An open letter to the PGSOB HC membership and the wider Plymouth Hockey Family

Posted by Paul van Beveren on 29 December 2021

Dear Hockey Family

I want to start my notes by saying I hope you and your loved ones are well after what has been a challenging, often overwhelming year – and one that has called for a fair bit of resilience.

The early termination of the 2020/21 season gave us an opportunity to evaluate our current offer as a club and what we can do to help hockey continue to thrive in Plymouth.

At the start of the 2021/22 season, we published on our social media channels that we would be looking to start a project to rejuvenate hockey in the city and ensure participation well into the future. We received a number of enquiries from the wider Plymouth Hockey family as a result and we have also reached out to a few clubs as well.

Single sex sports clubs are becoming a thing of the past. Stories of exclusivity, accessibility, and ease of participation very quickly gain traction in today’s media. To be a single sex sports club in 2021 is to almost ostracise yourself from what is socially acceptable in the modern world.

England Hockey and Sport England want to see sports clubs that are sustainable both in terms of participation levels and financially. For hockey, that means a community-based club with a family focus, or more specifically a club with a men’s, ladies, junior and vets section which is open to all levels of participation.

To help ensure the future of hockey in Plymouth, we are currently in discussions with 4 other clubs to potentially create one of the largest clubs in the city. At this stage we are not able to name the clubs involved and I'd politely ask that you don't engage in speculation and rumour as this may be detrimental to the project. That said, please rest assured that we have the best interests of hockey and hockey players at heart and as soon as we are able to update you further, we will.

Our aim is to provide a club that is accessible to all with a focus on inclusivity and enjoyment. To do that, we aim to have a newly laid pitch with an on-site clubhouse and our committee members are working hard with local authorities to make sure we can provide you with this.

We want to provide the right club for you and working together with other stakeholders, we will strive to achieve this for you.

In terms of facility locations, we are working on 4 possible venues which are Brickfields, Lipson, Marjons and Sherford. Each location brings its own set of challenges, but we want to assure our membership that we will not be moving the club to a sub-standard facility. 

  • Brickfields

    • Everyone Active giving back control of outside facility to Plymouth City Council on 31 March 2022

    • Plymouth City Council recognise outside facility in need of significant capital investment

    • Luke Pollard MP has taken an interest in making Brickfields a multi sport hub for PL1

    • Requires pitch re-lay

    • Requires arrangement for clubhouse

  • Lipson

    • Good quality pitch

    • Requires arrangement for clubhouse

  • Marjons

    • Pitch due to be re-laid over the next 2-3 years

    • Requires arrangement for clubhouse

  • Sherford

    • Pitch yet to be operational

    • Pitch quality may not meet expectations

    • To be linked with leisure centre

    • No option for on-site club house

    • Potential for facility share with Sherford Cricket Club Pavilion

This club is going to be formed of a conglomerate of existing sides, each of whom has their own identity. For us to form the new club and to ensure that it stays true to those inclusive values, we will be looking to create a new identity that reflects the founding members and the history of the respective clubs. In time we will come to you as the membership to collect ideas on names which we will then produce a shortlist from and it will come back to the respective memberships to be voted on.

This will be an exciting period for hockey in Plymouth and I’m sure that many will take a keen interest in what happens next.

I will aim to provide a monthly update on the website which will indicate how far we are along our roadmap to a formal proposal for you; our membership, to vote upon.

Your interests will continue to be held at the heart of our endeavours and should you have any questions about what happens next, please feel free to contact me.

Lastly I want to wish all of the PGSOB Membership and our wider Plymouth Hockey Family a very Merry Christmas as we look forward to an exciting 2022.

Tristan Andrews

PGSOB  Co-Chairman


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