2018 – Our Year of Awareness
It has been a busy year. We contacted 65 Sports Clubs in the town – it was really heartening to realise that we had so many. A few, for one reason or another, said that they would not be able to take part, but 46 Clubs have signed up and we have discussed their plans with them. We still have to arrange discussions with a few Clubs, especially some Football and Martial Arts Clubs, so we are hoping to involve well over 50 Clubs spanning 24 sports.
We have also been working with GLL/Better because many events will be held at Gosling Sports Park and Stanborough Lakes and the other sites that they manage and also with Active Training World who organise several Running events in the town. To complete the picture we are working with the Secondary and Primary Schools and also the various Youth organisations, such as the Scouts, Guides and the Cadet groups.
This means that we hope to involve well over 8,000 people of all ages in sporting activities, in one way or another, during 2020.
Gosling Sports Hall
The announcement by GLL that they plan to close the Sports Hall on the 31st March has, naturally, caused great concern for the Clubs and others who use the Hall, most particularly Badminton, Squash and Judo. As this Newsletter is being written there is no agreed outcome, but a Save Gosling Sports Hall group has been formed and they are having discussions with GLL to see what alternative arrangements can be put in place. Clubs are also talking to GLL about their own arrangements. The Centenary Sports Group are involved in this and we are doing our best to find a solution.
Clubs and Others Working Together
A really pleasing outcome of our discussions with Clubs has been the way in which many of you have, some for the first time, decided that inter-club competitions are a good way of celebrating the Centenary. Sports such as Tennis, Bowls, Cricket and Golf are really setting a trend that we hope will continue in future years.
There is also a real desire for Clubs to forge links with Schools so that youngsters can benefit from all the sporting facilities available, including, where possible, coaching. There are many issues to consider about this, but it is something that the Centenary Sports Group are well positioned to help with. More on this in future Newsletters.
So, to 2019 – Our Year of Planning
We will be completing our initial meetings with Clubs and continuing discussions with every Club to establish just what, when and where events will take place and how we can make each of them a success. The key to success will be the enthusiasm of Clubs and their members and we know form our discussions that we will be able to count on this. At the Centenary centre we will do our bit by offering advice and guidance where needed, coordinating wherever possible, publicising what is planned, helping to find new/bigger facilities for some events and, very importantly, providing funding for trophies, medals and commemorative items such as tee-shirts.
You will, we hope, have become familiar with our Sports logo. This will be an ever-present feature from now on, but we will also have another, smaller logo which will show up on our website with continued, updated, information – see the link above.
Our Week of Sport
Saturday 27th June to Sunday 4th July
This is now shaping up. Events for all Sports will take place throughout the year but we will have some large events during this week. After two years’ absence, it is looking likely that the town will again be able to host a big cycling event, the WGC Petit Tour, on Sunday 28th June. As usual this will be in the town centre with Parkway as the main cycling track and many ancillary activities and stalls in and around Howardsgate. We hope that this will create an opportunity for all Clubs to show off their wares and attract new members.
On Saturday 4th July GLL/Better will run an Open Day/Come and Try It event at their various sites, and on Sunday 5th July there will be Dragonboat racing at Stanborough Lakes. Our aim here is for teams from local Clubs, Businesses, Youth Organisations and so on to take part. More details in future Newsletters.
Between these dates each school will have their own Sports Week and we hope that there will be many activities and competitions with a Centenary theme, perhaps involving key numbers like 2020 and 100?
We all want to be able to look back after occasions like this and enjoy the memories, and many Clubs have suggested ways in which this can be done. This does, of course, apply to all Centenary events, so discussions are underway to see what is possible. Any budding writers, photographers and editors out there who have some ideas about this, please step forward.
As you know, funding for this, and for the Centenary as a whole, does not come cheap. The Centenary Fundraisers have been working for a while now to attract sponsors, large and small, who are willing to help out with ready cash. The results have been positive and we are in contact with several organisations and local firms whose involvement will be very welcome and very publically recognised. We are also testing the water here to see if some long-term sponsorship for sports and Clubs will be possible, thus giving a very worthwhile legacy for the town.
So, Who Is Doing What – an update?
Suggested events and activities include:
- Badminton (Welwyn Hatfield Community Badminton Network, DK Way Academy, GSP Badminton and Knebworth Inclusive Badminton Club) – an Adult and Junior Tournament and other events
- Bowls (Welwyn Garden City, Parkside, Welwyn, Shire Park, Hatfield and De Havilland Clubs) – Open Days and an inter-club tournament
- Bridge (Welwyn Garden City Bridge Club) – a Safari event
- Cricket (Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield Hyde and Hatfield & Crusaders Clubs) – possibly a centenary match against Letchworth and a competition between all the Clubs
- Cycling (Welwyn Hatfield Cycling and Welwyn Wheelers) – the Petit Tour racing event in the Town Centre, a “Come and Try It” session and, possibly a social cycling tour
- Golf (Welwyn Garden City, Mill Green, Panshanger and Brocket Hall Clubs) – An inter-Club tournament, Open Days and youth competitions
- Hockey (Welwyn Garden City Hockey Club) – a tournament
- Lacrosse (Welwyn Warriors Lacrosse Club) – a junior tournament and a Centenary match
- Martial Arts (Bushin Martial Arts, Welwyn Garden City Judo and Kamaete School of Karate Clubs) – various competitions and Open Days
- Netball (SAS Netball Club and Welwyn Hatfield Netball League) – Senior and Junior tournaments linked to a Festival of Netball
- Orienteering (Herts Orienteering Club) – a ‘Come and Try it’ event and several competitions
- Rugby (Welwyn Rugby Club) – a Touch Rugby competition and a Family Fun Day
- Running and Triathlon (Garden City Runners) – several events ranging from a Half Marathon, through 10k and 5k runs and a Family 2K run as well as races around the track at Gosling
- Sailing – (Welwyn Garden City Sailing Club) – a Regatta at Stanborough Lakes
- Squash (Gosling Squash Club) – a Senior and Junior tournament
- Swimming (Welwyn Garden Swimming Club) – a Gala and some events based around Lifesaving
- Table Tennis (Spins, Orchard and Digswell Table Tennis Clubs) – a tournament
- Tennis (Dellcott, Orchard, Digswell and Gosling Tennis Clubs) – inter-club tournament, an exhibition match and Open Days
- Volleyball (Welwyn Hatfield Volleyball Club) – a tournament
- Yoga – public demonstration and a come-and-try it session
- Youth Football (Panshanger Football Club) – several events including the Summer Football Tournament at Panshanger Football Club with a Centenary Fair Play award.
So, if your Sport or Club is not involved yet, or you would simply like to know more, please get in touch with us by using the links on the first page.
We encourage you to find out more about the Centenary plans as a whole by looking at the main website: http://www.wgccentenary.org/ and signing up to the mailing list.