October 30th – Slough Jets Programme

Welcome back to the Hangar for tonight’s game against the Swindon Wildcats. There a team we’re starting to know well now as we played home and away pre-season and we were there just Wednesday for some midweek action.

Tonight is also our Pink in The Rink night as well, raising money for Breast Cancer awareness so I hope when I look out tonight I can see a sea of pink staring back at me. Last weekend Bex bought me a pink t-shirt for tonight which sadly we had to take back and get a bigger size!! Hopefully we’ll raise a lot of money tonight for a real worthy cause.

Last weekend before the game I was chatting to Phil Wing from Peterborough. He’d seen my programme article last weekend and we were discussing the similarity of both of us having smaller crowds at our home games this season. I note from the gamesheet last Sunday that Guildford didn’t declare an attendance on their gamesheet but I was told from my source at the game that it was around 1400. From their website I see it was 1414 so not a bad guess at all from Davey G!

My point here is that 1400 would be a massive home crowd for us, in fact it would be too many for the Hangar to comply with fire regulations but wouldn’t it be that nice for us to have that many people wanting to be part of the Jets family at every home game? However the 1414 at Guildford does probably show the overall downward trend in ice hockey support around the country right now. A few teams are bucking that trend but in general less people watch hockey on a Saturday or Sunday night now than 12 months ago?

Technology does make it easier for people to “follow” a game without attending it now however that’s not really what hockey is about. Hockey is about more than just the 60 minutes of play and it should be a night out for individuals and/or families. There’s so much more going on around the rink than just the game itself, with 50/50, Chuck The Duck, Shirt off His Back, The Nandos Lucky Programme, The noisiest block doughnut competition and meeting the players after the game for programme signing. Yes, you can get the bare game facts by text or on-line of goals and scores but you miss out on the gamenight experience and the whole social side of hockey.

The good thing is that even though we still have so many “spare” seats we could fill the game night noise continues to increase. Congratulations go to Block B who scooped the doughnut box last weekend with an honourable mention to the bar who weren’t far behind. I wrote a few weeks back about a carnival atmosphere I’d like to have at the games and it’s great to see and hear the weekly progress we’re making towards that with more people obviously joining in the noisiest block competition and more people clapping and dancing throughout the games.

So back to business tonight and let’s get down to the game. We’ve played out an away draw and a home win so far against the Wildcats as I write and by the time you read there’ll be the first competitive result of the season from Wednesday added to that list. Let’s hope it’s a good game tonight, hope we raise some serious money for Breast Cancer Awareness and let’s hope it’s loud :

Enjoy the game

My Team, Your Team, Our Team