Sunday, December 3, 2023

Oldest hockey club in the world – Blackheath goes back in time

The world’s oldest hockey club, Blackheath Hockey Club in south-east London, will mark its 150th anniversary by holding a Victorian-themed hockey match on the site of the original club, on Blackheath.

The match, which starts at 2pm on Saturday May 12, 2012, and is free for spectators, will see the Kent and Sussex League club go back in time to play a traditional Victorian hockey match complete with 1861 rules and mixed teams dressed in full Victorian hockey kit, using 1861 equipment.

Gentleman club members will swap their high-tech shorts and modern hockey shirts for cotton plus fours, button-up shirts, formal jackets, cravats and caps, while the ladies will trade their modern short hockey skirts for full-length heavy cotton versions, high-necked button up blouses and boots.

The team, which will be made up of current Blackheath Hockey Club members, will face an opposition team of Parliamentary Hockey Club players.

The Victorian rules match forms part of a day of hockey celebrations that starts from 12 noon on the Heath to mark the London Club’s anniversary, raise awareness of the sport in the run up to this summer’s Olympic Games and encourage more young people to take up hockey.

England Hockey, the national governing body, will attend the festival with its national Hockey Roadshow that gives budding young players the chance to pick up a stick and try the sport.

There’ll be an inflatable pitch, a cage and shooting net where they can try their hand at taking a penalty flick, and skittles alley, a game where children have to knock over as many skittles as possible with a hockey ball.

Recognised as the oldest hockey club in the world

Blackheath Hockey Club also marked the landmark anniversary with a special dinner, held on Saturday April 28 at the Trafalgar
Tavern in Greenwich where many of the club’s early gatherings were held.

Simon Mason, former Olympian and President of England Hockey and Niall Stott from the GB men’ssquad were among the guests.

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