SHI – our special hockey family!

As in all families, there are ups and downs. Some minor bumps in the road are normal and to be expected. Every once in awhile though, something happens that really throws us for a loop. That's where we are right now. Some of us are really hurting, and we all want to let those who are hurting know that we stand with you.

The SHI Board is working hard, even today, to support both the former Huskies team and the Komets team in determining the best strategy for the days ahead. We will keep you, our member clubs, updated on the progress of the meetings going on over the next little while and what the impact on the tournament will be. Thank-you all for the outpouring of support to all involved.

The SHI Board is also very concerned about helping teams protect themselves by having proper financial structures and solid leadership in place. We have worked hard to rejuvenate our Constitution and By-Laws and our Membership Application form over the past year towards this goal. Next, we need to look at guidelines and recommendations for operations and governance.

SHI has always had the annual tournament as its primary focus, that's the whole reason SHI was born in the first place. But now, it has become clear that there is a need for so much more. We will be seeking your input as we forge ahead and we truly value your insights.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to the Board, our contact info is here on this site. SHI is your organization, and we, as a Board, believe that we all want the same thing: to provide amazing special hockey to our players, to provide community and opportunities for social interaction, to meet together at least once a year for a terrific tournament, and to run our individual clubs with excellence, integrity, and accountability.

To help us on this path, SHI Board Member and UK Rep, Mike Dwyer, found some excellent recommendations for financial operations from the UK  Charity Commission. He has adapted them to fit our situation and we share these here as a jumping off point.

Top Ten Tips for trustees/managers of SHI clubs
 • Review your financial controls at appropriate intervals and do so critically, keeping them up to date. Just because you have not been a victim of fraud, do not assume that it will never happen. 
• Segregate duties – do not allow one or two people to be in charge of and unchecked for all aspects of your charity’s financial controls. 
• Make sure all of the separate parts of the financial records agree with each other. Always ask for and keep receipts. Reconciling bank statements with invoices, receipts, purchase and payment authorizations will often help to identify fraud at an early stage, and may discourage potential fraudsters. 
• Never weaken your financial security for the sake of short cutting or time saving. For example, do not pre-sign blank cheques, even if a second signature is required. Doing so reduces your cheque security by 50% - or, to put it another way, doubles the risk!
• Keep a list or register of valuable fixed assets and key charity property, and periodically inspect them. 
• Ensure that electronic or online banking arrangements are secure and are protected with dual-level authorization.
• When recruiting volunteers – especially those who handle the charity’s finances - make appropriate background checks and take up references. 
• If your club makes grants to beneficiaries or other organizations, carry out appropriate due diligence checks on applicants. 
• Ensure as trustees/managers of your organization that you receive and consider regular reporting information about the charity’s finances. If you are a trustee or manager, make sure that you understand the financial summaries and reports that are presented to you, and if you do not, ASK for an explanation that you CAN understand.
If you suspect or become aware of fraud, make sure that you know what to do and who to inform. Make sure it is part of the culture of your charity. Prompt and appropriate action will help to protect your charity and limit any financial damage.   
If trustees/managers suspect a crime has been committed or the charity’s money or help is being used for illegal purposes, they must report their concerns and the suspicious activities to the police and appropriate authorities as soon as possible and ensure they obtain a crime reference number. 

Many of you already have these practices in place, so rest assured that you are on the right track! If you are concerned that some of these recommendations do not exist within your club,  feel free to print these off and take them to your next board meeting. Also, please know that if there is ever a time when you'd like to have an SHI Board member visit your club and/or board meeting, we would be happy to do whatever we can to make that happen.

Keep watching your inboxes for updates on the tournament, governance developments, and information about our Annual General Meeting.

All the best to you and your clubs! #specialhockeyrocks

Your SHI Board