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Membership boost for Wapping

PUBLISHED: 08:09 26 September 2014 | UPDATED: 08:09 26 September 2014

Wapping's women began the new season against Old Loughts (pic: Peter Joarder)

Wapping's women began the new season against Old Loughts (pic: Peter Joarder)

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Hockey club attracts newcomers Back to Hockey

Wapping Hockey Club has recruited over 100 new members for the 2014/15 season after a facilities boost and successful Back To Hockey campaign run over the summer.

More than 60 newcomers made their debuts for the club on Saturday as the new season kicked off across the East and Essex leagues.

To meet demand the club has started two more league sides, bringing the total number to 22, and the men’s East Premier Division side fielded five new players in their nail-biting 5-4 defeat against Chelmsford.

The club’s high-standard first-team matches are played at 12.30pm every Saturday in the stadium at the Lee Valley Hockey & Training Centre and are free for spectators to watch.

“Wapping brought hockey to Tower Hamlets for the first time 25 years ago and demand has continued to grow as we’ve improved,” said club chairman Stuart Burnside.

“This season’s facilities boost meant the embarrassment of turning players away due to lack of pitch space is a thing of the past and we could, through Back to Hockey, help semi-active borough residents and workers find their way back to a sporting life.”

Wapping took part in England Hockey’s ‘Back to Hockey’ campaign from April to July to encourage players to return to the sport and novices to pick up a stick for the first time.

More than 30 people took part in the weekly taster sessions during the summer, which were run by some of Wapping’s training staff, including high-performance members Rachel Haseloff and Ryan D’Souza.

The club also launched a “Refer a Friend” scheme last month where current members bringing a new recruit are each offered a £10 bar tab at the club’s social venue, The Cape in Wapping.

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