Ipswich Hockey Association president Robert McLeod presents Reserve Grade player of the final Talicia Canty with her award on this year's grand final day.
Ipswich Hockey Association president Robert McLeod presents Reserve Grade player of the final Talicia Canty with her award on this year's grand final day. Contributed

Honest insight: New president shares learning experience

HAVING some unfinished business, Ipswich Hockey president Robert McLeod is prepared to continue his role next year.

That will be decided at the 2019 AGM set down for early February.

After his first full year as association president, McLeod offered an honest insight into his challenging position.

"Like anybody new coming in, I've made a couple of mistakes,'' he said.

"They haven't been major mistakes. I could have done things better and all that.

"It's been a real learning curve, in which I have actually learnt a hell of a lot.''

McLeod said he was considering running again "because I would like to finish a couple of things we started''.

They include major upgrade work on Ipswich Hockey's shed/office, the building of a new toilet block on the grass fields, and a renovation of the kitchen at the Raceview venue.

"I'd actually like to see that through,'' he said.

Having 49 years experience in the Railways and previously overseeing Ipswich's umpires, McLeod put his hand up early this year for the presidency.

"I enjoyed the challenge and I absolutely enjoy the job,'' he said. "It's a huge eye-opener, a big learning lesson, but towards the end, I think we all ran smoothly.

"On the whole, we had a successful year.''

He said highlights included restoring the A-Grade men's competition, seeing the Collegians club field new teams and the growth in junior playing numbers.

"Our future looks to be bright,'' the Eastern Heights resident said.

"I think the progress was very good.

"Just one more year and I'd like to finish a couple of projects off and see how we go.''

Other pleasing aspects this year included the continuation of Ipswich's Hookin2Hockey program, the success of umpires and finals where a number of clubs shared in junior and senior successes.

"Our junior base has increased again,'' he said.

"All our finals went off without a hitch and we didn't have too many problems there.

"It (the final representation) was spread right across and I think it was a very good season.''

Ipswich Hockey officials are already planning their next open day in February.

This year's annual event gave clubs a chance to showcase hockey and sign up new and established players.

"We're trying it (the next open day) a bit bigger, a bit more colourful,'' he said.

"You can only try these sort of things and we learn from our mistakes.''

Reflecting on his first year in charge, McLeod appreciated the support he received.

"I had a very good committee with me. Things went smoothly,'' he said.

"You get the every day one-off problems, which you solve on the spot. Apart from that, I think this year went quite smoothly.

"I don't think there were too many standout problems.''

As he offered to continue his work if re-elected, McLeod said policies covering representative hockey, the judiciary and management were being reviewed and updated.

Search on to replace Sam

ROBERT McLeod said applications were being sought to replace Ipswich Hockey regional coaching director Sam Spry, who is officially finishing this month after years of terrific service.

"That was the main disappointment of the whole year, the resignation of Sam,'' McLeod said. "She has done a fantastic job over the three and a half years.

"She's one of the guiding forces with the improvement in hockey overall in Ipswich.

"State wise, we are only one of two centres in the whole of Queensland that have actually improved in numbers from 2018.''



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