FJORDHUS REIVERS celebrated the formation of the new club and the Festival of Sport last week by holding an open evening in the form of a tournament.
Some 150 players took to the tiger turf on Thursday night to showcase some great skill while having fun at the same time.
Borders hockey development officer Janet Jack told TheSouthern: “It was fantastic to see the turnout of members, young and old, boys and girls, all playing together in some small-sided games.”
The new club is trying to encourage a family atmosphere and there were a number of mums and dads competing on the same pitch as sons and daughters who, on the odd occasion, were stealing the ball from their elders.
The club has emerged over the last four years, each year adapting to the demands from those wanting to play hockey and the directive from Scottish Hockey regarding the stronger game which is the national governing body’s strategy for long-term player development.
The club and hockey has the support of Borders Sport and Leisure Trust, whose commitment has recently been recognised by making hockey one of its target sports. This has been further endorsed by their support in building clubrooms and dug-outs at Tweedbank, home to the Reivers club, which runs seven squads at all age groups – under-12s, 13s, 15s and 18s – as well as three senior teams – one men’s and two ladies’.
Secretaries Claire Townsend and Stephen Young were delighted to report how difficult it has become to keep up with the registration of all the players, now nearing the 500 mark.
Jack added: “Hockey is fortunate to be a sport where the game is mixed until the age of 14 and these sections in particular are very successful under their head coach Pippa Bell, who was named Scottish Hockey Youth coach of the Year for 2011/12.
“Alongside this impressive number of squads running out of Tweedbank the club also has satellite centres for Under-12s at Hawick, Duns, Selkirk and Earlston.
“Whether it is the ‘Olympic effect’ or just the fun of playing hockey, the junior centres are running near capacity, and to ensure that the club can cope with the numbers there is a very strong education system in place, continually supporting coaches and umpires through recognised qualifications.”
The season has started very well for the Fjordhus Ladies 1st squad, who have already taken two big scalps in the form of GHK and Waverley Inveresk, and Jack feels that the early success is down to the development pathway that is in place within the club.
“Encouraging the youngsters to play competitive hockey in all age groups and encouraging them to play at the highest level for their ability is allowing them all to reach their potential,” said Jack.
The men’s and ladies’ second teams start their season’s campaign this coming Saturday and they are hoping to follow the example of the top sides.
The club are indebted to Fjordhus, the Norwegian Homes company based in Galashiels which has been the main sponsor to the club as it has emerged over the years.
Their financial contribution is gratefully received, however, it is their vision for the future of the club and their support to hockey in many other ways, that makes them valuable.
Their contribution along with the dedicated team of coaches, umpires and many volunteers are responsible for producing a club which is quite literally going from strength to strength.
Training takes place at Tweedbank on Tuesdays: 5.30pm-6.15pm (Under-13s), 6.15pm-7pm (Under-15s); Wednesdays: 7.30pm-8.30pm and Thursdays: 4.30pm-5.30pm (Under-12s), 5.30pm-6.15pm (Under-13s), 6.15pm-7pm (Under-15s), 5pm-6pm (Under-18s), 7pm-8.30pm (Ladies 1sts & 2nds).
Also, for Under-12s at: Hawick HS and Earlston HS (Mondays, 5pm-6pm); Berwickshire HS (Tuesdays, 4pm-5pm); and Selkirk HS (Saturdays, 9.30am-10.30am).