In December 2020 the Welsh Government published the updated Coronavirus Control Plan: Alert Levels in Wales. In response to this, Hockey Wales has reviewed all Covid-19 guidance and aligned it with the national alert level framework accordingly.
Hockey Wales will continue to provide updates based on Government guidance – please see below the current level and the implications this has for hockey in Wales.
For now, in-line with Hockey Wales guidance at Welsh Government alert level four (available here: https://www.hockeywales.org.uk/covid-19), organised outdoor and indoor hockey activities are not permitted. As soon as this guidance changes, updates will be communicated to our members via the usual channels.
As Christmas approaches, many members are carefully considering their engagement in Hockey related activity due to the implications a 14-day self-isolation period would have upon Christmas plans.
Hockey Wales recent update suggested “a shift in advice from Track and Trace as they are now stating that if someone tests positive, all players that have been involved in that game might be instructed to self-isolate depending on how much contact they have had with that player. We are advising COVID Officers, and in-turn, their clubs to follow track and trace instructions should they be informed of a positive case.”
We are aware that some teams in Wales have been advised to isolate as a result of a confirmed case. However, all prior interaction between C&MHC COVID officers and track and trace, including that in recent weeks, have not warranted the requirement for all individuals involved in games and training to self-isolate. This is primarily due to the information considered in the extensive risk assessment, risk mitigations and operational plans, reviewed, approved and monitored by the club and the University Health and Safety committee.
While this provides information related to past cases, it does not guarantee this approach for future interactions. Therefore, we continue to encourage members to opt-in or opt-out depending on their own personal position.
Please find below the guidance from Track and Trace stating who will classify as a contact: If someone is a positive case, they are being asked to isolate for 10 days. If someone is identified as a contact of a positive case, they are being asked to isolate for 14 days. In cases involving sports teams, the case is asked to provide the details of the covid-19 officer who is able to share track and trace information when contacted.
It is important to note that a contact is someone who: – you have had face to face contact with at a distance of less than 1 metre, had skin-to-skin physical contact with, or that you have coughed on, or had other forms of contact within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer – you have spent more than 15 minutes within two metres of – you have travelled in a car or other small vehicle with, or someone that has been in close proximity to you on public transport **Time frames are cumulative.
The club will continue to facilitate Hockey activity where possible for those who wish to opt-in and respect the decision without prejudice for those who opt-out.
Anecdotal example: Liaison with track and trace through confirmation of local positive cases.
Accurate and sustained adherence to track & trace and mitigation protocols throughout coaching staff, COVID wardens and training groups.
Measures to be adopted:
Therefore, the club, inclusive of BUCS and Senior environments (not including Junior Academy), will adopt the following measures to meet the aforementioned aims and progress in line with Welsh Government and Hockey Wales guidance.
Each isolated training group should consist of a maximum of 30 players
An entire match squad (e.g. for weekend friendlies) must consist of players from the same training group of 30
Players can be part of one Club training group and / or part of one BUCS training group. (e.g. a player may be part of BUCS 3s and Club 2s, or Club 3s and club 4, or solely part of either of those groups)
Player bubbles – each player will be subject to possible contact with a maximum of 30 people (one training group) or 60 people (two training groups) in a risk assessed and controlled training environment.
Players will contact 15 external (16 for EHL) players per game. Games will be conducted in line with NGB Guidance, Cardiff & Met HC Operational Plan and Facility Risk Assessments.
At no point in training or matches should one individual come in close contact with another individual for a prolonged period of time (e.g. less than two meters for 15 minutes)
It is acknowledged that some training environments may combine two teams, but that player group and therefore match day teams should not exceed a total of 30 players participating at any one time.
Where player movement is considered from one training / playing group to another (e.g. in an instance of progression from 4th to 3rd team), the approach adopted should ensure participation in the new training environment for a sustained period of time (e.g. one month or more) to reduce the risk to other players.
Students – Until now students have been a part of a student only training group (with the exception of BUCS L1) and have therefore only purchased BUCS membership. Students are now required to purchase club membership (student = £65) if they wish to access club hockey training environments and games.
Junior & Senior – For all junior and senior members who are yet to purchase membership, it is now required for you to access club training environments and games.
