Hethersett and The Meltons Sports Association
Report March 2011
The inaugural meeting of
Hethersett and the Meltons Sports Association (HaMSA) was held at Park Farm
Hotel on February 28th, 2011, and was attended by 26 people
representing sport, fitness and environmental issues. Some of those present
were fitness experts working within the sports field.
At the end of the meeting I
asked for feedback and would like to thank all those who have sent me comments
which form the basis of this report which I hope will outline a path for the
way forward for the association.
The comments I have
received are very positive and it is this positivity I would like to see taken
forward into the future. One of the most interesting points from the meeting
was a willingness for clubs to share and work together for improved facilities
and a number of suggestions have already been made.
A small group from HaMSA
will be meeting before the next full meeting to come up with a proposed
constitution which I am hoping to have with you in time for the next
get-together which will be at Hethersett Social Club on Monday May 9th
at 7.30 p.m.
In the report below I have
left many of the comments unattributable in order to give a better and more
thematic feel to them. Where relevant, however, I have attached names to
General View of the
Comments on the meeting
overall were positive and showed a great willingness amongst clubs and
individuals to work together to
1/ Improve facilities
2/ Promote sport and fitness in Hethersett and the Meltons
3/ Organise an entry into
the South Norfolk Village Sports
Comments received about the
meeting itself included the following:
thought the meeting was well attended and most people made positive comments
& contributions. I feel a little more confident about the future of sport
in our village.
thought last night's meeting was useful and effective, and good to see almost
everyone having something to contribute.
Last night’s meeting
worked out exactly how I had hoped – thank you for inviting me.
well run and attended meeting.
can definitely see a need and a future for the proposed association
thought it was a good exchange of views and lots of positives which can be
consolidated next meeting.
a good meeting, plenty of exchange of information and it seemed to bowl along
OK. Quite a wide spread of interests and I’m not quite sure how all the
clubs could integrate, but I do think that there is potential for all the
clubs using the Memorial Park to possibly work together. To this end as I
stated an annual open day, possibly in April could be advantageous in
spreading the word for sport. Anyway well done in initiating the project and I
look forward to the next session.
the meeting was well attended and most people made positive comments &
contributions. I feel a little more confident about the future of sport in our
One of the primary aims of
the association over the next months and (hopefully) years is to look at
improving facilities. This could pose to be a stumbling block as I am aware
that facilities amongst the sports clubs represented range from the extremely
good to the inadequate, but it is important that as supporters of sport and
fitness we take a holistic approach to this subject.
Some of the early
suggestions have included
There was also a
suggestion that Hethersett High School is looking for grants to improve
its sporting facilities and this could be an area to be explored. To this
end we will extend a further invitation to the high school for
representation at our next meeting.
Our District Councillor
David Bills came up with the following after talking with chairman of
Crusaders Rugby Club Nick Kingsley:
“I have been talking with Nick Kingsley Chairman of the Crusaders Rugby Club Little Melton about suitable grounds for all weather 3G grounds. He is keen to put forward the site at the Rugby club as he feels that the facilities already there, lighting changing rooms toilets etc. would be beneficial to users of such a facility. They own the land and as he says there would be no problem with planning permission. As such would you take this as official offer which he would like considered.
The club wants to promote closer relations with Hethersett and they see this as a way. I have subsequently received a further e-mail from Nick – again offering facilities - and I will place this on the agenda for our next meeting.
In addition Hethersett Junior School PTA is currently raising funds for an all weather facility at the school and we could look into the possibility of this becoming a community resource.
Other comments regarding facilities included the following:
think the possibility of a floodlight multi-sport facility on a couple of
sites worthy of further investigation?
Setting Up of New
There seems to be a
willingness, particularly amongst the environmental lobby to set up new
social fitness groups and I would see this as an important addition to the
work of the association.
Gary Wyatt, who is a
leading member of Hethersett Environmental Action Team (HEAT), and also a
parish councillor had the following to say:
a personal note, I would also like to promote individual sporting/fitness
activities such as cycling, running and walking. These can help enormously
with fitness at minimal cost (e.g. a pair of walking boots or running
shoes), with no structure or organisation needed, and without the expense
of facilities such as pitches and sports halls, or expensive gym
memberships. If anyone has reservations about doing these activities alone
then cycling or walking groups could be formed; such groups do exist
already on an informal basis.
I have also received a
request to look into the possibility of setting up
“walking buses” whereby school children meet at a specific
place and are accompanied by volunteers to school on foot.
As petrol prices
increase I believe our association can play a vital part in encouraging
people to walk within the village rather than using vehicles (see also
One of the primary aims
of the association is to improve and enhance the environment by working
together with HEAT and also encouraging the public to walk instead of
using vehicles. We should also look to set up social
Gary Wyatt explained
the raison d’etre of HEAT:
is a long-standing committee of the parish council which aims to make the
village 'cleaner and greener' around three themes: The
village environment, Use of
resources and Nature &
Wildlife. We organise open gardens, litter picks, planting, village
walks, bird and hedgehog boxes, and also promote energy conservation
measures. We publish a 'green' newsletter and hold public information
days. More information can be found at: www.greenhethersett.org.uk.
