Thursday, July 6, 2017

News: Hockey club returning to Rotherham

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Kier Construction has got the ball rolling on a brand new pitch for Rotherham Hockey Club.

The club, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, has confirmed that it will be returning to Rotherham to play home fixtures at a purpose built facility which is taking shape in Brinsworth

Founded in Rotherham in 1927, the club has had a number of bases in the borough during its long history but, following the closure of the Firth Rixson Aurora sports ground and clubhouse, four years ago, and due to a lack of suitable alternative venues in the town, was forced to relocate to Westfield Sports College in Sheffield for all playing and coaching activities and home games and to The Belfry public house for post-match hospitality.

Now a new facility, which is on the site of the old Aurora sports ground, is part of a joint venture with Sheffield Hallam University, the institution which which opened its £6m sports park on adjacent land, just over the borough boundary, in 2013.

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The University acquired the former Aurora site and the park will now add hockey to the list of sports predominantly played there, which includes football, rugby, American football, lacrosse and cricket.

Having secured planning permission earlier this year, Kier Construction has made rapid progress in laying the new pitch in time for the new season.

In addition to a dedicated artificial hockey pitch, which will meet England Hockey's standards for top-flight hockey, the new development will include disability access to pitch side, the refurbishment of a spectator stand, welfare facilities, floodlighting, landscaping and car parking.

Jon Warden, Kier site manager for the project, said: "We're extremely pleased to be delivering this new facility for Sheffield Hallam University and Rotherham Hockey Club, through the Scape minor works framework. When complete, this new centre will provide top-class hockey facilities for the area and we're all looking forward to seeing the first match played here later this year."

The handover to SHU will be in August when the pitch will be ready for the coming 2017/18 season with league matches due to start end September 17. An official opening of the facility is being planned alongside hockey events during September.

James Swinscoe, chairman of Rotherham Hockey Club, said: "Rotherham Hockey Club are delighted to be involved in this joint venture. We have worked very closely and collaboratively with Sheffield Hallam University to bring hockey back into the Rotherham Borough, thereby providing tremendous opportunities for both Rotherham Hockey Club and its wider audience. We are very excited about the future."

Dave Woodward, youth co-ordinator at Rotherham Hockey Club, added: "Since the closure of the Firth Rixson Aurora Sports Club and forced move into Sheffield our membership has declined and our outreach work in local schools has suffered. We have worked hard to get back to a new site in Rotherham. The scheme will be a major boost to both our club and the University and will provide a first class facility that can be enjoyed by all those involved in the sport and help us achieve our targets in developing the sport to all but especially young people."

Rotherham Hockey Club website
Kier website
SHU website

Images: Rotherham Hockey Club


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