Thursday, June 20, 2024

Club Hockey news: a Welsh wedding and Olympian inspiring next generation

There was a hockey-themed wedding in the Brecons at the weekend as Gwernyfed Hockey chairperson Nicola Drew married her partner Gwion.

Both farmers, the newly-married couple were pictured on the back of a tractor as hockey sticks were lifted over the heads.

Drew won the Wales Woman Farmer of the Year at the Royal Welsh Show in 2019.

She left her job in the arts to take over the family farm and runs a successful beef and sheep enterprise on 2450 acres of land.

“Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness,” the club wrote on social media, as the couple were able to get married after several delays due to the pandemic.

Teams unite to raise money for Challenging MND 

Southend HC, Old Southendians HC and Brentwood HC joined up together for a day of tournament hockey to raise nearly £2000 for local charity Challenging MND, which helps create lifelong memories for those suffering from Motor Neurone Disease.  

Challenging MND was founded by Alex Gibson, aged 43, following his own diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease in 2018. Despite not being a hockey player, Alex was no stranger to sport having represented Great Britain as a decathlete and playing rugby at Barking, Brentwood and for Loughborough University. Despite his diagnosis, Alex, through his charity has been able to raise £220,000 through numerous challenges.

The tournament started out with youth matches with 5-3 victories for Old Southendians against Southend Mini Titans and a 4-1 victory for Southend Titans against Old Southendian U16s.  

Adult standout matches included a five-goal thriller between Brentwood and Old Southendians. Brentwood took a 3-1 lead coming into the last five minutes of the match. Despite late attempts of a comeback for Old Southendians, it wasn’t to be with the final score finishing 3-2. Elsewhere, Southend and Brentwood women made a combined XI to take on a dominant Old Southendians team to take an unpredictable 2-0 victory in the closing game of the tournament.  

Alex Gibson and Andrew Cappart at the Challenging MND fundraiser

The winners of the inaugural cup were Brentwood HC.  

Gibson said: ‘It was a great day for the charity and branching into other sports is what we as a charity stand for. The friendliness, spirit and camaraderie demonstrated was fantastic. It was a very well organised event and a big thanks to all concerned. I can’t wait for next year’s event where we (Challenging MND) will be fielding a team. Watch this space!’  

Sudbury to hold Hocktoberfest 

Sudbury HC is set to stage its first beer and gin festival – in what the club is calling “Hocktoberfest”.

Sudbury will host the event on Sep 25-26 at its Quay Lane clubhouse and will replicate the famous Munich Beer Festival atmosphere.

Club chairman Edd Burton said: “The club is embarking on a five-year fundraising campaign to support the upgrade of the pitch at Great Cornard Leisure Centre where we play our home games, and we expect Hocktoberfest to become an annual fixture.”

Crackles on hand to inspire next gen

Fiona Crackles, who won bronze with GB women at Tokyo 2020, was a guest coach at the ONE hockey camps in Newcastle this month.

Fiona Crackles had a strong showing for Team GB in Tokyo

Crackles imparted her on-pitch skills to boys and girls aged 7-16 on the camp before a question and answer session.

She said: “To think I attended one of these camps years ago, and now look where it has led my playing career. I’m hoping to have inspired the participants and who knows, maybe we’ll see one of them follow in my footsteps.”

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