South Shields hockey players pitching in for a fitter future

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A forward-thinking South Tyneside hockey club is pitching in to help the borough to a fitter future – and encourage sporty residents to try out the game.

South Shields Hockey Club is aiming to net new recruits as part of a campaign encouraging people to take up or revisit the sport.

We want to give more people the chance to give hockey a go in a friendly and relaxed environment.

Laura Flett

The club is holding a series of free sessions for men and women as part of the nationwide ‘Back to Hockey’ initiative being spearheaded by bosses at England Hockey.

The scheme has been set up to promote the joys and health benefits of the sport to many who may have never picked up a hockey stick - and spur on those who may not have played the game since their school or university days to get back in the swing of things.

The sessions will be held at Lord Blyton School, in Blyton Avenue, South Shields, each Tuesday (from today) until June 14, from 8pm until 9pm.

Laura Flett, who started South Shields Ladies Hockey Club, said: “We want to give more people the chance to give hockey a go in a friendly and relaxed environment. It’s a great way to get fit, have fun and meet new people.”

Catherine Reay was a complete beginner before joining the club, “I really enjoyed team sports at school and knew someone playing with South Shields ladies.

“I went along to watch and ended up helping out as the team was short! This was the first time I’d ever played hockey, but got the bug instantly.

“It’s been great for my general fitness and I’ve also made some excellent new friends.”

Anna Snowdon who has been playing for the club for several years, said, “I played hockey at school and university and I didn’t know of any local clubs.

“I was a bit scared that if I found one that they’d expect me to be really fit and a great player so I never got around to it.

“Some years later I met up with some old school friends and they persuaded me to play by promising it was fun and reassuring me that it didn’t matter if I was rubbish.

“It really helps me de-stress after work.

“It’s a really friendly club and I’ve even ended up umpiring as well as playing, something I never thought I’d have the confidence to do.”