Robin McLaren Steps Down from Chair of Scottish Hockey

Robin McLaren steps down from chair of Scottish Hockey

I hope you, family and friends are well.

In December 2019 I volunteered to take on the role of interim-Chair of Scottish Hockey when Scott Baird resigned. The plan was to stay in post for three months until a new Chair was head hunted and appointed, and step down as a Director of Scottish Hockey. Then COVID-19 arrived, and I decided to remain in position to lead Scottish Hockey through these difficult times and ensure business continuity. It was not the appropriate time for a new Chair to parachute into an incredibly challenging position.

The last nine months have been traumatic for us all and compounded by minimal hockey being played. I would like to thank Scottish Hockey staff for their excellent support of clubs and members through these difficult times. The impact of COVID-19 to the sport was further impacted by a small number of members who, driven by concerns about governance, caused a disruption to the management of the sport through a number of legal challenges to the Directors of Scottish Hockey. This caused significant stress to all concerned, reduced the ability of the Board of Directors to openly communicate with members, necessitated the use of lawyers and seriously distracted the Board of Directors and staff from their mission of managing hockey. Hopefully, these concerns, some of which were unfounded, have disappeared, and we can now move on.

A number of members have contacted me over a range of issues about how hockey is being governed, managed and delivered. I decided to initiate a membership engagement project to listen to concerns and proposals for change from across our clubs and members. Independent consultants have now been appointed to implement the project and you will be hearing from them early in the new year. Please take this opportunity to state your feelings about Scottish Hockey and make proposals about how it can be improved for all. Responses to the feedback gathered from members will be presented at the next AGM in June 2021. This will allow Scottish Hockey to improve how our sport is run and hopefully start a new era of a more inclusive and transparent approach to managing hockey.

I am pleased to announce that Martin Shepherdson (Grange HC) has agreed to be the next Chair of Scottish Hockey and will take up position on the 15th December 2020. Martin has a great depth of experience in playing and managing hockey at all levels and brings highly relevant business skills from his career to oversee the Scottish Hockey strategy and business. He is very well respected across the hockey family and I wish him every success as Chair. The sport is in good hands.

It has been a privilege to serve as a Director of Scottish Hockey over the past eight years. I have really enjoyed being part of the team that has transformed Scottish Hockey into a vibrant sport with over 13,000 members. I wish you all success in continuing this journey.

Have a great Christmas and even better New Year.


Take care.

Robin McLaren

Chair Scottish Hockey


Message from Martin Shepherdson

Firstly I would like to thank Robin, on behalf of all members of Scottish Hockey for his dedicated service to the sport. Robin has been on the Board for 8 years and has helped drive and grow the sport in Scotland. We wish him well in his hockey retirement.

Secondly, as Robin has stated, we have been through a very difficult period. Obviously the global pandemic has hit us hard and led to a difficult period, when decisions have had to made quickly, and with no template for decision making. I hope that we are through the worst of that period and that I and my fellow directors and board members can start to move forward. We continue to work hard with the Scottish Hockey staff behind the scenes on issues around governance and finance, and of course league and competition structures.

I look forward to working with all the members and am happy to hear from anyone in the Scottish Hockey family. Please contact me with your ideas, comments and concerns.

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