Thank for you for your ongoing patience, organisation, support and proactivity in contributing to a safe and supportive club environment.
September and October saw the return of all senior men, senior ladies, BUCS and junior sections to the pitch, participating in isolated groups of no more than 30 in keeping with NGB guidelines. It has been a rollercoaster ride, where we progressed to phase 3, regressed to phase 2 in line with the local lockdown, and then returned to phase 3 prior to the fire-break.
During this time, the club managed a large number of achievements, including the commencement of the national league, men’s club training recorded attendance in excess of the previous season, ladies’ senior training groups totalled in excess of 100 members and student training groups totalled 130+. Furthermore, the junior academy recommenced, with a total of 70+ juniors attending weekly. The total of 350+ players participating across the environment means that generally, we have seen an increase in people attending hockey sessions to date, which is fantastic news! We acknowledge this is the start of a long and likely turbulent season, and we hope you will share in our patience, remain connected, and contribute to Cardiff & Met HC as we work through circumstances as they arise. The next step is to turn training session attendance into membership, committing to our Club for the 2020-21.
Away from the pitch, we were able to launch the club strategy for 2020-25 and Cardiff’s 10Cs – a set of core values providing an unwavering guide to help Cardiff & Met HC determine the right path to fulfil its vision, purpose and objectives. These are now also available to view on the website. We also launched our re-brand – a revitalised, refreshed and realigned visual presence across our platforms in keeping with the traditions of Roath Hockey Club and Cardiff Athletic Club, while embracing changes to the club in recent years. We continue with this work, seeking to develop the long-lost club handbook for each member that outlines the cornerstones of our club, its governance and our proud history. Further, as the club grows and sections align, we aim to consider whether the existing committee structures are fit for purpose and operating efficiently to deliver our club strategy and operations.
Despite the progress throughout September and October, we enter November with no on-pitch hockey activity, but are hopeful that following the 9th November we can pick up where we left off. As coaches, players and committees we are now more familiar with the challenges we face at an operational and strategic level, and remain committed to ensuring safe participation, value for membership and training fit to prepare you for league games.
We are awaiting Welsh Government and Hockey Wales guidance to allow participation in the West Leagues (Men) when they recommence, as well as information regarding the commencement of the South Wales Women’s League in January. Hockey Wales’ competitions committee have confirmed the intention for competitions as follows:
Championship knock-out competition planned
Masters to be advised
U18s knock-out competition planned
U15s knock-out competition planned
U15 Girls Plate to be advised
U13s to be advised
U11s to be advised
While we await updates and life beyond the fire-break, stay in contact with your coaches and keep an eye on social media to ensure you are informed ahead of the recommencement of club activity from the 9th November, NGB permitting. Thank you for your ongoing understanding, contribution and commitment to the club. Stay safe, stay healthy and connected to those around you as we eagerly anticipate the return of Hockey.
It has been fantastic to see 120+ individuals participating in hockey related activity during the month of September. October is set to provide some further challenges for players, coaches, officials and the club environment as a whole, where we welcome the combination of new and returning members plus a local lockdown. Nevertheless, it is exciting that our membership has an opportunity to grow as we open our arms to new student and non-student members for the 2020 season. In order to meet the challenges presented, the club seeks to make decisions based on the following principles in order of priority.
To ensure all returning and new members are safe whilst participating in club activities
To ensure all members have access to at least one hockey session per week
To ensure you receive value for your membership whilst games are not permitted in Wales by delivering high-quality training environments
To prepare you well for the resumption of friendly and league fixtures when guidance allows
The existing restrictions on hockey, as set by the Welsh Government and Hockey Wales dictate that we must adapt our training model for the near future, ensuring individuals coach, train and play within an isolated group. This is challenging for a club of our nature with multiple interconnected hockey environments, however the coaching team are pleased to confirm a model that aims to suit the large majority of club members, accepting there may some individual cases that need careful discussion. Club & BUCS hockey will adopt the following structure for the near future to meet COVID guidance, promote safety and satisfy the aforementioned aims.
