And the winners of the 2018 England Hockey Awards are...

Kettering Club of the Year 2018
Saturday 19th May clubs across the country came together to celebrate the incredible work they have been up to create a nation where hockey matters. 
The big winner of the night was Kettering Hockey club claiming Notts Sport Club of the Year. 

The Winners

Men’s Senior Performance Player – Phil Roper
Men’s Junior Performance Player – Jack Waller
Investec Senior Performance Player – Laura Unsworth
Investec Junior Performance Player – Tess Howard 

Howden Men’s Team of the Year - Ashmoor 1st XI

It has been a remarkable season for the Devon based team who, formed in 2003, have worked its way up from the bottom tier of league hockey. The team have won the Championship division, and in doing so have been promoted to the top tier of the regional outdoor league the first time in their history. Their achievements have been done with almost entirely home grown, nurtured and developed talent! The first team players have also strongly represented the values and ethos of Ashmoor as a welcoming and inclusive family orientated community hockey club catering for all abilities and ages. 

Investec Women’s Team of the Year - Pendle Forest 1st XI

The team has gone through the season without a loss and won back to back promotions. They have a full range of ages in the team proving it is worth giving youth the chance to shine. The team are a superb set role models to the juniors. The club has grown from strength to strength since its inception, and has recently developed a working partnership with a community college. The use their astro-turf has enabled the club to run junior training sessions with over 50 members starting from seven years upwards. There is a real family atmosphere throughout the club, socialising off the pitch as well as playing together on it.  

Notts Sport Club of the Year - Kettering HC

Kettering HC have made significant progress this year with the implementation of their club development plan which has impacted to create an efficiently run club at management level. After a restructure of their committees to form an Executive Committee, the club recently managed to achieve ClubMark and have recently moved to a new pitch, building an excellent relationship with its new provider. The club hosts well supported social events throughout the season aimed at a family audience, as well as hosting and supporting England Hockey events and initiative whilst developing all club members by offering umpire development opportunities, paying for umpiring and coaching courses, and planning a Coach Education evening. The latest passed proposal is that free umpiring shirts are awarded for officiating a certain number of games.

MJ Events Unsung Club Hero Jen Clark – Wick Hockey Club 

Jen lives and breathes the game with her whole social calendar revolving around hockey! Jen has helped create a wealth of memories for Wick players but what she finds most rewarding is seeing players develop their skills and confidence on the pitch. She understands the limits of the club and the need to move players on to bigger and better clubs where talent can be developed further. Alongside all this, Jen is a great friend to all, both on and off the pitch and over the years she has supported everyone through life’s highs and lows. Wick is a wonderful hockey family that is largely down to its beating heart – Jen. Because of her, the future of Wick is looking bright!

Coach of the Year Matt Parker Ilkeston HC 

Matt has volunteered as a coach at Ilkeston HC for the last three years. His support, skills and knowledge have helped the club and its members thrive in recent years. Matt has a great ability to put people at ease and pitch his coaching activities well with our mixed ability group we often have, which has been invaluable. His calm and respectful nature towards adults returning to hockey at our back to hockey sessions has worked well and as a result Matt managed to retain people and then progress them through into the team training sessions. Over the season Matt has taken time to also coach players on an individual basis too. 

Lifetime Achievement 

Mike Ward

He has played for 3 different hockey teams and was a member and is a Vice-President of Bournemouth Hockey Club (1965 to present). Fixture Secretary for 25 years and Secretary for 15 years and a former SCHUA umpire and currently Hampshire HUA assessor and coach (1978 to present). Co-founder and first Secretary, then Chairman of the Men's South Hockey League for 47 years (1971 to present), being the first and still largest hockey league in the country of some 650 teams. Hampshire Men’s League Secretary for 47 years (1971 to present)  and President of Hampshire Men's County Hockey Association and currently Chairman of Hampshire County HA, for 42 years (1976 to present). Only member serving throughout the ten-year existence of the HA/AEWHA joint/merger committee and co-writer of the English Hockey Association (EHA) constitution (1987-1997). Member of England Hockey Constitutional Committee and affiliations working group (2004 to present). 

Judith Nicholson

Looking through the hockey archives, Judith’s name is first mentioned in 1974, when she was one of 16 founder members of Welton Ladies Hockey Club, which went on to become the most successful ladies club in the Hull area. She was chair of that club from 1976 to 1985 and again from 1987 to 1989. Judith has been involved with the North Hockey Association, holding offices such as Vice President, President and Secretary. In recent years, despite fighting cancer and crippling arthritis that has necessitated two knee replacements; she has continued to work with senior hockey but has now become fully involved in the development of Junior hockey in the area. Judith works tirelessly for hockey and without her determination and commitment, many hockey players would not have got the opportunities to play and be successful in their chosen sport.

Official of the Year - Lee Barron

This year Lee has done everything there is in umpiring terms, from regional under 12’s to World Cup Finals. This started with the League Finals and Play Offs in April where Lee again umpired one of the semi finals and the final relegation game. Lee didn’t have much of a summer off this year as in June he headed to Namibia for the African Cup & Indoor World Cup Qualifier. As part of umpire development in the North, Lee is an active umpire coach and mentor for many of the Norths young and up and coming umpires. This year Lee will also hopefully have completed his Level 3 Umpire Coaching Award. He became one of only two male umpires to officiate in a second World Cup Final (Indoors) at a noisy Berlin. 

Vitality Rising Star - Eleanor Godwin

Eleanor is now 18, and has been a Leicester hockey club member since she was 10. She is a well-liked and respected player, coach and friend. She has been an intrinsic part of the development and success of the new Club Junior Academy. She has taken the role as U14 coach with bundles of enthusiasm, and shows a natural coaching ability. Eleanor has her EH Sessional Coach award, the Safeguarding Certification and is also a Level 1 Assessed Umpire. Eleanor makes an effort to get to know every player and is extremely approachable and kind. Eleanor’s modest and unassuming nature, combined with a great sense of humour, make her an asset to the sport.

Innovation - Scarborough HC (for beach hockey)

Beach hockey is relaxed way to play hockey, it has no charge and is open to everyone to join with great exposure to the general public. On really hot days there were a lot of sand castles left to dribble around; getting tackled by a sand castle is a new experience that everyone should try. Passersby’s have been joining in with games and the Beach Big Dribble, sometimes the umpire has taken the dog lead so that the owners can have a run out! Even the local Police Officers have joined in! This has been great raising the profile of hockey and/or their club beach hockey can be for anyone.

Vitality Hockey Maker of the Year - Bev Barstow

Bev repeatedly gives up a phenomenal amount of time to train young generations in ball patrol; with so many applications for the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup she has been travelling all over the country to undertake sessions with potential candidates and to review their skill set giving up both her weekends and evenings. Our Ball Patrol is seen one of the best in the world where other events aspire to, the FIH use her training plans to give to other events to use. A lot of her work is very behind the scenes, she even assisted from the UK in training ball patrol for the Olympics in Rio.

Well done to all nominees, it has been an incredible night celebrating all your hard work. 

We want to celebrate you at the Vitality Women's Hockey World Cup and thank your volunteers by sending in a message and picture here