12-hour Crowborough HC 'Hockeython' raises 4500 for Help For Heroes

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Saturday 13 July was an incredible day of non-stop hockey at Beacon Academy as Crowborough HC hosted a 12-hour Hockeython to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Teams and players from across Kent, Sussex and Hertfordshire were invited to the special occasion, with games played throughout the day from junior to masters levels, including a three-hour endurance fixture.

The event was very much a hockey community celebration, with club members of all ages running stalls with help from Help for Heroes volunteers with around £4,500 raised for the charity so far.

Sussex Hockey president Michael Alcott was also present, helping to hand out prizes to the players alongside mascot Help for Heroes mascot Hero Bear.

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Speaking about the event, women’s 2nd XI captain Vicky Dennett said: “Everyone played in such great spirits. Our whole club and many of the local hockey community came together to make this work. 

“We’ve had some really competitive games and we’ve also had a lot of fun. My highlights were seeing former players such as Barry Cassell and Michael Sprange coming back and fitting in so smoothly like they’d never left. And club president Hilary Brown coming out of retirement to play twice!

“Game-wise what stood out would be the wonderful amalgamation of players in the Family and Friends hour but also the sheer perseverance of everyone in the Endurance game. It seemed getting to the end of that first hour would never come and then we all dug in and played until we literally fell over.

“We also need to thank all those supportive parents and members who helped set up the event the night before and 7am Saturday morning, those who worked tirelessly throughout the day – and those still there at the end.”

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The day began with an Early Birds game at 8am before the U10 and U12 teams took on their counterparts from East Grinstead, with the visitors coming out on top on both occasions.

Crowborough’s Development sides then took on Lewes, with the boys emerging 5-0 victors to secure the club’s first win of the day, while the girls lost 3-1.

With the sun shining and the temperature ever rising, a women’s XI were next up as they played out a thrilling 4-4 draw against Edenbridge before a mixed XI beat an invitational side - featuring Irish international Ben Turner and players from Brighton, Hailsham, Edenbridge, St Albans and Tunbridge Wells – 4-0.

Another eight goal thriller was played out between a men’s XI and Hailsham, with the visitors taking a 5-3 win, before the men played a second straight game against a Sussex XI who made their fresh legs count with a 7-1 victory.

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This was followed by a Family and Friends hour, with players from all ages – from U10 goalkeeper Eddie Dennett to England Masters international Michael Sprange – featuring in this unique inter-club match where Boro beat Crows 2-0.

The final game of the day was the three-hour Endurance match, another mixed inter-club game. The game started at a blistering pace and the quality never dropped, with Matt Burns notably grabbing a double hat-trick as Crows beat Boro 17-15.

In the closing ceremony Anna Woodley was named Player of the Day and Seb Turner-Moore the Goalkeeper of the Day. Strange also received the award for raising the most money for Help for Heroes.

Summing up the momentous occasion, committee member and development coach Julie Bradshaw said: “We may be a small club but today showed we have a big heart.”

There is still time to donate to the club and raise money for Help for Heroes – you can do so by clicking here.

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