Jean Fitch from Bedford HC tells us about their Walking Hockey story:
The timings of our sessions were selected as, during the season, Wednesday might is Ladies’ Club training and Sunday mornings are Juniors. As we have to pay for pitch use, this enables us to piggy-back onto the pitch slots. We have continued on into the summer as the Walkers were so keen to keep it going, although we will take a break for July and August.
The Sunday morning sessions are quite a different mix from the Wednesday evenings. Although we do have a few youngsters who do the Wednesdays, with their parents and grandparents, we have even more juniors join us on a Sunday, coming to do the Walking, before or after their coaching sessions, whilst waiting for older or younger siblings to finish. We have, also, found the Sunday tends to attract more adults who have never played hockey before, and the timing was chosen to try and encourage parents to give it a go rather than standing on the side-line or sitting in the clubhouse, which some have done. The Wednesday sessions tend to be our more established Walkers plus some individuals looking to get back into hockey and some Club players using the sessions as a means of getting back after injury. We usually have about 18 turn up for a session – the most was 24, when we split them into 4 teams and did a mini tournament. The local council, with us providing a coach, also facilitated an 8 week course of Indoor Walking Hockey, which was great.
Next May Bank Holiday (2020) we will be having a Vetstival (Festival for us oldies!!) and are hoping to include Walking in some way, either with a show game or, possibly, by having an actual Walking tournament.
At the moment, there aren’t any other local sides who have taken up doing Walking, although we take every opportunity to try and get them to start, so we can get some inter-Club games going – watch this space!! We usually have a few Club Days through the summer, which is where we first tried the Walking a year ago. If there are any going on this years, we will definitely be looking to include Walking, and possibly invite some local Clubs to bring a team over to give it a go.