FAN ZONE – Spectators at Nottingham Hockey Centre. Photo c/o David Kissman
Nottingham Hockey Centre has recently launched its Sunday afternoon mixed hockey league. The league takes place on Sunday afternoons from 4pm-7pm at Nottingham Hockey Centre and has been a huge success. Because of the league start time it has meant teams can arrive early to watch some Men’s Premier League hockey and get behind the men’s 1st team before they play.
Local clubs Beeston, Boots, Newark and West Bridgford have all entered the inaugural league and David Griffiths managed to catch up with team captains from Boots and West Bridgford – Jonty Bayliss and Mick Hart
DG – Your clubs are in competition with Beeston teams on Saturdays, when you and your teammates watch the Beeston men’s 1st team on Sunday’s are you supporting the Bees or their opposition?
JB – A lot of us stay fairly neutral as it is always just great hockey to watch. Being a Nottingham side though the cheers are always louder for Beeston over their opposition.
MH – Bees obviously, unless the opposition is West Bridgford, which they won’t be!
DG – What do you think to the standard of the new mixed league?
JB – It is a very competitive standard where all levels can play. From what I know about our team we have had players from men’s and ladies 1st teams all the way through to our 7th teams. It has been great to be able to get everyone involved and still be competitive with the teams we have faced.
MH – Very high, and it is a great opportunity for our team members to play against players from higher leagues than they would normally. They all (especially the ladies) make a marked step-up in performance and competitiveness to meet that challenge, and hopefully will be carrying that improvement into their Saturday league play.
DG – Do your teams enjoy the social aspect of mixed hockey?
JB – It is one of the big draws towards mixed hockey. Playing and socialising with different people from the club is something that only happens at club socials which are less often than playing in this mixed league.
MH – They do, mixed hockey especially depends on good teamwork to get results, and these games (and the bar being open!) provide a good base to work on that aspect of the game.
DG – Are your players enjoying the new mixed league at Nottingham Hockey Centre?
JB – Yes, very much so, the format is great fun and has been enjoyed by all who have played so far.
MH – I think the fact that players are looking forward to playing a second or third game in the week (fourth in one case) answers that question. At a very busy time of the season our players are wanting to play mixed hockey as well as their respective cup games, which are also on a Sunday.
DG – We are planning another mixed league in the second half of the season, will you be entering a team from your club again?
JB – Fingers crossed we will be.
MH – Definitely, and I hope that we may enter a second team eventually as well, next season perhaps.
If you are fancy getting involved with the new mixed hockey leagues at Nottingham Hockey Centre please contact David Griffiths via email [email protected]