Sports Minister Helen Grant visits Basingstoke HC

Helen Grant and Maria Miller Basingstoke 2014

Basingstoke Hockey club were delighted to welcome Sports Minister Helen Grant MP as they hosted the initial stage of her tour of some of the area’s sports facilities earlier this week.

Accompanied by local MP Maria Miller, Helen met Club Officials and representatives from England Hockey for refreshments in the Maidenwell Pavilion and heard about the club's current growth and plans for the future.

"It was excellent having the Sports Minister here to show firsthand what an amazing group of people we have at Basingstoke Hockey Club", said Chairman Miranda Smith. "Mrs Miller has opened our Hockey Festival for the last two summers and it is great to have had Mrs Grant here this morning to spend time with our members. She took a real interest in our plans and aspirations forward for both developing our playing capacity and performance and also the facilities here at Down Grange."

Grant, an ex-County age-group player showed her passion for the sport taking a stick and getting involved on the pitch with a mix of youth and senior players including some from the club's successful Back to Hockey programme as well as England Hockey mascots Jasper and Jess.

Helen Grant greeted by Jess Jasper and Miranda Smith at Basingstoke HC 2014

Lucy Rowe, England Hockey Relationship Manager, added "It is a real testament to the hard work of the Basingstoke Hockey Club members that Mrs Grant and Mrs Miller have chosen the club as the starting point for their visit. Basingstoke Hockey Club is a real example of the London 2012 legacy in action and we at England Hockey are delighted to be working with them as they grow. The club have gone from strength to strength in recent years particularly through their club school links and Back to Hockey programmes. With the right investment and support locally I am sure they will continue to grow for many years to come."

After speaking with some of the young players, the Sports Minister and Mrs Miller moved on to visit the Basingstoke and Mid Hants Athletics Club, Basingstoke RFC and Hampshire FA before finishing with a Reception in the Council Offices.

For more information about Basingstoke Hockey Club and its future plans please contact or visit the Basingstoke HC website.

Photos courtesy of Grace Moore, Basingstoke HC.