New astroturf pitch set to be built as home for Royston Hockey Club

Action from the ladies' 1sts' win over City of Peterborough. Action from the ladies' 1sts' win over City of Peterborough.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
5:45 PM

Plans have now been submitted to North Herts District Council for the pitch, which would be built at Therfield Heath on land known as the ‘top pitch’, to provide a permanent base for Royston Hockey Club.

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The site of Royston Hockey Club's proposed new all-weather pitch at Therfield HeathThe site of Royston Hockey Club's proposed new all-weather pitch at Therfield Heath

Chairman Steve Gourd revealed the scheme had been a year in the making. He said: “The club has been around for 66 years and had always played up on the heath until about 15 years ago, when the regulations changed and it became a requirement to use an Astroturf pitch.

“Unfortunately, the 3G pitch at The Meridian School isn’t the right surface for hockey, but it was always our intention to go back, and hopefully now we’ll be able to do that.”

Home games had been played at Bassingbourn Barracks, but the club was one of a number of organisations forced to leave the site last year when it closed.

The coming season will see them playing home matches 20 miles away in St Neots, with the hope that they will be able to move to the new pitch in 2015/16. Funding for the project has come from within the club, as well as several different grants.

With more than 300 players involved at the club across its male, female and junior teams, Mr Gourd said the pitch would be an asset to the town.

“For a place the size of Royston, we’re quite a big club. It’s definitely time we had our own pitch because we’ve been part of the town for so long,” he added. “We’ve spent a lot of the last year consulting with people about what we should do, and though the pitch will be marked out for hockey, it will be available to hire for other sports uses.

“We’ve been working closely with the Conservators of Therfield Heath, and we’re very pleased to have their support for this project.”

The district council will now need to give the site the go-ahead before construction can begin.

Royston Hockey Club is always looking for new members, and runs a Back to Hockey programme for those who want to return to the sport. Visit www.roystonhockey.co.uk for more details.

Do you welcome this potential new addition to the town? Email postbag@royston-crow.co.uk.

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