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Durham University

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Young future hockey stars get a masterclass from University top team

(23 February 2018)

Hockey team volunteers

Young potential World Cup winners were treated to a special hockey skills clinic and tournament, hosted by Durham University’s Hockey Club.

With the Hockey World Cup to be held in London later this year, over 200 children, aged six to 13, from twelve clubs as far as Carlisle and York, descended on the Graham Sports Centre to listen and learn from some of the University’s international players as well as two professional coaches. 

The morning masterclass was followed by an afternoon competition in which the winners were awarded prizes, kindly donated by Mercian Hockey. One young player from Durham Dales Hockey club, which recently celebrated their first anniversary, said of the event: “Thank you so much for organising today. I’m having so much fun!” 

Over 30 students volunteered their time to run the World Cup-themed hockey festival – the first in a series of events organised as part of Durham University’s ‘Hurray for Hockey’ community outreach programme. 

The scheme, officially launched last term, aims to help encourage local people and children – of all abilities – to have a go at playing hockey and to use the fantastic facilities at the University’s Maiden Castle site. 

The initiative also includes a Durham University Hockey Club ‘Coaching Roadshow’, in which students visit local clubs to help teach and train junior teams. 

Durham University’s Hockey Club Captain, Catriona McLellan, said: “The Winning World Cup Junior Festival was a fantastic day and I’d like to thank to all the parents, coaches, student volunteers, and participants for making it so enjoyable. 

“For our first festival, we were delighted with how many local people got involved and we can’t wait to create an even better experience during May half-term at our next Junior Festival.”

Fancy trying your hand at hockey? Why not come along to one of the ‘Hurray for Hockey’ events? These include:

  • Walking Hockey – every Friday, between 1.30pm and 2.30pm at the Graham Sport Centre, DH1. These workshops are especially aimed at people with limited mobility, of all skill levels, and are designed to make hockey accessible for all. They are a chance to learn new skills, and meet people in a safe and fun environment.
  • Back to Hockey – every Friday between 12.00pm and 1.00pm also at the Graham Sport Centre.

For more information contact Emma Headley via