After a Centenary season to be proud of Marlow Hockey Club celebrated last Saturday with a Festival of Hockey during the day and a Gala Dinner Dance in the evening.
From 9.00am Bisham Abbey was the venue for 250 players from under 11s through to the senior players to display their skills. The Club was joined by past players and guests and by its sister Club Evergreen HC from Maassluis in Holland. This maintained a tradition of exchange visits between Marlow and Maassluis which was initiated by Sir William Borlase’s teacher David Wedd 34 years ago. Several players from that first trip including Stuart Peacock and Keith Packer graced the pitch again; this time representing the Studs touring side.
After 9 hours of hockey and socialising under blue skies the Club moved to the Crowne Plaza in Marlow for a Dinner Dance.
Welcoming 220 people to the dinner Graham Sweet said that the Club was proud of its achievements this year both on and off the field. On the field the Men’s first team under Kevin Chappell and Ladies’ first team under Laura Lee and Lucy Godfrey had been promoted as had the Men’s seconds under Richard Clee. In addition all of its 22 teams had enjoyed strong seasons.
For its increased membership over the last four years the Club had been recognised by England Hockey as the fastest growing hockey Club in the South of England and the 5th fastest in the UK. The junior section now boasts 215 members and success has come with the under 14 boys who virtually double up as the Borlase’s National champions and the Boys under 12sand Girls under 10s who are through to the South of England finals.
Off the field the Club’s plan to develop its own all weather pitch in conjunction with Borlase is well advanced. The Sports Club immediate need for the redevelopment is £1.0m of which the pitch is £0.5m. Good strides have been made but more is needed. Helen North is leading the overall funding challenge and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a season which has seen the Club make major strides toward its goals the hard working committee took a well deserved bow in front of the guests.
As Club members and guests dance into the night to the music of Straight Eight and bring to an end to its Centenary celebrations the Club’s boast of a Proud History and Exciting Future was alive and well.