The 2020 AGM was held virtually on October 21, 2020. Notes from OMLA President, Simon Hames are below;
Good evening everyone, welcome to the first ever OMLA virtual AGM.
I would like to thank the current board for their efforts over the past year. Due to work and personal commitments we had 2 notable board members resign early in the season – Jane Chen and Kerry Reinke. We would like to to thank them for their contributions over the past several years. Both Jane and Kerry remained on board until we were able to fill their positions with other candidates. We would also like to thank Katherine Dawick, a long standing member of the Board for her time and energy she brought to the OMLA.
The 2020 season started off strong with the adoption of our new logo. Registration for boys rep was on par with past seasons. 10 Rep teams formed and ready to play in Boys Box and 12 Boys Field teams with the addition of 2 U19 teams were ready to hit the turf. The OLA granted Oakville the Bud Donovan as a C/D tournament for July 3-5 and all divisions were quickly filling up.
Several very successful Try Lax sessions were held and with the support of Jamie Dawick and the Toronto Rock, participants received free tickets to Toronto Rock games. Excitement for a great season was certainly building.
Lady Hawks were rolling into their 10th anniversary season with big plans for several events to recognize the history of the program. With the addition of the Lady Hawks governing committee the girls program was busy preparing for a competitive house league and Rep season.
Over on the Box Houseleague side, registration started slow but was beginning to ramp up. A sponsor was on board that planned weekly incentives to Hawks players to love the game and attend Junior A games with giveaways and prizes. Newly designed jerseys were sourced and ready for production. Things were really looking promising.
The OMLA took over the management of a Junior C team for the Oakville Buzz, under the leadership of the newly appointed general manager Brian Goddard, coaches were selected and a competitive team was being formed to compete as Hawks in the Junior C league.
Then March hit.
As the world paused and with very little information from the OLA, we were left try to figure out what to do. Our board had our first ever zoom meeting and we started making decisions and contingency plans for the future. Notably we negotiated the cancelation of the remainder of our Jersey orders and made the tough decision to cancel the season.
At that point our goal was to refund as much money as possible to our members and outline what the money was that we couldn’t refund. To provide you all with some clarity, credit card processing fees could not be recovered, the OLA withheld insurance fees, as well as the magazine cost, making full refunds a challenge. We were able to fully refund our Houseleague players and are hopeful that this helps to encourage them to return next season. For Rep we provided players with opportunities to pick up field jerseys that can be reused in future seasons, and rather than charge all players for shorts, we offered them for sale to try to recoup some money lost.
As a board, we put a halt on all spending including moving equipment and supplies out of storage units into our own garages! And, we looked for other ways to keep Oakville Lacrosse afloat financially with the sale of balls and other swag. This will be an on going initiative to help raise funds. I encourage you to take advantage of these deals. The OMLA has also recently partnered with the Toronto Rock store to stock a variety of high quality name brand hawks swag. Items are available here https://teamshop.torontorock.com/
Lady Hawks Return to Play saw 75 girls return to the field over 2 different 4 week sessions this summer. The program was very well received, by players, parents and coaches.
The Hawks were preparing to host the Oakville Classic – a 4 week modified play mini Rep tournament within our zone and health region. Once again, Covid unfortunately put a stop to that initiative and now we find ourselves at the 2020 AGM.
Looking ahead to 2021 we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to get back to normal play. However, the reality is that we understand that this might not be the case, and we will be proactive in preparing for whatever comes our way. It takes an army to run a successful season in the year ahead we will be activity recruiting volunteers to join several newly formed committees. If you are interested in helping please feel free to contact me or any of the other board members.