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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.



Toasting the New Pitch_edited.jpg

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.

Grants Make New Astro Pitch & Tennis Court Floodlights Possible

Fundraising by Ely City Hockey Club and a very generous £35,000 grant from Amey Community Fund has enabled the replacement of the floodlights and failing electrical controls on the Astro pitch, as spare parts were no longer available for the 27 year old original lighting system. 

Thanks also to a £17,000 grant from the Mick George Community Fund and fundraising by Ely Tennis Club, we have also been able to replace the flood lights on their tennis court facilities, after the original lighting equipment was deemed unsafe for users.


In both cases, the new floodlights incorporate energy saving LED’s, subsequently improving visibility, while also reducing energy consumption and EOSA’s carbon footprint.  The floodlights also present both EOSA club members, and members of the Ely community who also use the tennis courts and astro pitch, with improved conditions for playing tennis, hockey and football.  

These grants and improvements are fantastic news for EOSA as we look to expand further the number of participants that use the venue for recreational and, or competitive activity.

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