Summer is officially over, September is here and the season is in sight. With pre-season coming quickly to a close, and club training officially kicking off this week, we take some time to reflect over another magnificent summer for Chelmsford HC.
The “off”-season began with summer league competitions for a number of teams within the club. Thanks to hosting at Maldon HC, Old Loughts HC, Brentwood HC and our own women’s and men’s summer league at CHC headquarters, many of us only enjoyed a short but sweet break from hockey.
However, for some of our players, summer league just wasn’t enough. 32 players took part in a mammoth attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the ‘Longest Marathon Playing Field Hockey’. In the past 4 years, the record had been broken an incredible 7 times. In fact, local opponents Old Southendians recently rose to the challenge and set the record at 53 hours and 11 minutes. Nevertheless, their place in history was shortlived as the University of Nottingham men’s hockey club took on the RAF and set the new record at 55 hours and 5 minutes of continuous hockey. It was therefore, a tall order for 32 members of CHC and certainly much taller than originally anticipated. However, thanks to the brilliant determination and willingness of each player, as well as the goodwill of 50-60 helpers, including umpires, witnesses, physiotherapists and many more, the record attempt which began on the evening of Friday 1st July was set at 56 hours and 17 mins by 2am on Monday morning! Over £13k was raised for the club and Farleigh Hospice. Whilst we are still waiting for the record attempt to be verified, we are hopeful in a couple of months to have Chelmsford Hockey Club in the Guinness World Book of Records!
Thanks must go to Sam Wilkinson and all the other organizers, as well as the generous supporters, without whom CHC’s attempt to break the world record would not be possible. These sponsors were: CCTV Aware, RS Cars Ltd, Alpha to Omega Business Solutions Ltd, TFW Group, Yasmin Brasserie, Stepping Stones, Elm House Vets, The Cricketers, The Horse & Groom, Cooper Paul Chartered Accountants, Flexible HR Ltd, Peter Wilkinson Photography, Past Properties, Manor House Osteopath, Silent Voices by Johnathon Toy, Grays and Sons Pub Company, Chelmsford Dance Centre and Personal Training with Kristy Ellis.
In other news, during the build-up to the Rio Olympics, Chelmsford were ecstatic to announce that Olympians Glenn Kirkham and David Condon were to become the new Ladies 1st XI coaches. Whilst this is obviously good news for our female 1st XI, the rest of the club are already enjoying the benefits of Chelmsford’s star-studded coaching team…NOT, may I add, it was lacking any stars in previous seasons. Over 80 children between the ages of 8 and 14 took part in junior camps this summer led by David. The poor soul was inundated with requests for autographs and was even asked to sign trainers and crisp packets!
The Men’s 1st XI also have a new coach for the upcoming season in the form of Shuhel Malique. Malique has a long history with Chelmsford HC, playing for our indoor squad as recently as the 2009/10 season and was an integral part of the side in the late 90’s and early 00’s that was competing in and around the National League Premiership as we know it today. Understandably, both the Ladies 1st XI and Men’s 1st XI have been working hard to impress their new coaches throughout the gruelling pre-season training sessions.
Lastly, Chelmsford HC welcomed players, old and new, to the club on Friday for a #hockeyfest. With many obviously keen for the season to restart, we were pleased to see lots of people in attendance. We are extremely grateful to GB player and Olympian Mark Gleghorne who attended our #hockeyfest and spent lots of time chatting with both junior and senior members, as well as passing on tips.
Please find photos from the #hockeyfest by our favourite photographer, Nick Robinson, here.
And photos from the Ladies’ PLUM tournament here.
Nick, as ever, we are indebted to you for your hard work photographing a wide variety of our teams at CHC, and on away days. We look forward to another season of fabulous photos! Thank you.
So after a hugely successful summer for CHC, it’s time to take this success forward into the season. Due to successful Back2Hockey sessions throughout the summer, we are looking forward to seeing some new faces at CHC so please give a warm welcome to any newcomers. All that’s left to say is: brush off those astros, dig out your gumshield from the bottom of your bag and put a new shammy grip on your stick, the new season arrives tomorrow!
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