Garstang Ladies’ Hockey Club held their 56th annual Club Presentation Night and celebrated it in style, hosting their first Céilidh evening.
More than 100 people attended the awards evening, generating a fantastic atmosphere, with everyone up on the dance floor. Friends, family and partners were all there to see this season’s winners receive their awards.
The first team players’ player, Diane Roe, has had a fantastic season, unfortunately marred by injuries.
Diane suffered a dislocated shoulder in the first half of the season and a broken wrist in the second half, which meant she missed a number of matches.
Despite this, she showed tenacity and positivity in restoring where she left off with confident play on the pitch. This was a well-deserved award.
The club’s most improved player award was another well-earned prize, won by Vicky Bradley.
Only two seasons ago, Vicky was playing in the third team. This year, she stepped up from county level to regional with the 1sts playing in the North West Division 2 league and put in a very solid and consistent performance in defence. After all the 2013 summer recruitment, plus the club’s first club day, this year Garstang has successfully re-established a junior section, with a firm base of girls who have improved week by week, showing great promise.
The U13’s junior award went to rising talent Holly Hunter, who is renowned for her pacey attacking and positive play, definitely one to watch in the future. Most improved junior, Zoe Mather, has had a diverse season where she went from outfield forward to goalkeeper in the 2nd team. She has relished her new role and is looking very capable.
It has been a difficult season for GLHC on the pitch, with both 1st and 2nd team squads finishing bottom of their respective leagues.
The 1sts had a mixed season, losing games they should have won, while having victories snatched away late in the second half of others!
For the 2nds it was always going to be a transitional season, with several new players mixing with youth players. Despite a positive start to the season, unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to survive and avoid relegation. Next season is a great opportunity for both teams to regroup and bounce back.
Off the pitch, the committee has been working extremely hard in networking and forming partnerships which are continually leading to the promotion of hockey and raising the profile of the club; both factors being a priority for Garstang.
The club has recently rolled out a Sportivate initiative at Preston College and in two Preston high schools to promote hockey to the 14-25 year age group. Since June 2013, Garstang’s coach and players have also worked with South Ribble Hockey Development Group, reaching more than 2,000 girls in eight high schools.
The club’s main ambition is to relocate back to Garstang, where it can re-establish its identity and develop links with the community, provide women and girls in Wyre with a more accessible hockey club to encourage participation, including youth development, and attract players from a wider catchment area.
The club is working closely with Garstang Community Academy and England Hockey to secure funding for new pitch facilities at the school.
Building on last summer’s recruitment activities, this year the club is running an England Hockey-led campaign called ‘Back to Hockey’ from the start of May to the end of June.
It is aimed at all women and girls aged 8+ interested in having a go at hockey, as well as junior and development players.
The sessions are on Thursday evenings, starting from May 1, for 10 weeks at UCLan Sports Arena, Cottam, from 6-7pm.
All information can be found at the website www.garstangladieshockeyclub or on the social media pages https://twitter.com/GarstangHockey and https://www.facebook.com/garstangladieshockeyclub.