As part of these activities, we obviously encourage fitness and the
'outdoor life', and to this end we have published a series of walking
routes in our regular newsletter distributed to all households in
Hethersett. We also encourage cycling and walking in general, not just as
a recreational activity, in order to reduce traffic problems in the
village, especially in connection with the 'school run'. Thus we are keen
to see that the new association is successful, especially if it helps to
promote the aims of HEAT, and we would like to be represented.
Two major aims of the
association over the remainder of 2011 will be:
There are a number of
ways this can be achieved
Comments made regarding
publicity/recognition included the following from Peter Hoult which also
touched on the subject of funding.
think it is important to get a decent colour brochure/pamphlet with all
info on it ready and out for the village games. I am sure local
businessmen involved in sports will bear the cost of production and
printing (distribution I think should be done in a co-ordinated way by the
club members themselves). A selection of appropriate business adverts
dotted about should bring in £500 or more. Fund raising, whilst raising
awareness is not going to achieve much else. We could extend our
invitation to meetings to include fitness clubs. We could also design
HaMSA car window stickers, flags, quick cheap flyers etc plus a decent
need a levy from all clubs to produce a small publication - hopefully an
eyecatching colour one sent out to all residents yearly
Representation at Next Meeting
of the comments received on this included:
might be an idea to invite the girl and boy sports prefects from
Hethersett High School to the next meeting in the absence of teaching
staff so that we have "youth involvement?" – (Note I have
invited the Head Girl from Hethersett High School to our next meeting).
suspect your attendees may well be cut in half by next meeting so perhaps
it would be prudent to approach the individuals/organisations/facilities
who were not there last night.
number of professional practitioners attended the meeting. Sports physio
Colin McDermott sent in the following comments – offering his service to
members of the Association:
As I said before, without
my treating a wide and varied range of people I won’t be able to build
on my knowledge, add to my skills and extend myself and so I’m prepared
to work with either individuals, various coaches or clubs in an attempt to
treat those with sporting injuries, offer some sort of structured recovery
programme and encouragement (to maintain a person’s fitness and skill)
and vacillate their return to the pitch or race track. Perhaps install in
those concerned the critical importance of returning to their chosen
activity in an incremental, orderly fashion - only when the healing/repair
has properly occurred (although the football coaches already do this but
young footballers don’t always listen). Plus (depending on the activity)
to encourage the wisdom of warming up and stretching in order to help
prevent injuries and enable the participant to gain the most from the
match or race and indeed a warm down after the activity. I’ve already
met too many footballer players who (already in their youth) regularly
incur muscle damage or their muscles are much too tense leaving them
vulnerable to ruptures. Or sadly are already carrying long term chronic
damage in their ankles and knees.
Do We Meet?
Farm Hotel was an excellent venue for our first meeting. Our next will be
held at Hethersett Social Club. There are other venues we could travel to.
So we need to decide whether to stick to one central venue or to travel
round to various clubs covered by the association and which have their own
facilities. I think the essence of our decision is whether the venues
charge or not. Park Farm and The Social Club both offer us facilities free
of charge – something that is greatly appreciated.
comment made on this matter was:
was good of Richard Bond (Park Farm) to look after you and I feel that
those facilities fitted beautifully - I see no reason to change this venue
although the social club allows variation, (we shall see) and perhaps they
may play a bigger role in sport promotion in the future if included
constitution will look at the question of finance and the need for a bank
account and treasurer. We already have a very generous cheque for £100
from Mike Jessop which can be
put towards promotional material.
proposed constitution will be drafted in time for discussion at our next
meeting when it is hoped that sports clubs, fitness groups and individuals
will formally sign up to become members of HaMSA.
the Association All Inclusive
need to consider how we make the association open to all, how we identify
various sports and fitness groups not currently represented, how wide we
open our membership and how we communicate. A comment on membership was as
a committed forceful association to hold together, however, each and every
interest must be concerned about 'WHAT'S IN IT FOR THEM?' We need to get
each representative to keep being involved in the hope of benefiting their
particular cause in whatever way:-
Promotion of minority interests - walking, jogging is very important
The coming Village
sports day will enhance what we do and also sport will receive a huge
boost through the coming Olympic weekend in July.
There will also be a
come and try taster event in the grounds of Hethersett High School in May.
Other suggestions for events included the following:
ago I had thought of having an annual 'beating of the bounds' of
Hethersett whereby all sports/leisure interests could walk the actual
parish boundary if that is possible, as an extra sports/village 'fun'
event (with refreshments etc).
Peter Steward – March