New hockey club celebrates first birthday in style

New hockey club celebrates first birthday in style

A hockey club has celebrated its first birthday in style – with a smart new kit for all six of its teams.

Eirias Hockey Club was created when two struggling clubs in Llandudno and Colwyn Bay joined forces last year.

The new burgundy, black and gold kit is being sponsored by housing association Cartrefi Conwy.

It has three men’s teams and two ladies teams which play in the North Wales and Cheshire leagues.

The club also has a thriving youth section and an under 16 Badgers team, with several of its members representing Wales and North Wales.

They have 60 adult players and 90 juniors with all the teams playing their home matches on the astro-turf pitch at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay.

The amalgamated club is going from strength to strength and has launched a recruitment drive for new players of all ages.

Both of the merged clubs had a long and distinguished history.

The Llandudno club was the second oldest in North Wales after Rhyl and dated back to the 1880s when hockey in the UK was in its infancy.

Co-chair Tim Baker, who was a stalwart of the Llandudno club, said: “We decided it would be a good idea to consolidate.

“It was a sad day when we pulled the plug on Llandudno but if we hadn’t done so we . probably would not have survived into the season. We are stronger together.

“We’re celebrating our first birthday as an amalgamated club and starting our second season. It’s been a positive move for everybody.

“It is a family friendly club that aspires to promote a good sporting ethos at all ages.

“We’re very grateful to Cartrefi Conwy for the support in sponsoring the kit and having the sponsor’s name on the front of the shirt increases our profile as well theirs.

According to co-chair Simon John Norma Wilson, hockey was getting a much higher profile these days thanks to increased coverage on television.

He said: “The game has speeded up to make it a really fast, exciting game and it’s worth putting on television because of the camera technology that enables them to zoom in on the ball in a way that wasn’t possible before.

“It’s a great team sport and brilliant cardio-vascular exercise and what we need is for it to be pushed more in schools.”

Wayne Bannister, the head of property at Cartrefi Conwy, said: “We are very much a community-based organisation so we were pleased to have the opportunity to support a local club like this.

“They have an excellent set up at Eirias Park and a it’s really nice to see all age groups, male and female, in the mix.

“It’s really encouraging to see young people out playing sport rather than on their iPhones or playing computer games or whatever.”

“They start as young as seven and I’m hoping to bring my eight-year-old son Owen,  here on Saturday mornings.”

Anybody wanting more information about Eirias Hockey Club and how to join can go to the website www.colwynbayhockey.com or contact Janet Legget-Jones by emailing membership@colwynbayhockey.com