London Wayfarers hits huge milestone on 30th Anniversary

London Wayfarers
London Wayfarers Hockey Club head into 2019 celebrating their 30th Anniversary alongside being the biggest club in the country. 

The nomadic, vibrant and sociable club, playing at 8 locations across South West London has seen incredible growth from 250+ members to over 1400 since opening. As a club they strive to provide great hockey experiences for everyone, whether it is performance or social hockey and if you’re young or old. They offer a variety of programmes including Vitality Back to Hockey, summer hockey, the Elite Performance Programme, Junior Goal Keeper Academy and more. 

Club Chairman Marcel Van Eldik says: "We just want everyone to be able to play and enjoy hockey all year round. Our real aim is to provide the best possible hockey experience at all levels, for all ages. That's what it’s all about and it will be a great challenge to keep improving what we have to offer all our current and future members."

The club has seen tremendous growth in all age groups, one main area is the junior section which now has over 1000 members from 4 to 18 years old with opportunities for all abilities. The club members have real ambition, with the club creating opportunities at every level and the introduction of two new initiatives launched just this season. Firstly, Skills Squad, designed to create a great environment to develop skills. Secondly, the Elite Performance Programme, constructed to really stretch some of their very talented juniors. 
A real point of pride for London Wayfarers is their specialised Junior Goal Keeper Academy, with nearly 50 junior goalies receiving expert coaching in dedicated sessions every week:

"Our Junior Goalkeeper Academy, spearheaded by Barbara Pawson and her team, is one of our biggest success stories in recent years.” said Van Eldik, “We have gone from being short on goalkeepers to players queueing up to get involved, every year it gets bigger and better thanks to the multiple dedicated sessions every week. The progression of our goalkeepers in such a short time has been amazing. Several of them play senior hockey almost on a weekly basis. With the Senior Goalkeeper Academy added to the mix we have a great set up for goalies at Wayfarers."

London Wayfarers is a great setup for developing and learning, but it’s also a social senior hockey scene in London. On Saturdays, you will find many London Wayfarers socialising in what they consider to be their clubhouse, The Draft House Westbridge on Battersea Bridge Road. With players at all levels, it is a fantastic club for everyone.
  
Van Eldik concludes: "We are incredibly proud of reaching the status of largest hockey club in the country and would like to thank all our members, volunteers, coaches and supporters who have played a huge part in our success to date. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2019 and this is a great milestone."

London Wayfarers also Won Notts Sport Club of the Year 2018/19 at the 2019 England Hockey Awards. 

Their nomination: 'The club have increased their participation by 28% this year making them the largest club in the country. They have driven umpire development in London, resulting in over 400 attendees to a level 1 umpiring course in just over a year. The club has influenced various parties to expand the hockey providing in the local area to offer more desperately needed hockey provision. Now being flexible to use smaller pitches in the area enabling the club to offer hockey to all to the ever-increasing demand in their area. London Wayfarers offer Back To Hockey sessions to over 100 participants, which has doubled in just 1 season. The club has 30 days of camps, over 50 participants at goal keeper training and summer small sided competitions, helping local schools through the Team Up programme and Hockey Futures to improve the engagement with the local community.'

EH Awards 19 - Club of the year