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Whats in Wapping

Wapping Hockey club wins £300k funding to improve John Orwell sports facilities

Wapping Hockey club wins £300k funding to improve John Orwell sports facilities

Fifteen years of persistence has paid off for Wapping Hockey Club who have won over £300k of Tower Hamlets council funding to improve facilities at John Orwell Sports Centre in Wapping.

The funding will be used to upgrade the hockey pitch and sports facilities, which are essential to support Wapping Hockey Club’s plans to reach International ranks by 2015.

Upgrading John Orwell also means the club will be able to open up accessibility of the sport further to those with more severe physical disabilities and make it safe enough to bring in and coach children from local schools.

Tower Hamlets Council funding has been provided from Section 106 monies – payments made by property developers in the area as a planning condition of their developments which must be spent locally.

Wapping Hockey Club was founded back in 1988 and is a big part of the local community here, especially as most players are current or ex Wapping residents with the majority still living in Tower Hamlets.

This year, the club are sponsored by Cape Bar in Thomas More Square who paid for their maroon home shirts for all players in their twenty teams. Sponsorship deals like this are key for the club as they help keep match fees low and make hockey accessible to everyone, regardless of financial circumstances.

Last weekend we met Wapping Hockey Club chairman Stuart Burnside, who also coaches, umpires and promotes the club but says he plays badly, adding he’s proof you don’t have to be an amazing player to enjoy and get involved in hockey.

So what does the new funding actually means for Wapping Hockey Club and the community?

Stuart explained that upgrading the old pitch makes the club’s plans to move up the ranks and become International for the 2015 Euros and 2018 World Cup a reality. Damage to the old Wapping pitch means it does not meet the required standards for higher league games.

A new pitch also means that the club will be able to coach local children and hopes to setup a youth team next year and eventually extend the age range of teams from 8 to 65 years of age (currently 17 to 52).

East London Radio recently did a great interview with Stuart about the club, it’s history and its Wapping plans for the future, which you can listen to here.

Wapping Hockey Club Ladies 2

This great shot by Kate Radford scored Wapping Ladies 2 team the first goal of the match last weekend

 

Wapping Hockey Club Mens

Wapping Hockey Club Mens 4 team playing a match last weekend

 

Everyone is invited to get involved and also watch hockey for free at John Orwell Sports Centre in Tench St, E1W 2QD [view map] where home matches are played on Saturdays.

For more information about Wapping Hockey Club, full match schedules and find out how to get involved and support the club please visit www.wappinghockeyclub.com and follow them on Twitter @Wapping HC.

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