Tuesday 20.00, Thursday 19.30, WIS
BUCS M1 (C&M M2)
Monday 16.30 – 18.00 , Cyncoed
Thursday 18.00 – 19.00, WIS
Thursday 18.00 – 19.00, WIS
Thursday 18.00 – 19.00, WIS
Wednesday 18.30 – 19.30, Cyncoed
*Note – groupings are flexible & to be confirmed once we have a complete picture from new and returning members.
C&M L1 (incl BUCS 1)
Monday 19.45 – 21.00, Cyncoed
C&M L2 (incl BUCS 1/2)
Monday 18.15 – 19.30, Cyncoed
C&M L3 (Incl BUCS 2)
Thursday, 19.45 – 21.00, Cyncoed
C&M L4 + New members (Incl BUCS 2/3/4)
Thursday 18.15 – 19.30, Cyncoed
BUCS Training group 1
Wednesday 16.00 – 17.00 Cyncoed
BUCS Training group 2
Wednesday 17.15 – 18.15, Cyncoed
*Note – groupings are flexible & to be confirmed once we have a complete picture from new and returning members.
For existing club members, training times and locations will not change dramatically and new club members will be welcomed into the appropriate training environment. New and returning BUCS ladies members will be required to choose whether they wish to participate in a BUCS or Club training environment, while new and returning BUCS Men’s players will be grouped as BUCS only with the opportunity to move to a club group should they wish. The noted difference reflects current pitch availability and existing Mens & Ladies section structures. Unfortunately, current COVID guidance does not permit players to become part of more than one isolated training group of 30 players.
The Junior Academy are continuing to work towards a return to play for the 20/21 season. Sessions are to begin sessions w.b. 28th of September. A noticeable modification to the Academy will be the change of day from Tuesday to a Friday evening. The change reflects a requirement to accommodate cross-sport participation for the Students of the University. We hope the change is positive as several participants often have other commitments on a Tuesday evening.
Participation in the South Wales Youth Association is still a priority and intentions are to begin fixtures in January, however, this could change due to Government and NGB guidelines.
You can register your interest via the link below.
The above schedule, to commence w.b. Monday 5th October, will take time to organise as we gather information from existing and new members, so please be patient as coaches and committee’s work through the admin associated with managing such a large player group. As details are confirmed, coaches will contact individuals to ensure everyone has the necessary information. In the meantime, we ask that players and officials are proactive in purchasing their membership if they are yet to do so.
Club members are to purchase club membership by completing the membership form (available here) and transferring funds to the club account.
Club Adult: £130
Club Junior: £35
New and returning students who are yet to purchase membership are encouraged to purchase in-line with the training group you are a joining. (i.e Club or BUCS). Those who have already purchased memberships for club and/or BUCS environments, thank you! Further details for student members to be provided in the BUCS welcome meeting to be held w.b. October 5th.
Club Student: £65
BUCS (New incl playing kit): £90+ SU sport membership
Booking information sent directly to those who have expressed interest.
As Cardiff enters a local lockdown, all Club and BUCS activities are to return to Phase 2, non-contact training. Coaches will operate within guidance ensuring a safe environment adhering to pre training COVID checks, and track and trace protocols.
I believe I was 8 years old when I attended my first training session for Cardiff Hockey Club – the sessions were delivered by a fantastic man called Andy Griffiths, who also got my brother into hockey prior to me. As I progressed out of the youth section, I was guided into the lower level men’s teams at around 13 years old, and progressed to debut for the 1st team aged 14 or 15. Prior to becoming a regular in the 1st team, I played a couple of years in the 2nd team in my developmental years alongside current Men’s 1st team coach Walid Abdo. I believe Walid was player-coach at that time and many people who cared about my development as a home-grown player supported me during this period.
Upon leaving Fitzalan School and earning a regular 1st team spot, I really struggled to break through as a starting player for quite some time. I had potential, but it was difficult to achieve consistency that held me back in the adult game. This element of my game became a real focus for me. It took commitment, hard work and lots of practice to achieve, but the reward came in increasingly regular 1st team appearances. Following a hard-earned 1st team breakthrough, I enrolled onto an undergraduate degree at Cardiff Met University, which was my first taste of a performance hockey programme and helped me learn about the commitment required on aspects of training and performance that sit outside of the hockey pitch. Playing 2 games a week, 4-5 hours of pitch training, plus gym work and performance analysis, all accelerated my development. This helped with my physical state dramatically, which gave me the attributes to be considered for the Welsh Men’s selection.
