A NEW form of hockey introduced by Bromsgrove Hockey Club has been hailed such a success that it is to be taken up by other clubs up and down the country and could soon be played all over the World.
Walking Hockey came about after it was proposed by Liz Morris who attended the Bromsgrove club’s ‘Back to Hockey’ session last year.
She tried the Back to Hockey session but felt she needed something slower and, thinking there would be others out there who felt the same way, she suggested ‘Walking Hockey’ to Alan Gormley, Bromsgrove Hockey Club’s head development coach.
Alan thought it was a good idea and a six-week pilot programme of sessions was organised for the start of this year.
Speaking after the first session Liz said: “I loved hockey when I was younger, I played at school and then for Birmingham Municipal HC until I was about 30 then it all stopped.
“It’s been great tonight with so many like-minded people and I have made some new friends – really enjoyable.”
Alan told The Standard: “I certainly thought it had the potential as there is walking football for men and walking netball for men and women.
“I think other places have tried walking hockey but I don’t think it took off in the way it has here.
“We got as many organisations as we could to to get involved and we struck lucky.
“There’s quite a few people I know who have had to give up hockey because of injury and I thought it would be perfect for them.”
The first session on January 9 was attended by 35 people, including a Slimming World group, a couple of 60-year-olds and a woman who is currently being treated for cancer.
Anne Turton, who attended the first session as part of her rehabilitation, said: “I played a lot of hockey as a youngster and it was my passion.
“I played a couple of seasons with Bromsgrove ladies but then I stopped and I wasn’t very active.
“In August 2015 I was diagnosed with myeloma – bone marrow cancer.
“I have come through some pretty hefty chemo sessions and this is part of my recovery periods, to build up stamina and to get as fit as I can.
“I wanted to get out and meet people rather than sitting at home feeling sort for myself.”
The six-week run is due to end on February 13 but Mr Gormley has now booked the pitch so it can continue beyond that.
This new form of the game has also attracted attention from England Hockey which has published a report about it on its website. The piece featured recommendations from Mr Gormley and Bromsgrove Hockey Club about how to set up Walking Hockey sessions.
Walking Hockey has also been recommended to the World governing body ‘The FIH’ so who knows – this form of the game piloted in Bromsgrove earlier this month could soon be played all over the globe.
For more information or to book places, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Alan Gormley on 07731 369942.