Belper Hockey Club’s Junior Boys have been enjoying a very successful season to date.
The under 18s boys have reached the last 16 of the England Hockey National knockout Cup competition.
Meanwhile the under 16s have qualified for the finals of their National Championships, and the under 14s boys will be playing in the Regional finals of their championships in April.
In addition to all this success outdoors, the Belper boys have been playing indoor hockey and the club is delighted that both the under 16s and 18s have successfully reached the national finals of the England Hockey Junior Indoor Championships.
This is a wonderful achievement for the players and the club, but, of course, all of this success inevitably comes at a cost.
Competition entry fees, coaching, equipment, kit, pitch and sportshall hire, travel and accommodation all have to be paid for by the club and players, and these costs have amounted to thousands of pounds during this season alone.
Belper Hockey Club is therefore very grateful for the support of Belper councillors Peter Makin and Stuart Bradford with a donation from their Community Leadership Fund.
Cllr Makin was able to come down to the club at Belper Meadows last Tuesday to see some of the members in action during their training sessions and present the cheque.
Belper’s Junior Boys Section is an important part of the club, engaging with junior players as they progress through age group hockey and into the men’s teams.
The club has Clubmark accreditation and is currently providing approximately 80 local boys, aged 12-18 years, with the opportunity to learn hockey skills and also to advance through the England Hockey player pathways to the highest level for each individual.
A spokesperson said: “We provide age group specific coaching for all, regardless of ability.
“There are competitive opportunities with regular match play, entering competitions for under 14, 16 and 18 groups.
“We encourage new players and strive to increase the skill levels of existing players, in a safe and controlled environment that is welcoming to all.
“We encourage enjoyment and team spirit, whilst promoting a healthy, active lifestyle, helping players to achieve their full potential regardless of ability, and supporting their physical and mental development.
“The club is very family-orientated, and run by volunteers.
“We currently provide outdoor training, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from September until Easter, with a break during mid-winter to avoid the most inclement weather!
“This season, with the help of a Derbyshire County Council Youth Action Grant, we have been able to offer the boys the opportunity to learn the exciting skills of indoor hockey, during the mid winter outdoor training break.
“This has been a tremendous success with qualification to the National Finals at both age groups.
Specific costs associated with these tournaments have been funded by YAG and Derbyshire Community Foundation John Weston Fund grants.
“We plan to make indoor hockey a regular part of what we offer to our members .”