Gillingham Hockey Club hits 65 years

Gillingham 65 years
In the autumn of 1954 some sporty ladies in North Dorset decided to set up a Ladies Hockey Club in Gillingham.

Founding members Janet Smart, Beryl Knapton, Hazel Flower and Helen Burt all played for Shaftesbury Hockey Club but since most of the team came from Gillingham, they wanted to start a club there.

The first matches were played at the Recreation ground and the Cricket Pavillon was used for teas. Over the years they played at the recreational ground, Donhead Sports Club and now Gillingham School. 

The club wanted to celebrate it's 65th anniversary and invited as many former players to an afternoon tea on Saturday 23 November 2019. The day was a great success with around 25 former players came along, including some founder members who are now in their 90s. 

Gillingham 65 years 2
Some of the team members from the 1980s to current day From Left to right - rear - Dee Webb, Lyndsey Spooner, Jackie Graham, Caroline Stockley, Lou Cotter (daughter of Mary Williams) Linda Stokes, Caroline Dodd, Front row left to right Helen Cross, Alison Graham, Sarah Feltham, Val Cross, Angela Gray

Over the past 60 years the club has gone from strength to strength with 3 Ladies' teams, 3 Men's teams, under 12s and under 14s, with Ministix on Saturday mornings for under 8s and a membership of around 200, including 100 juniors. 

Many of the Juniors go on to represent Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire; 4 of the over 35 ladies were in the winning West of England team who won the over 35s national tournament last year (one captained the team) one member represents the West of England at over 50s; another member represents Wales at over 60s plus another who has previously played for South Africa. Our lead coach is currently coaching an England Ladies' Masters' team. 

Gillingham are proud to be known as a family friendly club. They have mothers and daughters playing in the same teams and Captaincy passed down through generations. 

Find out more about Gillingham Hockey club here.