Whilst studying and competing at university, I made my debut for Wales Men in the summer of 2014, aged 19. We had many new members and young players breaking into the squad alongside me, it was a big shift in the system and I learnt a lot about the physicality of the international game by well-established senior internationals. As I established myself in the years following my debut, the team developed a strong connection between the players, support staff and coaches. This began to show throughout major tournaments, as we achieved back-to-back promotions from Eurohockey Nations Championship III to the Eurohockey Championships in Antwerp 2019 – the difference 3 years makes! Our hard-earned international success is what gave me the opportunities to make hockey a profession for me, as it will with many others after me who wish to do so.
I’ve learnt an incredible amount whilst living in the Netherlands, both on and off the pitch. I suppose in relation to on-pitch development, my technical ability has come on leaps and bounds, and that just comes down to a considerable amount of coaching and time spent at the pitch. Probably playing against some of the best players in the world has helped my game, as well as exposed it! The time and detail that goes into the sport there is phenomenal though – very professional and highly participated. I remember when I first began to coach in NL, there were hundreds of kids across a few pitches, many as young as 5 years old.
The way of life there is slightly different – a bit slower and more measured in comparison to the UK. The Dutch are an intelligent lot and they are not shy to say what they think – I became accustomed to that. They are great people, and I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed my time there, and how much I learnt. I had the great privilege in my final 2 years in NL of playing for HC Tilburg, being coached by Jeroen Delmee (5x Olympian). That’s a real eye-opener to the amount of commitment that the Dutch give to the sport there. I promise if you spend a day at the pitch with him, you will learn a month’s worth of knowledge.
Hockey as a profession leaves a lot of time for thought, which allowed me to realise it was time for something different. I thoroughly enjoyed my years in the Netherlands, but at the beginning of the 19/20 season, I had a thought that this may be my final year abroad and did not wish to spoil it by forcing another. I have been away from Cardiff & Met HC for 4 years now, and it is great to see they’re still in a great position.
It feels good to be back in Cardiff – it will be a change of lifestyle to what I had in NL but I am looking forward to it. It will be a different challenge for me coming back, and again I’ll have a different role in the team. Some of the guys are still here from when I left, and I’m sure that same tight-knit team feel is still there and besides hockey, Cardiff is just a great city to be in! I hope I can contribute enough to help C&M HC gain promotion but I know it’s not that easy. I would love to see this club in the Premier Division in the next year or two, and really establish ourselves as a Prem side in the years following promotion. I will do my bit to help improve the individuals around me that will help to improve us as a team. I know the squad is younger than when I was last here, so it will be great to see what has changed and how the squad will progress.
As a side note, it is also great to see the youth system running smoothly as well, so to maintain and build that in the direction that it’s currently going would be beneficial to all in years to come. I hope to see many of them throughout the year, whether that is alongside me on the pitch, or pitch side to watch! You learn fast being a young player on the pitch, and also learn plenty by just watching on the side-line. It also shows that you’re interested and keen to be involved; people will take note of that and be more aware of you coming through the ranks to support your future success.
Throughout July and August, the club has been working hard to return our members to Hockey activity in a safe and supportive manner. At present the Men’s Performance Squad are back into training at Sport Wales, operating at phase 4 of the RTP Model for Hockey in Wales. The quantity of international athletes has resulted in special dispensation by Hockey Wales to return to competitive training and match play from September onwards.
Further progress in facility provision at Sport Wales, means that the Men’s Club training session, for players in M2 – M5 returns on Thursday 3rd September, from 18.00. The return to play coordinated by Men’s COVID-19 Officer Paul Edwards and newly appointed Men’s Club Coach Jack Rhys-Brown, has yielded great interest and is likely to see its largest attendance in many years, which is great news for the men’s senior club teams.
