There have been a number of recent developments in the effort to secure a long-term home for the Knox Hockey Club (KHC) and I want to provide an update to all members and the community about what has been happening.

The Immediate Future

Last Friday, 27th April, was the official end date of the original agreement between the Knox City Council (KCC) and The Knox School (TKS). We have been working very closely with both parties to have a new agreement in place for the interim while a new location is planned and built, and although nothing has been officially signed yet, I have been assured that most if not all negotiations have been completed and the signing is a legal formality.

Drafts of the new agreement that we have seen, stipulate that KHC will continue to be based at The Knox School until at least October 2021. While that has not been signed yet, as a sign of good faith, we have received a written statement from the principal Allan Shaw expressing the school’s intention to continue to work together and support each other to achieve the best outcome for all involved. I can tell you that in my dealings with Allan on behalf of KHC, he has consistently demonstrated his support for our club and I would like to thank him for that.

Allan’s letter: 180426-Letter to Knox Hockey Club

I would also like to thank Councillor Jackson Taylor for his continued support of our cause and his efforts with KCC and the political landscape to ensure our plight is not forgotten.

Update 9/5/18: Cr Taylor has also reiterated his support for our club via his Facebook page.

Looking Further Ahead

With respect to longer term planning and strategies, there are a few things in motion that I can shine some light on at this point in time.

Regional Hockey Feasibility Study

As was communicated last year, there has been an independent study commissioned by the local councils of Knox, Maroondah, Monash, and Yarra Ranges to investigate the current demand and availability of hockey in the eastern metro area, particularly given the planned developments at TKS. The study is also supported by Hockey Victoria and ourselves, and a number of other hockey clubs were approached to be involved. It is due to be completed in June this year, and at that stage we will have a clearer picture of the options available to us.

Draft Knox Regional Sports Park Masterplan

You may have seen on our social media channels recently a link to a feedback survey run by KCC about a draft masterplan for the Knox Regional Sports Park – located on High Street Road next to Eastlink. Prior to the survey being made public we were approached by the council to provide feedback directly, and we will meet with them soon to get a deeper understanding of the master plan and discuss what options are available.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to fill out the survey, we have already had word from KCC that they hear and understand our concerns. They clarified that hockey has not been forgotten and that the published draft masterplan is subject to change given the scale of the proposed developments.

What We Need From You

As part of our efforts to secure a new home for the long term future of our club we will need to secure the support of various parties across the hockey and local communities. It is therefore imperative that anyone representing KHC abides by the club’s codes of conduct and other policies at all times, which can be found on our website in the Member Resources section. I encourage everyone to not only adhere to these policies, but also to speak up if you see someone else doing the wrong thing – we all need to support each other to get the best outcomes for the club.

I would like to remind all players and coaches that if you have any team or playing related issues please raise them with your section coordinator. If you are unsatisfied with the outcome the next step to contact our Head of Hockey Darren King. This hierarchy is in place to ensure on-field grievances are addressed promptly and allows the executive committee to focus on making the club run smoothly.

As announced in February, we want to increase our involvement with the local community over the next few years and to that end we have a put together a Community Awareness & Local Presence Subcommittee headed by our new Community Officer Ladan Whittaker. If you are interested in helping out on the subcommittee or even if you can volunteer some time to help with leaflet drops etc. please get in touch with Ladan.

On the subject of committee roles our Sponsorship Coordinator position is still vacant. If you think you can help, or want to know more, speak to myself or Vice President, Andy Wilkins.

A lot is happening on and off the field this year, and I am excited to see just how much we can achieve. As always, feel free to get in touch with me if you have any feedback or concerns about the club.

#GoKnox #OutWeComeToPlay

Brent Sullivan

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