Further to previous statements and the conclusion of the Appeal Hearing that took place yesterday 6/3/22 regarding the supplementary sanctions that were imposed by the EIHA Disciplinary Panel on Reece Cairney-Witter, Calum Ruddick and Ollie Lomax.
Firstly, I would like to thank the EIHA Appeals Panel for their professionalism, time and diligence in the way they conducted the meeting. We felt that both the club and the players/coach involved had a fair opportunity to put a case across to the panel and provide mitigating evidence to support the concerns we had over the extreme suspensions imposed on above individuals.
As a club, we do not condone fighting unwilling combatants/opponents from our players and nor do we accept discriminative abuse being aimed at our players from the opposition. As a family club we must rise above that standard and aim to be better moving forwards.
The Outcome of our Appeal:
Reece Cairney-Witter: Initial sanctions considered extreme and therefore suspension reduced (by 85%). Reece will be ineligible to play for the remainder of the 21/22 season but will be eligible to register as a player for the 22/23 season.
Calum Ruddick: Initial sanctions considered extreme and therefore suspension reduced (by 85%). Calum will be ineligible to play for the remainder of the 21/22 season but will be eligible to register as a player for the 22/23 season.
Ollie Lomax: Initial sanctions considered extreme and therefore suspension reduced (by 85%). Ollie will be ineligible to coach for the remainder of the 21/22 season but will be eligible to register as a coach for the 22/23 season.
We have learnt many lessons from this process including the importance of setting a good example to our young fans and junior players, along with appreciating that we all have a duty of care to protect the welfare and safety of players and the honour and respect within the game.
As Co-Owner of our fantastic club, I take responsibility for the actions of the club and our associated members, and I can assure you that daily, we are striving to be better. I also wish to apologise to our loyal supporters, if you felt that our actions, which have led to the suspensions, have let you down; to our incredible sponsors who continue to back the club and to members of our Hockey Community who felt that our actions were not in the spirit of the game we know and love.
As far as the club is now concerned, the matter is now settled and we will continue to improve and we look forward to our next fixture which is our ‘NHL Night’ game against the Billingham Stars this Sunday 13th March – 6pm.
Carl Everitt, Co-Owner of the Blackburn Hawks IHC.