Club’s new home is taking shape after two-year delay
AN EXCITED Amersham & Chalfont Hockey Club hope to be playing matches at their new home within a fortnight.
Two years ago the club announced plans for a new pitch and clubhouse at Amersham & Wycombe College but they were beset by delays after Chiltern District Council refused planning permission.
Exiled to Rickmansworth, the club eventually got the decision overturned on appeal and, after some impressive fundraising, the new facility is all but ready, according to chairman Peter Rowlins.
“The pitch has been ready for about a month now, but we have to make sure the site is safe as well,” said Mr Rowlins. “We are pretty much there now and hope to be playing our first games there in the next few weeks.
“The clubhouse should be ready by then too. We are expecting the changing rooms to be ready by next week, and the rest of the building shouldn’t be far behind.
“It’s been a long journey, and patience has certainly been the order of the day!”
While the club will be keeping their move low profile for now, they are planning an official opening ceremony at the end of the season, which they are hoping GB Olympic gold medal winners Maddie Hinch and Hannah Macleod will attend.
In the meantime, the new facilities will not be ready for the ladies first team’s return to action on Saturday, and they will instead play Oxford Ladies 3s at the Royal Masonic School. But the club anticipate their new home being ready to host a doubleheader the following weekend, when the ladies play South Berkshire, followed by the men’s firsts making their return from the winter break, against Tring.
A taste of what is to come has been provided by Amersham & Wycombe College student Robert
Sh a w, who used a drone to take an aerial shot of the new pitch just before Christmas. Elsewhere, Saturday sees Gerrards Cross Ladies and South Bucks Ladies return to action with an away game at Oxford Hawks Ladies 4s and a home game against Sonning Veterans, respectively. Gerrards Cross men shake off their winter slumber at South Berkshire 3s on Saturday week, as do South Bucks men, at home to Leighton Buzzard 2s.
Home at last! The new hockey pitch at Amersham & Wycombe College.
Excited: Amersham & Chalfont’s Doug McAteer is ready to play at the club’s new base