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Good evening, all.

The below relates to something that has been playing on my mind for several months now.

Many of you who are regular attendees to Scholes Lane will have noticed a distinct absence of my presence at the club over recent months. This hasn’t sat right with me and made me feel helpless, when people have really, needed some support.

I have thought long and hard over many months now and been frustrated, angry, upset, about my absence from the club I love so dearly, from the people I love so dearly, but it has taken it’s toll. I am no longer able to fulfil my duties to my maximum capacity and capability.

I must take a dose of my own medicine and ensure it’s “Family First”. I’ve drilled that important ethos into our members during my time so it would be remiss of me to act otherwise.

Mrs Hobes returns to work in a few weeks following maternity leave, whilst the little man will require a whole new routine as he approaches his ninth month on this planet. The drama Queen - middle child - has just started reception and engages in many external activities whilst our talented teenager has began her GCSEs. She is also following her dreams of playing netball at the highest level. My spare time - now extremely limited. I am no different to you, and all that you juggle, but feel it important to explain.

Come the next club AGM in February 2023, I will stand down as Chairman. I have a bigger job to do. And that is at home.

In 2017, I was welcomed into the club with open arms, you each became my friend, you trusted me, you believed in me, you bought into my vision of One Team. I will never forget that. But the time has come to write the next chapter in this great clubs history.

I have made lifelong friends at this club. I have loved every minute. I have loved being part of the ups, the downs and everything in between. Our staggering growth has meant volunteering at Portico Vine is all but labelled a ‘full time job’. But what a job!!

I have been honoured to see first hand, just how every child who has come along, has had the right to shine. I have loved being part of the history making. I have loved seeing kids who couldn’t catch a ball, becoming superstars in their team. I have loved welcoming new volunteers whom have become key volunteers. I have loved learning about the old guard. Pulling together such an array of talent is testimony to you and I.

I have learnt so much about people from all walks of life. I have learnt so much about myself during the privileged position I was entrusted with, whilst heading up our club. I’ve got things right, I’ve got things wrong.

But it’s family first. And I’m very fortunate and indebted to my family who have supported me and afforded me the time to commit my heart and my soul to this club over the past few years. To this wonderful club. I’m truly grateful. We wouldn’t have met otherwise so I’ll always count my lucky stars that we have.

To have worked alongside my own Dad on club projects has meant more to me than you can imagine. Inspiring him to join us was one of my greatest achievements in life. To see my daughters, Ellie and Nancy fully embrace our club has made me even prouder. Nancy taking on the assault course as a Cub on debut, with a beaming smile, still brings back precious memories. You took my family and accepted them as your own - hopefully I did the same to you and yours.

I am so so proud at what we have achieved as a team of volunteers, the values we have driven forward and the impact we have had in our local community. I am so proud of how we are now household names on the National platform - even that was beyond my wildest dreams.

The club continues to grow on a regional and National platform and that is because of you - the volunteers, supporters, sponsors and of course, our players. Again, that is partly down to our collective approach, drive and ambitions.

Having led the club through (hopefully) the toughest time it will ever face (Covid) and managing to achieve the greatest accomplishment in the clubs history - building a new clubhouse, I know the club is heading in the right direction. I will forever bleed green and gold and know you will all continue to raise the bar and achieve even more.

I do not wish to take the shine off any Presentation Night, any upcoming family event, the World Cup, nor hinder preparations for the new season. Quite the opposite - I want time over the next few months to embrace this special time and establish a platform that will see continuous growth of our club and whoever takes charge, has everything they need to serve you well.

I will continue to volunteer every spare moment I have for the club and hope the new committee can find a place for me to fit in from afar. I assure you, I will continue to take an active part in the development of the club and am truly grateful for your anticipated understanding.

I sign off with a tear in my eye at the end of an era and offer heartfelt thanks to every single one of you. You are a group of the most selfless individuals I will ever meet.

The futures bright - the futures green and gold.


Mark Hobin




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