REDDITCH Hockey Club was part of a nationwide scheme spearheaded by England Hockey called #Hockeyfest as clubs across the country hosted events aimed at showing off hockey to the community as well as bringing members together for one big social occasion.
Away from the playing field on Saturday, the club had cake and sweet stalls, a barbecue and a full programme on the pitch on Bromsgrove Road as the juniors took part in a two-hour coaching session with coach Sharon Smith.
Sharon said: “The session was great. Our regular junior training sessions are back now too on Wednesday evenings between 5.30-7pm.”
After the juniors’ coaching session, the ladies’ first team took to the pitch with their new-look squad for 2015/16 and captain Jodie Williams saw her side go down 6-3 to Pershore despite goals from Anna Stafford, Beth Vincent and Lindsay O’Brien.
The ladies battled hard with a few new faces in the team and will be training hard over the next couple of weeks before the league season begins.
Then it was the turn of the men’s first team who played some very good hockey to beat Mansfield 6-3.
Redditch started the game on the back foot with a goal conceded and a shot blocked on the line by defender Ade Young within the first ten minutes.
However, once settled, Redditch showed more of the form which had seen them do so well over the summer as they went into half time with a 3-1 lead after goals from Harry Capewell (2) and John Styzaker.
In the second half Redditch continued to push forward with a goal from veteran striker Daniel Waite and two from new captain Pete Dawson.
Mansfield did score a couple more but never looked like winning the game and Redditch were convincing winners.
Afterwards the remaining men’s teams battled it out in a club fixture as Richard Sellors’ 2nd XI faced Wayne Beard’s 3rd XI.
The game was played in a great spirit and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The 2nd XI are integrating last season’s promising youngsters with some more experienced players and look to have gelled well as a team.
The game was won by the 2nd XI but the 3rd XI fielded some younger players making their debuts for the team and the performance was very encouraging.
Head coach and 3rd XI captain Beard said: “On a day where hockey was being promoted, it was great to see several junior players stepping up to play men’s hockey and taking part in the 2nds versus 3rds game.
“There were some good performances from Josh Brown, Ethan Reeves, Jake Porter and Harry Williams.”
Redditch HC chairman Tim Gibbs added: “It has been great to have such a good turnout of players and families at #hockeyfest. The performances on the pitch were really encouraging and I’d like to thank everybody that contributed to the barbecue, the cake and sweet stalls and the general running of the day.
“It’s exciting times for Redditch Hockey Club and this event has made everybody excited for the new season.”