Friday, April 19, 2024

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

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: Feb 2024

NORTH

Bury HCare 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)

Stafford HC lose hockey pitch to 3G ahead of new season (Aug 2022)

SOUTH/EAST

Portsmouth HC – Shortage of sand-based astro turfs led to the team having to use pitches in Chichester. (Oct 2023)

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. In 2024, their support proved unsuccesful with football set to win the day.

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

Plymouth – clubs sets up petition to save hockey in the city (Feb 2022)

Gloucester – Left without home pitch after facility blow (Oct 2023)

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”. The move to a 2G pitch will still in the offing by Nov 2023.

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

Paisley – Scottish hockey clubs fighting big sports for space (2021 onwards)

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.

Clwb Hoci Emlyn – Forced to move locations to train and play after 3G issues (2022)

Risca – Caerphilly County Council secured £1m to replace the outdated astro at Risca Leisure Centre (Nov 2023)

Total Hockey

spot_img

Most Popular

12 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.

  5. It is a problem which should concern all of hockey, even those clubs which have their own pitch and associated facilities. Newcastle Medicals for example are currently playing at a pitch where the floodlights have been taken down, and where the pitch and its surrounds are less than acceptable. There will be people more knowledgeable than me about the politics behind this, and the future plans but I can say from a number of visits the club is very well organised, with an active umpire development programme and currently with nine teams in the league. If, as an example, they were forced to cut teams or worse, then that would impact on the whole league structure in that area, with less fixtures for all. Although an open club, they do, as their name might suggest, provide welcome release for many key health workers in the Newcastle area and beyond.

  6. This situation is shocking! All leisure centres are interested in is making money from football. Pretty much the only finding schools can now access for pitches is through football streams and they are only interested in supporting 3,4 & 5G pitches. On the back of the lionesses getting to the World Cup final I was pleased to see the Mayor of Birmingham when pressed about opportunities for girl to play football he did state yes football and other sports! It should t be football or nothing! Lee Royall, North Stafford HC and State School teacher who can’t get funds for a hockey pitch!

  7. We are lucky in Wrexham as we have a water based pitch we as been redone only last year as we are the only pitch of its kind in North wales there’s a more local clubs whose pitches are deterring fast

  8. In the Buget post pandemic, in the Boris era, a substantial sum of money was made available to fund grass roots sports pitches. The first issue was it was given to football authorities to manage. At the time I challenged both my own MP and the MP for the area our club is in, both were supportive and progressed to then Minister – Nadine Dorris. The reply that came back was that these funds were not to build football pitches but pitches utilising the fund had to be multi sport. Sadly there seems little evidence of the multi sport nature. I know EH are aware of this but maybe a bit more fight to ensure this is enacted or even to manage the fund going forwards would be a benefit. On the plus side, EH are very willing to engage with clubs who are having these types of pitch issues and help them to negotiate with pitch owners to get refurbishments with the right surface, with I believe some success in certain areas.

    Maybe EH should promote a discussion on this at the upcoming AGM and formulate a more decisive plan to get a better share of the pots as they become available.

  9. Haslemere Hockey club supported the construction of a new 3G pitch part funded by Beacon Hill Football Club, The Football Foundation and Waverley Borough Council next to the existing hockey pitches. It cost considerably more than laying a 3G carpet on an existing hockey pitch, but serves the hockey and football community so much better. It should not be either/or but should be both!!

  10. Southgate Adelaide, my last club in the UK before heading overseas, lost their home pitch at Ashmole Accademy to 3G this season. They now have to play in Potters Bar and face a 30 minute drive back to their club house after games. I’m sure many oppo teams won’t be bothering as it will be in the wrong direction for them. Sadly things are not better in the UAE where we only have 1 proper hockey pitch in the entire country. Hundreds of 3G though.

  11. It obviously doesn’t help that EH have given funding to clubs such as Beeston to have pitches relayed which are virtually new to host national or international events- even more unacceptable when so many clubs can’t even get access to a hockey pitch. EH looking after big clubs and neglecting so many other clubs and in the process damaging grass roots of the sport. Big clubs with many pitches are not good for grass roots development of hockey and are resulting in less school or community pitches which will cause the loss of many clubs. Yet again no understanding of looking after anyone outside the top leagues.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

An open top parade down Surbiton high street? Top hockey clubs need to create own fan engagement

Take the 25-minute walk from Surbiton train station to Sugden Road,...

Old Georgians bag England Hockey Premier Division hat-trick in style

Surbiton -- Old Georgians’ old guard paved the way for a...

England Hockey League Finals: Surbiton women back on top with ninth title in 10

Surbiton -- Sophie Hamilton served notice of her star potential with...

‘Flair that’s rare’: Sophie Bray hailed as one of greatest hockey players

Surbiton -- Alex Danson-Bennett hailed the retiring Sophie Bray as one...

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img