Wakefield opens new smurfturf

Wakefield Hockey Club pitch opening

Harry Gration of BBC Look North officially opened the new all-weather pitches at Wakefield Sports Club on Saturday 23rd June during a weekend of celebration and festival of hockey involving players from all over the country.  Juniors, seniors and masters enjoyed the weekend with friendly and competitive games against local and not so local opposition.  Most importantly it was an opportunity to renew old acquaintances and make new friends.

Members of Wakefield Hockey Club’s junior section paraded a mock Olympic Torch around the ground before presenting it to Harry Gration.  He then unveiled the commemorative plaque accompanied by Norman Hughes, former GB captain and Olympic bronze medallist.

The weekend marked the completion of the major project to create a world-class hockey venue.  Following the trend set by the London 2012 Riverbank Arena, Wakefield Sports Club’s College Grove site now has a new blue water-based pitch alongside its fully refurbished green pitch.  Both meet international standards.

Project Leader Peter Clay said, “This is a fantastic facility for hockey of the highest level. It is the premier hockey club facility in the North of England.”  The Chinese Ladies Olympic Hockey Team will use the pitch for their pre games training in July.

Wakefield Hockey Club pitch opening

The project could not have been completed without the effort of a team of committed volunteers.

Wakefield Hockey Club President, Chris Partridge said; “This is a big investment for the future and just reward for our dedication to the development of hockey and junior hockey in particular.  This would not have been possible without substantial grants from England Hockey, the National Hockey Foundation and WREN and the support of many others.” Mike Stoddard (England Hockey), Ben Walker and Alistair Copeland (WREN) and Chris Darling (National Hockey Foundation) were on hand to join the celebrations.

For further information on the club see our website - www.wakefieldhockeyclub.co.uk

Editor’s Notes

Attached photos - Images courtesy of May Sports Images.Com - show:

  1. Harry Gration unveiling the commemorative plaque accompanied by Norman Hughes.
  2. Wakefield Hockey Club juniors with representatives from the major funding agencies and project team joining in the celebrations.

For further information please contact:

Chris Partridge, President, Wakefield Hockey Club

e: chrispar18@gmail.com

m: 07870 369 202

Wakefield Sports Club is a centre for bowls, hockey, shooting, squash and jazz located at College Grove close to the Wakefield city centre. 

Wakefield Hockey club was founded in 1899 and has a history of supporting hockey at county, regional and national levels within a family focused environment.  It has a growing junior section with nearly 300 members, whose under 16 Girls have been national champions for the last five years.

England Hockey Capital Investment Programme

England Hockey’s Capital Investment Programme (CIP) will see over £5 million invested into Hockey’s facilities over a three year period, underpinned by £2.7 million from the National Governing Body.

As part of its bid to Sport England, England Hockey was successful in securing £2.7 million towards Capital Investment for clubs and organisations between 2009 and 2013.  England Hockey works alongside applicants to help them to secure partnership funding, to take the total investment to over £5 million.

The National Hockey Foundation

The National Hockey Foundation is a Charitable Trust originally established to develop and operate the hockey stadium at Milton Keynes. It is and has always been completely separate from Hockey's National Governing Body.

The Foundation gives financial support to the development of sport particularly at youth level for hockey and in Milton Keynes.

The Trustees see their role being to encourage the development and growth of hockey by providing capital and operational funding to the sport through clubs and educational establishments and by support to England Hockey's youth development activities.

Grants are awarded wholly at the discretion of the Trustees.


WREN is a not for profit business that awards grants to community, environmental and heritage projects across the UK from funds donated by FCC Environment, formerly known as Waste Recycling Group (WRG), as part of a voluntary environmental tax credit scheme called the Landfill Communities Fund.  Since 1998, WREN has granted over £140m to more than 5,500 projects which benefit people living within 10 miles of a FCC Environment landfill site.