Whilst the on-field Season has come to a very disappointing end for all involved, I would just like to acknowledge and reflect on the really positive achievements our club has made during another extremely difficult year.
From an on-field perspective, our player registrations exceeded 150 players for our 4 teams which was the highest for many years. Our Under 19s and Hearts team had well over 30 players each which is extremely pleasing for the overall health of the club and in season 2022, the Club is striving to field a second Hearts team so we can further refine our football programme to better cater to the varying experience levels within our female programme.
Our Under 19s and Men’s Senior teams had very successful seasons and were well placed to be serious premiership contenders if finals were able to be played. Our Hearts were severely impacted by VAFA regrading issues and resulting inequitable number of byes but only just finished outside of top 4 which is a great credit to them given the difficulties thrown their way. Our Men’s reserves improved significantly and were close in many games to clutching an historic victory.
Off the field it has also been a very successful year. Through the hard work and persistence of our Committee and volunteers, the Club has:
Successfully rejuvenated the Clubs committee and structure which has facilitated additional personnel to helped drive the club forward this year. Particular thanks to our Strategic Planning Committee of David Lappage, Matthew Armstrong, Andrew Bonwick, Wayne Ozwald, David Connell and Andrew Bonwick.
Worked extensively amongst all teams around the values we wish our ongoing club culture to be based.
Significantly upgraded the Clubs website and associated Communication platform which enables higher quality communications, improved advertising for sponsors, payment portal and a fantastic cache of historical records. Special thanks to Jordan Shanks for website design, Mim Waterman with Communications, David Southgate for historical records and the Old Haileyburians Association for financial support of the project.
Through the work of Dave Connell and Matthew Armstrong, we have been able to attract wonderful sponsors and partners to our Club despite very challenging financial times. Please see our sponsors below and look to support then as well as they have supported us.
Achieved a significant step forward towards achieving our One Club policy with our Hearts team feeling much more part of the club these days. Our 3 female Committee members of Mim Waterman, Gab Suriano and Anita Frawley were instrumental in lifting Club focus in this important ongoing area
Prioritised attention on player wellbeing and mental health initiatives including implementing Tackle your Feelings and Ahead of the Game programmes – the latter specifically aimed at Under 19 men which is a particularly at-risk group given relative emotional immaturity and life experience compared to our older men and women members. A big thanks to Pat O’Leary, Anita and Chelsea Frawley for your help in improving our club in this vital area and most importantly, thank you to our club members who consistently have shown a high level of care for those around them. Whilst at times we couldn’t play football, the approach from all has helped everyone stay connected and cope with life’s current challenges.
Whilst all our plans around social events were thwarted by COVID-19 this year, we are planning to have an outdoor barefoot bowls event for players, sponsors and supporters when practical. We would love to see you there.
Whilst season 2021 has been very challenging, our Committee is very proud of the way our players, coaches, medical staff, sponsors and volunteers have met the challenges thrown our way.
Planning is well under way for season 2022 and we would love to have your continued support.
Stay safe, continue to look after those around you and we look forward to seeing you in person at the footy in next season.