Hockey stars hail fantastic festival

Hockey Festival at Tweedbank. Selkirk team in a take on the goalie competition.

Hockey Festival at Tweedbank. Selkirk team in a take on the goalie competition.

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Borders Hockey Development’s sixth Annual Festival of Hockey 2015 was hailed as a resounding success, with around 400 hockey enthusiasts crossing the pitch.

The weekend kicked off on the Friday night with the goalkeepers’ coaching clinic, taken by the legendary Geeg (Graham Stuart), the Scottish national goalkeepers’ coach.

Hockey Festival at Tweedbank. Under sixteen player of the year Rhona Gowans with Sarah Robertson presenting the award.

Hockey Festival at Tweedbank. Under sixteen player of the year Rhona Gowans with Sarah Robertson presenting the award.

He delivered a fantastic, inspirational workshop and, as there were 16 goalkeepers attending, he brought an assistant – none other than Nicki Cochrane, the Scottish women’s national number one. There were a number of awestruck young GKs who received lots of tips and techniques which will enhance their careers.

Early on the Saturday morning the under-12 players from the Participation Centres played out a competitive six-a-side festival where competition is encouraged and positive attitude and applying effort is rewarded by positive feedback from the club coaches and supporters.

This was a fantastic showcase of fun hockey, with many of the young players experiencing team hockey against other clubs in the region for the first time.

On completion of the festival, the following players were selected to be presented with certificates of merit by their club coaches for demonstrating hard work, enthusiasm and effort during training sessions throughout the year: Kelso – Sophie Younger, Erin Lawrence, Abbie Aitchieson; Jedburgh – Izzy Jones, Molly Noble, Daisy Findlay; Earlston – Emily Love, Felicity Walls, Fletcher Falconer; Tweedbank – Thea Naylor, Poppy Nixie-Godfrey, Holly Brydon; Selkirk – Gracie Patterson, Louise Greenwood, Emma Jamieson; Berwickshire – Amanda Prentice, Jessica Walker and Aaron Green.

Hockey Festival at Tweedbank. Under twelves player of the year Harry Richardson with Sarah Robertson presenting the award.

Hockey Festival at Tweedbank. Under twelves player of the year Harry Richardson with Sarah Robertson presenting the award.

There was a short break while the Borders Hockey Development Awards were presented by Sarah Robertson, who having just arrived back from Valencia with GB in the morning, caught the train, arrived in Carlisle at 11am and rushed to the pitch to present the awards.

Sarah then delivered a fantastic coaching clinic to 40 of the region’s young development and performance players, who were treated to an account of a day in the life of a GB internationalist, along with some amazing new tricks and skills which are used on the pitch at international level. There were some gasps of amazement when Sarah demonstrated her shooting skills.

Next up was a family fun six-a-side tournament for all ages and stages. On one pitch, five-year-old Owen Richardson scored his first competitive goal at one end, and Colin Stockdale, one of the Scotland Masters over-55 players, scored at the other in the same match.