HockeyFest 2016 is coming!

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As you will all doubtless know, HockeyFest has become the social event of the season, offering clubs a fantastic opportunity to promote themselves, show off their current facilities and raise funds for new equipment or projects. In 2015 it ran from 29 August – 13 September, amid the excitement of the Unibet EuroHockey Championships. Supported by Notts Sport, HockeyFest is open to everyone and gives clubs the chance to develop unity and excitement in the build-up to the season. From showing live action from the EuroHockey2015, to engaging with existing players and encouraging new participants in a family focused and social day, HockeyFest 2015 was a great success for all involved.

Samantha Phipps is a player, team captain and treasurer at Sutton Coldfield Ladies Hockey Club. We spoke to her to find out what she thought of the festival.

Tell us about your HockeyFest:

"I had a lot to do with creating the event and wanted to make sure that it ran smoothly. I was welcoming existing and new members and those stepping into the ladies club from the juniors section."

What did you expect beforehand?
I thought it would be a fun, sociable day with lots of people catching up from the summer break, with a bit of light-hearted hockey thrown in.

What did you get up to?
I helped with the juniors’ mixed games, set up cakes, promoted the new kit, helped with the warm-up and then joined in with the hockey.

How did it go?
I thought it went really well; everyone seemed to have fun and mix throughout worth it! We don’t have our own pitch but this is something that we are keen to look into; I think it would help our club to grow. We are city-based and a lot of parkland is protected so space is at a premium. We would like to raise the club’s profile to try and get some funding for space. HockeyFest got good local coverage – further events like that should help.

What could be done better?
I think more central marketing resources could be made available; for a previous season posters were emailed out so that we could drag and drop our own text in. More information about what is available centrally would also be useful. In terms of our club itself it would have been good to have some more new members – more local advertising would help. It would also have been nice to have a social event in the afternoon or evening.

Register from 9am on 1 March 2016. If you are one of the first 100 clubs to register you will be entered into a prize draw. All the details you need are here.