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Walking into Hockey

Walking sport has become incredibly popular in recent years and, at Hockey Wales, the sport was going from strength to strength with several Walking Hockey Groups up and running across Wales prior to lockdown (#1).

Having seen that walking hockey groups were being set up in England and the work that Hockey Wales Club Development Officer Amanda Roberts was doing in South Wales, Dysynni Hockey Club decided to have a go to see if it would take off with their members and supporters.

The driving force behind the idea, and subsequent delivery of the initiative for the club, was Lynda Bennett,

“The thing that really got me wanting to do it was to create a legacy for a close friend, Clare Horton who lost her battle with cancer in October 2019. Clare played some walking football during her illness and really raved about how good it was for people who were injured or ill, were no longer playing team sport, and for beginners to have a go at a team sport.

“Clare was a key member of Dysynni Hockey Club, loved sport and left the club some money along with her wish for it to be used to introduce more people to our lovely sport – here was the moment for us to get walking hockey up and running!”

Having had the support of the club’s committee from the start, a Facebook campaign was undertaken to gauge interest and it was then just a question of waiting until the Covid restrictions were relaxed before they were able to run their first session.

On 23rd November 2020 Dysynni ran their inaugural walking hockey session and it proved a real success with four sessions in the bag before the next lockdown,

“The benefits for people have been to get together and play something for fun, hearing the laughter has been a joy! It’s a real leveller so it doesn’t matter how quick you might be everyone gets a chance to take part. And watching some of the walking styles is a hoot!

“Even though we only had four sessions before lockdown, you could see people were improving and getting their eye into how to play hockey which is really satisfying.

“I’m so glad we did those first few sessions; now we are up and going we can just re-start when the time is right and chances are, we will have daylight and warmer conditions to enjoy as well.”

People from all areas of the club have been involved including coaches, past members and a couple of current members, but the core number of participants were mum’s and dads who moved from the side-lines to the pitch.

Lynda’s advice to any club who may be thinking of starting a new initiative and considering walking hockey,

“I would say DO IT! It’s an opportunity not to be missed!”

If you are interested in learning more about Walking Hockey or would like help in setting up your own sessions, please contact Amanda Roberts by emailing development@hockeywales.org.uk or for more details click here.

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