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Hockey in Tower Hamlets has never been healthier!

1 year ago By Stuart Burnside

‘tis the season of goodwill, so this Christmas, let’s look a bit wider and celebrate the fantastic performance of all the clubs in our borough.

Wapping Chairman’s Christmas Letter.

For some years now, I’ve been saying, to anyone who would listen, that Tower Hamlets has the potential to be one of the best places for hockey in the country. When GB won gold in 1988, there was no hockey club in the borough. Wapping HC was founded that year as a direct consequence. Since then, we’ve been joined by East London HC, London Royals HC and most recently Tower Hamlets HC. Between us we run an astonishing number of teams. Even just counting the male and female adult hockey, it’s 39 teams (split 20 + 16 + 2 + 1 respectively). That, I think, makes hockey one of the most popular team sports in the borough.

Ongoing investment by the Council into sports facilities, and centrally into the Olympic Legacy facilities in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has provided capacity to meet surging demand. We’ve seen standards of the first teams rise, but also, we’ve seen a big increase in adults taking up or returning to the sport and all the clubs have been able to increase provision of youth hockey with more pitch space. Even just speaking for ourselves, our youth club, Wapping Kidds (founded Jan 2016 after the John Orwell refurbishment), played its first matches this month, and I know the other clubs are doing their bit too. Importantly though, we can still offer adult beginners a place to learn separate from the Kidds. As ever, demand continues to stretch supply, and with GB Ladies’ fantastic gold this year being the first one since the men in 1988, we are seeing more and more people wanting to get involved in this great game.

To give you some idea of the scale of this progress, have a look at the below league tables for senior league hockey in England – I’ve deliberately counted down from the top of the country so you can see the full picture.

Nutshell: 12/39 (30%) of Tower Hamlets hockey sides top their leagues and a further two are at the highest position a borough side has ever reached. This puts hockey right up there as one of the highest standard team sports played locally.

League nameTower Hamlets representativeChristmas league position
National League PremN/AN/A
National League East ConferenceWapping M19th (the highest any LBTH hockey club has been, ever)
East Premier A & BN/AN/A
East 1Wapping M21st
East London M14th
East 2SWapping M32nd
Wapping M47th
East 3SEEast London M21st
Wapping M54th
East London M38th
East 4SEWapping M61st
Wapping M75th
East London M49th
East 5SEEast London M51st
East 6SEWapping M85th
East 7SEWapping M91st
East London M63rd
East London M77th
East 8SEWapping MX5th
East 9SEEast London M81st
East 10SETower Hamlets M11st
Wapping XI2nd
London Royals M24th
Higgins London League Div 6London Royals M11st
(a separate league that doesn’t feed into national)
League nameTower Hamlets representativeChristmas league position
National League (both divisionsN/AN/A
East PremierWapping L12nd (the highest any LBTH hockey club has been, ever)
East 1SWapping L29th
East 2SEEast London L11st
Essex PremEast London L21st
Wapping L35th
Wapping L410th
Essex 1East London L34th
Wapping L510th
Essex 2East London L44th
Essex 3East London L51st
Wapping L65th
Essex 4East London L61st
Wapping L74th
Essex 5East London L74th
Wapping L8 6th
Note: Wapping & East London have a further 2 ladies teams These compete in an unofficial local leagueThis increases participation opportunities for beginners

A really impressive year so far. Thank you to everyone at Wapping who have made it a pleasure to serve as Chair, and thank you to the other three clubs, who are great competition on pitch but great at cooperation off it…neighbours, everyone needs good neighbours! So it serves me only to say, well done neighbours, have a great winter break, and we look forward to helping continue to push local hockey forward in the New Year.

Merry Christmas

Stuart Burnside
Wapping HC Chairman (2013-present)

Updated 13:53 - 12 Dec 2016 by Stuart Burnside

Where next?

England call up for Hart Remains to represent Realm as veteran midfielder gets nod for first Masters cap
Advance and Season Tickets now on sale Roll up, roll up, and let's make some noise for hockey


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