 6 in the circle at the draw. The team roster for juniors is 16 maximum here at Cobham, while the Seniors have a roster of 18. Our coaches and umpires are up-to-speed with these changes, and will be helping players with some new rules for this season.
Availability for matches
Our team managers, who are all parent volunteers, will email members for availability for matches a week to ten days before a match. In accordance with our ‘Sport for All’ philosophy (see ‘About Us’ on the website) we take the first 18 (seniors) 16 (juniors) girls who commit to play and then run a reserve list. If you commit to play and then drop out, this may affect your chances of playing next time. The team managers don’t assess or ‘rank’ reasons for dropping out. They just keep a note of dropouts for whatever reason and allocate places to those who are the most reliable.
We are close to full in some age groups and likely to become full as the season progresses. If at any time you decide not to continue as a member of the club, please let us know as we may be able to give your place to someone else. We can provide you with a scaled refund. Contact the Membership Secretary via the website.
As noted above, the website provides details on where to park under ‘About Us/Directions’ on the website. By way of a reminder, it is the terms of the Cobham Curve’s lease that dictate that there is no parking or drop off at the Fairmile Pub at any time. We have ample parking of our own at Munro House and failure to comply may result in the lease on our pitches being revoked.
Even if you are using the pub while your daughter plays lacrosse, please use our parking and walk across the road. This is not a decision taken by the Lacrosse Committee but an over-arching requirement for all sports that use the Cobham Curve Clubhouse. Due to the risk faced by the club of losing the lease, failure to comply with parking requirements may end up with your membership being revoked. We regularly stop parents trying to ‘nip in’ to the Fairmile for a drop off or pick up and will name and shame offenders by posting details of registration plates. Don’t let that be you! Only those with valid CRSA issued parking permits, mostly our coaches bringing equipment, are allowed to park in the bays near the grounds. Please also ensure anyone from Family or Friends you send to drop off or collect is aware of this rule.
Please don’t forget that girls can be dropped at Munro House and join the walking bus with our coaches to take them over the road. Drop your daughter by 1.45pm to join the walking bus that will leave a few minutes later. If you miss the walking bus, then it is your responsibility to walk your daughter across to the pitches. Girls should not cross the main road unaccompanied.
We request that girls either wear Cobham kit or neutral sports kit (not school kit) for training sessions. This avoids visual school divisions and helps the girls integrate into the club. The exception to this is when girls come directly to training from a school match, although please at least bring a neutral top or sweatshirt to change into. Suitable waterproof jackets and warm clothing are required in the winter.
If you would like to order a Cobham shirt, you need to be given a shirt number. If you would like a shirt number, please contact our Membership Secretary via the website; she will allocate you an available number.
Girls who qualify as a Level 1 Coach or Umpire are eligible to work for Cobham on a paid basis. We pay market leading rates and many of the girls you see working on Saturdays have followed this route. This is a fantastic CV building opportunity for leadership skills and will enable the girls to work at other summer camps and lacrosse courses in the future. If you are in Year 10 or above (from September 2018) then we can help organise this for you.
Please contact Helen Devine via the website Committee section if you are interested.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
We have between 4 and 6 slots available for girls to work on primarily Bronze and Silver awards in skills and volunteering. Please get in touch with Head Coach Nicky Williams if you are interested.
Match & Training Cancellation Policy
All cancellation notices are sent by email and posted on our Twitter feed. The Twitter feed can be easily viewed on the Home Page of our website, so you don’t need to be a Twitter user to see the posts. If in doubt, check the website Twitter feed.
We only send cancellation messages. No message means that training or matches are going ahead. Our pitches drain well and training goes ahead during rain. Normally only lightening or heavily frozen pitches will be likely to cause cancellation of training or home matches.
We aim to send cancellation notices of training by 11am on the day. Match cancellations are sent as soon as they are known.
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 it is deemed necessary. In addition, please do feel free to contact our Welfare Officer, Mary Wright, if your daughter is upset by anyone’s treatment or behaviour (player or coach) which you believe to be unacceptable and which has an impact on your daughter's enjoyment of the club. Reach Mary Wright via email from the Committee section of the website.
Check the website and our Twitter feed on the Home Page for all important news and updates and we look forward to seeing many of you at our first training on Saturday 7th September.