Back to Hockey goes on Tour

alderley edge

Alderley Edge Back to Hockey has gone on tour. The Cheshire club have been running sessions for five years since the campaign began and have over 100 women on their database so it was only inevitable a hockey tour was due to happen.

The tour came about from one Back to Hockey regulars Claudia Schickel, born in East Germany but residing in the UK for her husband’s work. Claudia followed her two daughters down the hockey pathway and picked up a stick for the first time with the Cheshire club and quickly became part of the hockey family.

Last year Claudia and her family returned to Germany and after the close friendships that have developed during her stay in the UK gave birth to the idea of a hockey tour. Claudia arranged a friendly tournament for the Alderley Edge women to face her new club Munchner Sport Club in Munich over the Easter holidays.

alderley edge tour

The tour was brilliant with the Back to Hockey ladies already invited back next year. Every picture tells a story and it looks like Alderley Edge HC and Munchner Sport Club, Munich now have a super relationship.

Where it all began

They started with Thursday evenings as their prime time but after feedback from some of the players being too busy with children and family in the evening they mentioned a Friday morning slot might prove popular. The 9.30am Friday morning sessions were born which included a free cup of coffee and a slice of cake all for £5.  

Coach Kelvin Briggs was delighted with the growth of Friday's; ‘Friday mornings just took off so fast. A whole new audience for us with both local Mums enjoying some 'me time' and a number of professional and medically qualified women taking Friday's off to play. We have doctors, midwives, a vet, a publican, a farmer, part time teachers and retired ladies swelled the ranks on the Back To Hockey database to over 100 ladies.’

As skills and confidence grew, it was not long before a few friendly games were organised with nearby Bowdon Hockey Club Back to Hockey group to give the women what it feels like to be in a competitive match against similar level of players.

After a couple of years running both Thursday night and Friday sessions over a dozen women now play each week in the season on Saturday club sides. Skills and fitness levels have improved but the vital fun and friendship element are a big part of why the Back to Hockey sessions has been such a success.

Liz Callaghan has summed it up beautifully; 

'Going back to hockey has given me back a sense of belonging that I haven't had for a long time. I would probably not have met most of the ladies through my day to day life and the eclectic mix of personalities, ages and life experiences of them all collectively brings about a great camaraderie, team spirit and humour that I otherwise would never have had access to. Obviously keeping fit is a big bonus of back to hockey but the laughter and friendships made have meant a much healthier mind for me.'

Player Emma Cockayne doesn’t know what she would do without Back to hockey now;

‘Back to hockey has completely changed my life. The girls are now amongst my best friends and make up a big part of my life. I have found a fantastic community within Alderley Edge Hockey Club and I hope to be involved with them for a long time. What did I do before I went back to hockey??? I genuinely have no idea.’

Run your own Back to Hockey session or participate as we launch nationally on May 9th for men, women and mixed sessions. Find your nearest club and get involved!