Helping re-open community Hockey Pitches

February 2022. For much of last year, the All Weather Hockey Pitch at Walton-Le-Dale High School was closed at weekends due to the facility being unable to recruit a member of staff. This sadly resulted in many local sports clubs having no pitches to play on.

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In September 2021, South Ribble Leisure Ltd stepped in to support the school and the local community by providing a member of staff, Oscar Tipton from Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre, to enable the facility to re-open.

Leisure Operations Manager, Paul Shannon said, "Over the last few months, Oscar has been seconded to Walton-Le-Dale High School at weekends to support the running of the All Weather Pitches. I would like to thank Oscar for his hard work in making this possible".

This support has now enabled local hockey clubs in particular to train and play at weekends. Such facilities for hockey clubs are few and far between but thanks to the support from South Ribble Leisure Ltd, many local players are able to resume playing.

Deputy Leader of South Ribble Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Mick Titherington said, "I am very pleased that South Ribble Leisure Ltd has been able to support the community and keep sports clubs training in the local area. I visited the facility recently, and saw how much it means to hockey clubs, football clubs and more."

A spokesperson for Brookfields Hockey Club said, "Opening the WLD Astroturf pitch at weekends is vital to Brookfield Hockey Club fulfilling our ladies and mens matches in the North West Hockey League. It has also given our Junior teams a local home pitch to grow in confidence and experience playing matches against other teams. We have over 100 players now playing hockey for Brookfields in South Ribble so a lot of planning goes into facilitating the training and matches - Oscar is vital to that."

Photographed: South Ribble Leisure Ltd member of staff, Oscar Tipton.