Rugby and East Warwickshire Hockey Club finds new home - The Rugby Observer

Rugby and East Warwickshire Hockey Club finds new home

Rugby Editorial 3rd May, 2024   0

ONE of Rugby’s largest sport clubs has found a new home after sealing a deal with a college in the town.

Rugby and East Warwickshire Hockey Club has struck an initial four-year agreement with Rugby College to use the college’s astroturf as the club’s main pitch.

The college has teamed up with the hockey club to rejuvenate the existing astroturf, with renovations to improve its surface, drainage and lifespan now completed.

Longer-term plans are in place to install new dugouts for players and officials.

Rugby and East Warwickshire HC will start by using the pitch on three weekday evenings each week and also on weekends, with plans for this to increase.

Julia Bower, Chair of Rugby and East Warwickshire Hockey Club, hopes the college – part of WCG (Warwickshire College Group) – will be a long-term home which can support their growth.

She said: “We are a club at the heart of our community, and we have been looking for a new long-term location which we can call home.

“This is the start of what we hope is a positive long-term relationship with WCG which will bring benefits to both sides. For example, we are hoping to provide opportunities to Rugby College students as the relationship builds.

“The college is in a perfect location for us and there is scope to expand here, with work already completed to improve the surface.

“As a club we are passionate about providing vital provision for children to play sport, highlighting the importance of physical activity and also giving people of all ages opportunities to play hockey.”

Sarah Butterfield, Director of Adult Learning and Commercial Development at WCG, said: “This is a strong relationship with longevity in mind, which will benefit the college, the club and the wider community.

“Facilities at the college ideally position it to host a large community sports club like Rugby and East Warwickshire HC and we look forward to continuing to work alongside them in the years to come to provide a home which they can be proud of.”

Rugby and East Warwickshire HC formed in 2007 following the merger of Rugby HC and GEC Rugby HC, which both had combined histories of nearly 200 years in the town.

It now has over 500 members aged from four to 70, with eight men’s teams, five ladies’ teams, a badger’s side, masters’ teams and junior age group teams.

The club has recently been selected by England Hockey to apply for Talent Centre status – a recognition of quality coaching for the development of young talent – which it hopes to achieve by next season.

It is also in the process of renewing its ClubMark status, an accreditation which recognises that a club is well run and has exemplary safeguarding processes.

Running 14 teams on a Saturday means that the club will also play fixtures at other locations across the town.

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