Nikki Kidd, the former Scottish international, says that turning her first club’s pitch into a 3G astroturf will see a “lost pathway to hockey in Aberdeenshire” after she launched a campaign to keep the region’s strong hockey tradition alive.
Ellon Hockey Club’s future is under threat after the local sports trust, of which the club is a member, revealed plans to install a 3G pitch not conducive for hockey, from its current 2G at Ellon Meadows sports centre, in a bid to bring in more pitch hires.
Hockey in Aberdeenshire has been threatened by 3G in 2018 with Aberdeenshire South Hockey Club experiencing the same issue and Kidd “cannot bear seeing this happen again” at Ellon.
“If we lose this pitch, we lose a pathway for hockey in Aberdeenshire at all ages and levels,” she said.
Kidd, who retired in 2015 after 170 caps for Scotland, trained and played at Ellon up to five times per week as a junior.
“I have no doubt this set me on my way in then hockey world,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “If there had been no hockey facilities at Ellon I wouldn’t have been able to become a hockey player as the closest pitches would have been around 50km away. Playing and training at Ellon was what made hockey available to me and many others.”
The club has also seen goalkeeper Alistair McGregor progress through the ranks to become a GB Olympian at the Beijing Olympics.
One reader told THP: “Unless there is a stand made by GB Hockey against the spread 3G replacing 2G, then I cannot see hockey as a competative sport being played anywhere but in very affluent areas of the UK in the next 10 years.”
Kidd added: “I am keen to make this campaign to retain the hockey pitch at Ellon a positive one about the benefits of hockey, the successes of athletes who have trained at Ellon, the preservation of an important hockey pathway, the availability of facilities which promote many sports, the importance of hockey in the community etc. I am keen to ensure this does not become an anti-football campaign.”
Kidd is asking player, coaches or those associated with Ellon to write a letter of support in retaining hockey facilities at the club.
“This would mean a great deal to me and the hockey community in Aberdeenshire,” she added.
If you would like to write a letter and feel happy to include your own position in hockey/experience please do so!
Please email letters to Nikki before the end of August to firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters can be addressed to:
The Ellon and District Sports Development Trust
The Chair is: Mr Paul Vavangas
If your hockey club is threatened by a lack of provision or closure due to council decisions, please get in touch with us so we can raise your concern.