Successful weekend of Vitality Back to Hockey festivals

Successful weekend of Vitality Back to Hockey festivals
The Vitality Back to Hockey Festivals proved a great success over the weekend of 29 & 30 June. 

Hosted at three Back to Hockey venues across the country, the festivals provided a competitive opportunity for those that were getting back involved in a sport they love. 

A brief report and/or images from each of the three hosts; Alderley Edge HC, Marlow HC and Southgate HC can be read below. Our thanks go out to those that hosted, the volunteers that made the festivals possible and the participants that helped to make them such great occasions. Look out for the return of more festivals in 2020!

Alderley Edge B2H 2

Alderley Edge
Alderley Edge HC were the Northern host for the first ever Vitality Back to Hockey Festival. There were entries from 8 teams at the festival, which saw both North Staffs HC teams topping their groups, and Repton and Alderley Edge A finishing second and qualifying for the semi-finals. 

After some very evenly contested group games we moved on to the 5-8th play-offs, which saw Stockport Bramhall and Deeside Ramblers find themselves deadlocked in a 2-2 draw and the battle of the Alderley’s saw the B team come out on top against the C team.

In the Semi-Finals Repton managed to topple unbeaten North Staffs A, whilst North Staffs B and Alderley A couldn’t separate themselves and finished 2-2. 

Due to North Staffs B having topped their group they just edged out Alderley A and made the final against Repton. A fantastic end to end match saw the teams unable to find a winner and concluded 1-1. After a lot of Hockey in well over 30 degrees both teams agreed to an honourable draw!

It was a fantastic event played with brilliant spirit and attitude throughout by all teams and we hope to welcome them all again next year. A big thank you to Alderley Edge for hosting and all their volunteers who helped ensure the event was a success and players were well fed and watered!

Alderley Edge B2H

At Marlow on Sunday 30th June nine different Vitality Back to Hockey teams took part in one of three festivals taking place across the UK. 

There were two teams from Slough, two from Wycombe, three from Marlow, one from Romsey and one from Basingstoke all taking part in the festival, their teams including players who last played hockey over 30 years ago and some only 4 years ago.

The festival saw all three sixes pitches in use as we completed the two pools, one of five teams and one of four.  For many of the teams it was the first time they had played the sixes format and with no goalies the "challenges format" proved very popular. 

The final games saw Marlow 1 v Marlow 2 playing for first and second place and Slough Pink v Wycombe Bibs for third and fourth. Marlow 1 came out eventual winners beating their other B2Hockey friends 2-0 and Slough Pink finished third after a very close match against Wycombe Bibs finishing 2-1.

Thanks once again to our hosts Marlow Hockey Club and their young umpires who were fantastic.

Marlow B2H

Southgate were the hosts for the inaugural South East Vitality Back to Hockey Festival at Trent Park.  Teams from Southgate, Old Loughtonians, Epsom and an ‘All Stars’ team comprising guests from Hampstead and Westminster and Merton played in very hot conditions but in great spirits. 

Some players were returning to hockey after 20 years and others were experiencing their first taste of competitive hockey.

The six-a-side matches were all keenly contested, with draws between the All Stars, the all-women Epsom team and Old Loughtonians, whilst Southgate edged an overall victory with a win over Old Loughtonians in the play-off final. A great day with many hockey careers re-kindled and places booked for the 2020 Festival already.

Southgate B2H