Olympic Gold Medallist Opens New Astro Pitch
Helen Richardson-Walsh, MBE and gold medal winning member of Team GB in Rio 2016 officially opened the new astro pitch at Ely Outdoor Sports Association (EOSA) on Sunday 24th February 2019.
Home to Ely City Hockey Club (ECHC), the old astro pitch was 25 years old and had become too dangerous to play on. Over the last 10 years ECHC had raised £55k through various fundraising events but with £198k needed to replace the carpet and the shockpad, they together with EOSA had to appeal to local businesses for support and apply to a number of grant providers.
In August 2018, thanks to generous donations from local businesses - G's Fresh, A L Lee Farming and J Gilbert & Son together with grants from Sport England, the Amey Community Fund, the National Hockey Foundation and East Cambridgeshire District Council, work started to replace the astro pitch carpet and shockpad and to repair the path surrounding the pitch.
Work was completed mid January and on Sunday 24th February, EOSA and ECHC held an official Pitch Opening Ceremony and dedicated the new astro pitch to Trevor Hopkinson, a leading member of ECHC for many years. Helen Richardson-Walsh, MBE and gold medal winning member of Team GB in the Rio 2016 Olympics officially opened the pitch and very kindly spent time talking to players and having numerous photos taken with them.
Glorious and unseasonal temperatures provided the ideal day for many of ECHC past and present players to turn out. After a morning of Junior matches, the current ladies and mens teams played matches against the Ladies Legends and the Presidents team in the afternoon.