Saturday, December 4, 2021

Hockey’s 3G pitch plight: The clubs affected in the UK

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Hockey Paper staff
Latest breaking news, previews and match reports written by Hockey Paper staff

Since we launched our coverage of 3G pitches, we have been inundated with correspondence across the UK and tales of clubs battling to retain hockey provision.

We have started to collate all threatened clubs here. But there are many more out there. If you know of a club in a similar position, please email us

Our full coverage has news, features and analysis

Updated: Nov, 2021

NORTH

Bury HC –  are in the “perfect storm” of the ‘academisation’ of local high schools and 3G astroturf stifling hockey.

Horwich HCplight first surfaced in 2017 when Bolton council revealed plans to turn their all-weather pitch home at Horwich Leisure Centre into a 3G surface.

Brookfield HCEven forward planning has scuppered buoyant club’s hopes in face of 3G. (Sep 2021)

Lymm HC – “We are in a situation where we don’t know how we are going to continue to facilitate hockey in the coming years.” (Sep 2021)

Western Lakes HC – The club believes that hockey in their Cumbrian borough has effectively been ‘killed off’ by the installation of a 3G pitch.

Louth HC – Lincolnshire club battled for four years to save pitch and hailed community support, as well as media campaign, to see pitch relaid and keep hockey alive. (Aug 2021)

Chapeltown HC – Sheffield club’s last two schools they have played at –  both private finance initiative schools – have had their pitches resurfaced, leaving the club to move both times, and four times in all over the last 10 years. (Sep 2021)

Blackpool Easter Festival – This has been going for almost 70 years and may have to move out of Blackpool soon if the pitch is converted to 3G. There is also the effect on hockey locally. We first highlighted the issue last year and the festival still remains under threat.

Oldham HC – According to one reader, the club is “clinging onto their pitch with a very thin thread, the school we use basically don’t want us using their facilities so try and out price us for the cost of using the pitch.” (Sep 2021)

South Tyneside – There are “very few pitches” in the area, one reader wrote, “and few teams struggling to secure decent facilities – the creation of more pitches unsuitable for hockey is ridiculous!”

MIDLANDS

North Notts HC – Currently without a pitch due to the school facility now not opening it “and rumours they want to turn it into a 3G pitch also”. (Sep 2021)

SOUTH/EAST

London AcademicalsThe club has fought hard to find new home after being driven out by 3G football demands.

Milton Keynes HC – The club currently books slots for training and matches on a council owned pitch which is not being maintained to a safe standard. There are a large number of flood lights that don’t work and the club has constantly asked them to be fixed, one of a amounts a number of issues it has with the current arrangement. (Aug 2021)

Clacton HC – Essex club’s decision to disband in June 2021 was described as “extremely upsetting” following the news that 113 years of hockey in Clacton-on-Sea has ended.

Horley HC – In Feb 2021, the Surrey/W Sussex club were left “dismayed” over a decision to convert the pitches they hire into 3G surfaces. They could lose both of the school pitches it currently relies on to play hockey – one of which has been their home for the last decade – and said they had not been consulted on the decision. (Feb 2021)

Thetford HC – Norfolk club received a ground swell of support in 2019 after petitioning to save its club from folding after a 3G was mooted on its pitch.

Clacton Hockey Club established a 100-year history

WEST

Bristol & West HC – the 2G pitch at the Winterbourne Academy may well be replaced by a 3G pitch if the school partnership gets its own way. (Sep 2021)

PGSOB HC (Plymouth) – The club has been pressing his club’s local authority without any valid response for the last three years. (Sep 2021)

Newquay HC – The club is calling for restrictions to be put in place by government when offering funding to the bigger sports after being threatened by 3G in 2021 

Teign HC – When a 3G pitch was due to be laid at the community college where Teign HC in Devon train and play, the club had little sway

Newquay’s 3G plight went viral

SCOTLAND

Ellon HC – The loss of a club’s pitch into a 3G astroturf will see a “lost pathway to hockey in Aberdeenshire” (Aug 2021)

Madras Fife Council plan to construct two 3G sports pitches at the new Madras College (Feb 2020)

WALES

Aberystwyth – There was until recently an astro at the University. Many teams used it on weekends and for Uni hockey. Two years ago, 3G was put down “destroying hockey in the town and that part of mid Wales”. It’s now at least an hour’s drive to the nearest pitch. “This is a grim warning to NGBs and local authorities alike. Ignore this at your peril,” wrote one reader.

4 COMMENTS

  1. This is an absolute disgrace to a sport we won an Olympic medal in. Can England Hockey not use this information and take this higher to STOP this happening everywhere? Not everyone wants to play football, people should have the choice.

  2. Unfortunately I have to say that your entry about Shrewsbury Hockey Club in your “3 G Pitch Plight” article is sadly misleading and ill informed. The facts of the matter are that Shrewsbury Hockey Club is continuing to work closely with Shropshire Council, a local secondary school in Shrewsbury, England Hockey and Shropshire Hockey Association on an agreed joint facility plan, funding strategy and timetable for the refurbishment of an artificial turf pitch (ATP) on the school site. This is a positive and developing partnership which is working well and will benefit school children, hockey players and the wider community in Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury Hockey Club is pleased to be part of this partnership and will be raising funding for the ATP refurbishment project to secure long term future Club and community hockey use of the facility.

  3. Sunderland Broom Hockey Club have not been able to play at their original pitch since prior to lockdown. We are playing within South Tyneside however the our goals have been vandalised recently. Our Sunderland pitch was protected by England Hockey but the centre refused to open for us and the quality of it was poor.

  4. Can more not be made from the health and environmental point of view? Rubber crumb fill in 3G pitches has enormous health risks attached, with heavy metals and carbon residue ever present.

    Interested parties might like to follow @Against_3G on Twitter.

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