I really hadn’t planned to write anything as we closed the doors on the Slough Ice Arena today. It’s been quite an emotional day for many of us – SPICE has been running from Slough for over fourteen years and we hope to be back in both the temporary rink and the newly refurbished rink in 12 months time. However, today was definitely the end of an era and there are quite a few people I want to highlight for their support of SPICE as we close this chapter.
Firstly, my wife, Jo. She is our secretary and does so much of the work both behind the scenes and with our members’ parents every Sunday, whilst I escape onto the ice! Usually by this time of year, our house is filled with over 100 Christmas show costumes that Jo orders individually for each member, sibling and volunteer. We’re now turning our attention to keeping SPICE running over these next few weeks and Canada 2017!
Joint second and third are my fellow trustees, Andrew Parr, our treasurer and Lucy Edwards, our vice chair and child protection officer. These guys work really hard keeping SPICE running each week. Coaches being paid, ice time bought, looking after the needs of our members and making sure everyone gets on well is an important role and Andrew and Lucy execute this brilliantly – we are Team SPICE! (The other person in the photo is none other than Robin Cousins who visited us and was fantastic with both our members and volunteers!)
I would like to shout out to Greg Sinclair and Dave Brind of Absolutely Leisure, who have always supported SPICE with extra ice time, free tenpin bowling events and generally helped us raise money. There are many other Absolutely staff members who have always done their bit to support SPICE – Greg, Darius, Lucasz, Stephen, Anton, Julie, the list goes on and I’m sure I’ve forgotten key people – I apologise.
Our SPICE coaches, led by Jackie Sanders are simply fantastic and always exceed expectations – Ryan Sowter, George Strachan and Hannah Gugan – you guys rock and are SPICE on the ice!
SPICE hockey started back in 2008 with none other than our very own Nicola Bicknell and two Slough Jets, Michael Bowman and Paddy Ward. Danny Milton joined us some years ago and has coached and developed our members into achieving and in so many cases exceeding their own expectations through a professional and caring mindset. Nicky and Danny are joined every week by fellow coach, Lewis Edwards who has a great empathy with our players as well as being a great hockey player!
Our on ice volunteers are really the mainstay of SPICE – without their support, we simply couldn’t operate. Attending every week and supporting and befriending our members is fantastic. We thank all our volunteers past and present for their fantastic commitment and dedication.
Then there are some parents who go the extra mile or many miles! In no order, people such as Karin Ingram, who has baked thousands of cakes to raise funds for SPICE. Kay Keep and her family, who run the sweet stall and organize our water events. Adam Prince, our Friends of SPICE charity treasurer and on ice volunteer. ‘Our Jackie’ and Michelle who organize the tombolas and fairs each year and Karen Salvage who runs craft fairs and raffles for SPICE.
Sarah Cave, who has looked after our SPICE cupboard and the best interests of SPICE for many years, Her partner, Neil, who is a professional photographer and takes fantastic action shots of our SPICE members on the ice.
Saving SPICE around £750, Sam Hersom and Justin kindly are looking after our excess hockey kit and skating aids – you guys rock!
So many people have the best interests of SPICE to heart – Clare Johnson at Windsor on ICE has offered two hours of FREE skating for SPICE each week whilst their temporary rink is open – we love you Clare!! Lakeland Windsor manager, Finn Day- Lewis made SPICE the official charity for his store without any prompting from us.
I could go on. Over the years, we’ve received so many donations and support from members of the public and it’s brilliant: SPICE really is one big family and together we will continue to thrive!
Today one door has been closed but SPICE is just about to open a new door………See you soon!