Dear fellow Gymkhana members, I am truly delighted to announce that we have appointed Ian Jennings and Simon Mason, as our Performance Director and Director of Strategy & Communications, respectively.
Ian Jennings, MBE, is a former England international player and last season was Performance Director at Guildford Hockey Club. He has previously coached England Senior Women’s Teams, England under-21 and under-18 Men. He has coached internationally as a consultant for South Africa Ladies prior to the Olympic Games, with the Fiji National Team, and worked extensively in Australia for 3 years.
Simon Mason is a former Great Britain goalkeeper and is also a well-known commentator on televised international hockey matches. He participated in three Olympics forGB and played last season for Guildford 1st XI in the Now Pensions National League. He is co-owner and Managing Director of Mercian Sports Company,a specialist hockey equipment company. He has served as President of the England Hockey Board and is a member of a number of committees for both the European and International Hockey Federations, including sitting as a Director on the Executive Board of the European Hockey Federation.
Ian Jennings, as Performance Director will take charge of coaching across the club, focussing on the role of 1st team coach,but including club wide player development, junior programme oversight and junior player integration into the senior programme. His role will also include development of junior player pathways, integration of England Hockey cores kills within the club’s activities and he will assist with a development ofthe clubs social and fundraising activities.
Simon Mason will be overseeing the club’s internal and external communications and assisting the development of the club’s strategic direction, helping to drive The Gymkhana Hockey Project at both a performance level and amongst the club as a whole.
Kamal Naqvi, chairman of the Indian Gymkhana Hockey Club said, “we are delighted to bring in twosuch distinguished and passionate figures from the English hockey community tothe Gymkhana Hockey Club and it marks a turning point in our development as we approach our club’s centenary year.”
Ian Jennings MBE commented: The Gymkhana hockey programme provides an exciting opportunity to workwith a club with a fantastic vision. As the club approaches its centenary,they clearly have a burning desire to create a high-performance, inclusive andwelcoming environment. I look forward to working with some incredibly talentedplayers and merging the flair and skill for which they are renowned with aEuropean structure and discipline. The future undoubtedly has some challengeswithin it, but the potential at Gymkhana is huge and I welcome the chance to bepart of their vision and future successes.
Simon Mason said: Sometimesopportunities present themselves from the most unexpected quarters. At a timewhen my own future playing career was in question, a timely email from Kinde Hanspal(Gymkhana Club Captain) outlined a vision and asked some questions that wereboth exciting and intriguing. Having discussed a plan with them for a while now,their energy and enthusiasm for the future of the club is infectious. They wantto broadcast the positives and strengths that the club possesses, to integrateit within the England hockey family and dispel some of the myths andpreconceived ideas that exist. Their future vision involves the entire club,not just the performance section, from the youngest junior to the multiple goldmedal winning Olympians in the veterans section. Quite simply I can’t wait tobegin working with them, the chance to be part of something special that couldhave a lasting effect on a club with an international reputation is quiteunique.
As chairman, I am delighted by these appointments but for this project to succeed we shall need the support and assistance of our members. Ian and Simon are keen to present their vision to you and we shall arrange a presentation before the new season begins. I am sure that Ian and Simon will be warmly welcomed to our club by you all, as is our way, and that you will look for opportunities to help our club continue its development on and off the field.
Indian Gymkhana Hockey Section