Members of Lancaster and Morecambe Hockey Club have spoken to Beyond Radio about their plans for the future.
Club chair Matthew Winder, vice chair Adam Horrobin and first team player Amy Read were guests on our Saturday Sport Show on January 27.
They talked about how the club was formed, the season so far and, most importantly for them, bringing new people into the sport, their club specifically.
The club first formed in 1985, under the name ‘Morecambe & District Hockey Club’, which was changed to Lancaster and Morecambe Hockey Club (LAMHC) in 2012.
The club, who have three senior women’s teams and one men’s team, was established after a growth in the popularity of hockey in the 1984 Summer Olympics.
The club is hopeful that there will be similar levels of interest in the sport in this summer’s Olympics in Paris.
Club chair Matthew Winder told Beyond Radio: “There was a real buzz around hockey in the mid to late 1980s.
“The club was formed around that time and a pitch was brought in at Salt Ayre.
“I really think [hockey] can grow [during the Olympics.
“The women’s GB team have had three amazing Olympics - to get a silver, a gold and a bronze is just quite exceptional.
“I watched the men’s team in the qualification matches and they were excellent.
“They have players who would be household names in any other sport.”
LAMHC, who play home games at the University of Cumbria, are hoping to attract enough people in the coming months for there to be new teams for the 2024/25 season.
“We would like to enter two development teams into leagues, which give younger people a great opportunity to join the club and play league hockey on a Saturday,” said Matthew.
“Many other local clubs have entered development teams and we’d really like to do that too.
“Anybody who is 13 or over is entitled to play.
“It enables the club to play experienced, quality players in that team so they can pass on their wisdom to the younger players and encourage them to play.
“That’s really the heart of our club, that’s what we’re really good at. We hope to continue that into the future.”
Amy Read, who is only 16 years old, has made her way up through the club’s system and is now in the first team.
She said the club’s encouragement and support has helped her become the player she is.
“Even if, when you join the juniors, you know absolutely nothing [about hockey], the club get you into those basics that really allow you to progress," said Amy.
“I started off as a junior, knowing absolutely nothing, then played in the thirds and seconds.
“Playing in the firsts can be a bit daunting but you’ve got all these amazing women who know you’ve been through the system, especially our captain [Verity Brogan] who has been absolutely brilliant.”
Teams at all levels are having solid seasons so far, generally finding themselves in mid table with just over half of the games played.
“I think we’ve been doing brilliantly this season”, said Amy.
“Every week brings a new challenge.
“We’re all training and getting down to games on a Saturday, working well as a team to progress and try and move up the table.”
All teams are coached by an England- qualified coach, Mike Sambell.
Sambell is assisted by Gordon Davidson, who is a Scottish international coach, and Gordon’s son Alex for the senior team coaching.
Matthew says the trio form “a really good coaching setup.”
Junior training nights are on Monday nights and senior training is on Thursday.
There is also a huge social aspect to the club.
Vice chair Adam Horrobin co-organises social events and presentations and emphasised the community feel of the club.
“The social side is one of the main reasons why I’m part of the club - the family, friendly feel," said Adam.
“There is a massive social circle to the club which is really good for your mental health as well.”
Amy said she has made “lifelong friends” from being with involved the club.
If you would like to find out more information about Lancaster and Morecambe Hockey Club, including training times, how to join teams, fixtures and more, visit their website and/or social media pages.
Listen to our interview with Lancaster and Morecambe Hockey Club’s Matthew Winder, Adam Horrobin and Amy Read in full by playing January 27’s Saturday Sport Show from the ‘Listen Again’ page of the Beyond Radio website.