Southend Hockey Club have no fewer than 13 teams which are all managed under the clubs proverbial umbrella, a pretty impressive set-up then but I gather the club has been going for some 75 years...WOW!
Hockey has been an Olympic Sport for men since the first London Games in 1908, though it took until Moscow 1980 that women gained their chance to join the stick party. When I turned up to training in yesterday morning's sunshine at Sweyne Park School I was surprised to be joining a mixed youth and ladies team session, though Coaches Anne-Marie & Adele were incredibly welcoming and educational.
One of the girls was kind enough to lend me her spare stick (phew, otherwise I'd have been a out of the session) and Coach Adele took me off for some basic stick training to get me started. We passed the ball while I learnt the correct stance to receive, and cushion the ball and how to pass, always using the one flat side of the hockey stick.
Next up we practised shooting, luckily into an empty goal, and while I managed to try to and dig the pitch up, Will - one of the youth players - showed us just how effective a sweetly shot ball could be in the air.
Then Kay (a ladies team hopeful) and I then learnt how to block tackle and practised moving with the ball.
The last section of the training session featured a short game; I thoroughly enjoyed getting to put my newly taught learning's into practise against the bibs. The teams were reasonably well-balanced and separated only by a goal from our ladies first team member. I was pleased with my efforts, while they may have resulted in a grazed knee which I gained through lost footing, I did managed to hold the ball up well with 2 opponents in the chase, before completing a pass to a team mate.
|Southend Hockey Club members: Coach Anne-Marie far Left, Coach Adele Far Right, The Everyman Olympian stands tall in the centre.|
My thanks to Coach Adele & Coach Anne-Marie, and Southend Hockey Club. I'm looking forward to my next training session, though may have to invest in a stick before I go..and some sun lotion!
Note: The photo is this blog is courtesy of 8-19 Photography, taken by Beach and subject to copyright. Please ask for permission by emailing me here if you wish to use it.