Members pitch in to make up new ground funding shortfall
£50,000 will go some way to helping Amersham and Chalfont enjoy the facilities teams deserve
The club, who boast a membership of around 600, have been playing for many years on a decrepit pitch at Newland Park in Chalfont, which they reckon is one of the oldest in the country – and it shows.
They announced plans a year and a half ago to create a new home at Amersham & Wycombe College, which finally got the green light in February having initially been turned down by Chiltern District Council.
In the meantime they left Newland Park behind last season to play at home over the county boundary at the Royal Masonic School in Rickmansworth, hoping it would be a temporary fix.
But their future plans hit the buffers this month when it was found that original estimates for the cost of the development fell short by £50k, leaving a significant funding shortfall.
Yet members have rallied round and dug deep, meaning there are only as few more hurdles to jump before work can hopefully begin next month.
Club chairman Peter Rowlins said: “The actual cost of the pitches, buildings and so on were quite a lot more than we had been quoted, so we were faced with the choice of funding the gap ourselves or putting the club’s future in doubt.
“Thankfully we have a large membership and are in quite an affluent area, so for in the region of £100 per member, it looks like we have been able to secure what we need – although there are still a few more matters to attend to.”
The ups and downs off the pitch have not affected performances on it, with the men’s first team winning the MBBO Division One title last season and the ladies making up for the disappointment of losing out on promotion at the death in the Trysports Premier by winning the Investec Women’s Vase.
If all goes well the club could be in their new home by the new year, but will continue playing at the Royal Masonic in the meantime, with the new season beginning next month.
Meanwhile, Gerrards Cross Hockey Club are on the lookout for new players, particularly adults, and would love to hear from anyone interested in joining. They are also looking for a level two coach to assist John Shaw with the juniors. Visit www.pitchero.com/ clubs/gerrardscross for more details.
Kate Wooldridge (right), in action for Amersham & Chalfont Ladies, could play at the club’s new home in the new year.