Hockey club gets ready for new season

THE new committee of Ballymena Hockey Club met last week to get preparations under way for the fast approaching season which commences in September.

The strong contingent, made up of volunteers from both the men and ladies sides of the club, was voted in at the club's AGM in May but have had a break during July.

"We are excited about the season ahead for the club," said Club President Liz Tovey.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"We have two new coaches for our senior teams in place - James Doddsworth is our new ladies coach and Paul Harvey will be looking after the men's teams.

"Also, two of our experienced and very capable members, Mary Glass and Phil Moody, have willingly taken on co-ordinating the mini and junior parts of the club.

"As always we rely on the enthusiastic team of volunteers that we have, whether it be committee members, players, parents or supporters. So we encourage everyone possible to get involved in a wonderful sport and a great club that plays a vital role in the local community."

Pre-season is already under way and all past members as well as new players are welcome to come along to the Showgrounds on a Tuesday night. Ladies meet from 6.30pm to 8pm and men run from 7.30pm to 9pm. Even if you don't own a hockey stick one will be provided for you!

Meanwhile, the club are looking forward to their first fundraiser of the season. On Sunday 10th October, there will be a golf competition at Ballymena Golf Club.

Sandra Dallas, the club's fundraising co-ordinator invites all golfers in the borough to join in, not just club members.

"This has always been an important event for us at the start of the season regards raising money for pitch hire and union fees. As well as golfers, we are also looking for sponsors for each hole so if anyone is interested please contact the club."

The committee members for 2010/2011 are: Liz Tovey (President), Dave Tovey (Chairman), Alistair Hanna (Secretary), Anthea Hanna (Treasurer), Becky Linford (Ladies Club Captain), Trevor Topping (Mens Club Captain), Mary Glass (Mini Co-ordinator), Phil Moody (Junior Co-ordinator), Eleanor Houston (Ladies Match Secretary), Phil Nicholl (Mens Match Secretary), Sally Roddy (Ladies Registration), Mark Allison (Mens Registration), Sandra Dallas (Fundraising Co-ordinator), Elaine Hamill (Media Officer)

MINI/JUNIOR REGISTRATION

Following two successful registration evenings already this summer, there will be another opportunity for parents to sign up their children for the hockey club's successful children's programme on Thursday 9th September between 7 and 8.30pm at the Showgrounds reception.

The 25 week long programme which commences on Friday 17th September, costs just 75 for P1 to P7 children and 85 for Year 8 to Year 11 pupils. There are also family rates.

To help avoid delays on the night and speed up the process, it would be appreciated if you could download the registration form from www.ballymena hockeyclub.com, fill out the details and bring it along with you. However, there will be plenty of spare forms on the night. Many spaces have already been filled so you are advised to not wait any longer!

The hockey club has been organising coaching and the introduction of hockey to children across Ballymena. Many of these children go on to senior teams when they reach the required age.

Mary Glass, who co-ordinates the primary school section explains: “Although the club keeps a look out for exciting future players, the main element is the enjoyment of hockey while helping children and young people to stay fit.

“We have also been encouraged by the growing interest from boys despite the popular rugby and football clubs that exist in the town.”

Phil Moody who plays for the senior men as well as co-ordinating the secondary school aged group is encouraged by the interest from the boys.

“We highlighted hockey in many different primary and secondary schools last season through our development officer. Almost 30 boys from the age of about 8 came along and we are determined to see this number increase this year.

“Not only is it great for boys who perhaps aren’t interested in other sports but it will also benefit the club in years to come when these boys are the age to graduate into men’s senior teams.”

For any more information, can contact Mary Glass (P1-P7) on 07766917996 or Phil Moody (Year8-Year11) on 07823772500.