At Cyncoed, the Club has been liaising with Cardiff Met Sport to facilitate a slightly more complicated RTP process, dictated by the Cardiff Met Sport and Cardiff Met University. In late august an initial group of 30 Ladies’ players were able to return to play on Monday and Thursday evenings. Well-organised and implemented safety procedures by Cardiff Met Sport have enabled an additional group of 30 ladies’ players to return to training. Throughout September a training group of 30 will participate on Mondays (primarily L1 & 2), followed by a separate 30-strong player group on Thursdays (L3, 4 & New members). As the University confirms facility requirements of the academic timetable and student sport, we anticipate a further modification to the training schedule at the end of September.
BUCS pre-season begins for the Men’s and Ladies’ performance squads in September, with Head Coaches Ieuan Davies and Alf Dinnie preparing the players for the first season where both Men’s and Ladies’ teams compete in the National Premier League. Both squads will benefit from the healthy intake of first year students who will reinforce the quality and depth of the squads. Meanwhile, we eagerly anticipate the return of the wider BUCS players late in September and into October as fresher’s week commences on Monday 28th September.
Work continues to return the Junior Academy to training in September/October as staff members work through operational plans, risk assessments, staff training and liaise with VCEG & the University Health and Safety committee, who are implementing a phased return to Campus. We would like to reinforce that we are taking necessary steps in conjunction with Cardiff Met Sport to get the Junior Academy back on the pitch as part of a safe campus environment and will update our members as progress is made.
We are pleased that we have been able to facilitate a return to hockey for around 180 members in September, which comprises the vast majority of our membership. As government, NGB and facility guidance changes over coming weeks and students return, you may experience some minor changes in session times, duration, activities permitted and quantity of participants in attendance. This may result in further access to training and competition environments or backwards steps if these are necessary to keep our community safe.
An update from Hockey Wales has advised of a move to ‘PHASE 3 adapted contact hockey activities’. Guidance for clubs, coaches and players can be found using the below links. Meanwhile, the Welsh Government continues to dictate a maximum of 30 persons, inclusive of staff and coaches per training session.
The overarching intention remains to ensure a safe return to play for all members in line with current and changing NGB, Government and facility provider guidance, which may result in some minor changes in training day, time and duration to provide pitch access for all members. Following this, coaches will be working to ensure appropriate preparations for respective league seasons. At present, league seasons are due to start as outlined in the August RTP Update.
We appreciate and thank you for your ongoing patience, support and proactivity in adopting the new and necessary steps to allow a safe return to Hockey. If you are interested in helping the club to continue the return to play, progress towards competitive fixtures or lend a hand with general day-to-day tasks associated with club life, please do contact us, as we would love you to be involved.
Meanwhile we hope you are all safe, maintaining your personal health & fitness and enjoying being back on the pitch.
As we progress into august and as things move towards a new normal, we hope you are keeping safe and well whilst adapting to the updates and changes taking place in society. Return to play guidance by Hockey Wales locates us in Phase 2: non-contact socially distanced hockey activity with a maximum of 30 people on a pitch at once. At first glance implementing this may appear straightforward however in working with Cardiff Met Sport and Sport Wales as facility providers, there are a large number of considerations that come with complex organisation of their nature. At the present time, the Club committee and appointed COVID-19 officers are working through government, NGB and facility guidance to create a safe, phased return to training for Senior, Junior and BUCS environments. To echo the recent words of the CEO for Sport Wales: “We are asking club members to remain patient as there are several challenges still to overcome. Particularly the sign-off and implementation of detailed operational procedures and risk mitigation plans that NGBs, the Club and facility providers are required to have in place.”
In working closely with facility providers we have been able to facilitate a return to training for the Mens and Ladies performance squads during August, under a closely monitored environment to ensure the safety of the players, staff, facility providers and those who they are in close contact with on a daily basis. Should initial closely monitored steps prove positive, the intention is to return BUCS Performance squads and C&MHC club training from September, pending approval of required documentation, protocols and providing government and NGB guidance permits. There is currently no anticipated date for the return of the Junior academy, an update will be provided once we receive communication from Cardiff Met Sport.
We will endeavour to update club members on a regular basis via team coaches, remaining committed to providing all members with an opportunity to get back on the pitch and experience the benefits of playing Hockey at Cardiff & Met HC.
While the work continues, we eagerly anticipate seeing you all back on the pitch soon as is possible and recommend club members take time to read the guidance provided by Hockey Wales.