OCHC PITCHIN UPDATE
In February 2018 we set out that we needed to raise £150,000 through a combination of reserves, Legacy Fund donations and most important of all fundraising by each of our senior teams and colts age groups. This is then our committed contribution to the Old Cranleighan Society who as owners of Thames Ditton have entered into the building contract.
The New Pitch
The main contract was awarded to Smiths after an extensive tendering process involving a huge amount of work by the Astro Committee and, in particular, Doug Dodson.
For those on our various social media platforms you will have seen that the big dig began on 2nd July 2018 and with the many updates that followed it showed the huge amount of work that took place. The very heavy waterlogged old pitch was lifted, the diggers removed the old sub base, new drainage was installed, knee friendly sub base laid and we finally ended up with a state a new state of the art blue pitch with an orange (rust to be precise) surround. It was a long process but we hit our handover date of 8th September.
The sub base was 20yrs old and its replacement was key to the project in order to provide a world class surface that provides stability for the future. The old pitch drainage was also found to be completely inadequate and explained why the pitch flooded so regularly.
We were also able to replace the fence which is much higher than the old one, thus creating a safe and secure compound for the pitch and its users. It also ensures we protect other TD users from low flying hockey balls. The fence is also there to protect the pitch from vandalism and misuse by unauthorised users. Happily the grandstand still sits within the fence and so uninterrupted views of the hockey pitch have be maintained for spectators.
Two new containers were also been installed at the far end of the grandstand providing dry storage for our ever increasing kit needs, especially for the goalkeepers. This also meant the demolition of the blue garage building to make way for the containers and new compound fencing. The car park layout close to the clubhouse was also re-configured to allow for dedicated bike racks to encourage players to cycle to their matches or training and to relieve pressure on the car park and on surrounding roads.
Our target was to raise £100,000 from fundraising so what did everyone get up to?
Our Barnstormers were by far the biggest fundraisers with their 275 mile bike ride to Den Bosch, Holland which has raised over £15,000 … thank you to each and every one of you. The Men’s 2s started us all off admirably in February 209 with their Alternative Race Night which raised their £2,500 contribution. The Vets lunch hosted by our Club President Tony Rogers raised a further £2,000 through the very generous donations of the many former players. The U6s and U7s reached a massive £2,700 with their sponsored dribble and Lend a Hand initiatives. Mentions must also go to the Boys U14s for their excellent car wash; U12 Girls for their 2hr dribble; U10s boys for getting Ivy Gate Boards up and around Thames Ditton; to the Ladies for their Cake Sales; to Rob Jonkergrouw for his World Cup sweepstake. The Summer Social in June also brought in another £3,000. Many thanks to those that helped on the stalls and made it a great day… U14 Girls; U14 Boys; U12 Girls; U8s; Ladies; Mens 3s/4s and Jay / Nikki from the Vamps for super Balloon modelling! The Vamps also ran a successful Quiz Night in September.
The Men’s 3s and 1s also require special mentioned for their huge raffle raising £5,000+. Items included Jimmy Choo shoes, tickets to sporting events and fine dinning experiences.
Our Club Captains initiated the Legacy Fund, also raised a further £25,000+ from members of the wider OC Family to help secure the future of our amazing club. Three levels of contribution were invited at £5,000, £2,500 and £500. All contributors now feature on a dedicated Legacy Board in the club house.
We are also continuing to work with corporate donors and sponsors to raise further funds and we thank them in advance for their valuable contributions.
2018 also happened to be the 90th Anniversary of the OCHC. Therefore we combined these celebrations with the pitch opening at the 90th Anniversary Ball on 8th September. We hosted 160+ past and present members plus non-members at a champagne reception in Thames Ditton for the pitch opening and delivered on our commitment to present a cheque to the Old Cranleighan Society of £100,000. The guests then travelled the short distance to Sandown Park racecourse for a wonderful black-tie event. This included a 3 course dinner, live music and an auction featuring sports memorabilia, holidays and that sort after car parking space at TD. The whole night raised just shy of £10,000 towards the OCHC pitch fund.
Do we hit our target?
It’s fair to say we were just shy of our £100,000 fundraising target but £90k+ in just 7 months all from the staggering efforts put in from our U6s through to our older Vets who no longer play is astonishing. We thank everyone for their various initiatives as without this money OCHC would not have had any additional support from the Old Cranleighan Society or Elmbridge Borough Council to relay the pitch. Without a new surface if is unsure how long OCHC would have been able to carry on as the club it is. It really was a club effort.