There’s a buzz over Beeston’s gold medal­list

The Hockey Paper - - FEATURE OPINION -

BEESTON HC teased us all last week when they re­vealed they would be wel­com­ing an Olympic gold medal­list to the club. A hockey win­ner you say? That’s so old hat. Eti­enne Stott, who won C2 ca­noe slalom gold at Lon­don 2012, has re­turned to the sport af­ter 20 years out, the news com­ing to light af­ter his name stuck out from a new batch of mem­ber­ship ap­pli­ca­tions.

Stott be­gan his first train­ing ses­sion last week and ad­mit­ted to wak­ing up to a “new level of DOMS (muscle sore­ness) from a hockey thrash­ing. Al­though I was ter­ri­ble, I did ac­tu­ally re­mem­ber a few things!” That no doubt in­cluded pass­ing rather than pad­dling.

THE old­est recorded match de­bate, which we re­ported on last week here, can now be put to bed.

The Hockey Mu­seum has con­firmed that the old­est match be­tween two clubs was played on 7 Novem­ber 1874 be­tween Rich­mond and Ted­ding­ton, but that it could be “dis­proved” in time.

TEAM GB women ath­letes’ suc­cess has seen an up­surge in teenage girls tak­ing up sport – al­though hockey is fourth most pop­u­lar. Seventy-five per cent of girls aged 15 and 16 are now play­ing sport at school, says a Child­wise sur­vey, com­pared with only 50 per cent in 2015.

Net­ball is the most pop­u­lar school sport for girls aged 11 to 16, with 57 per cent of all girls play­ing, fol­lowed by ath­let­ics, bad­minton and then hockey.

MEAN­WHILE, hockey has seen a 5.10% year-on-year par­tic­i­pa­tion in­crease, ac­cord­ing to Sport Eng­land fig­ures up un­til Septem­ber 2016. Over 92,000 weekly par­tic­i­pants are aged 16 and over, how­ever this rep­re­sents a 1.27% drop from ten years ago.

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to two stal­warts of Ir­ish hockey who passed im­por­tant mile­stones re­cently. Ro­nan Gorm­ley has be­come the most capped Ir­ish player, male or fe­male, of all time on 250 caps while Ban­gor man, Chris Cargo, topped 150 while in Spain.

“To be hon­est I never ex­pected to win one cap,” said Cargo, who is now look­ing for­ward to a home com­pe­ti­tion in Belfast when Stor­mont hosts the World League 2 event next month.

We’ve all heard of Stor­mont of course, as the home of the North­ern Ire­land Assem­bly, but it is also the well ap­pointed hockey home of the NI Civil Ser­vice. Should, as they say, be a cracker!

Re­turn­ing: Eti­enne Stott

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