Launched immediately after (and as a consequence of) the John Orwell refurbishment, Wapping Kidds, like its parent club, is striving to provide inclusive access to hockey for everyone in our community. The club already provides sticks and playing shirts meaning youngsters can learn to play hockey on Saturday mornings at the John Orwell Centre in Wapping for just £2.
But, members of parent club Wapping HC, wanted to do a little more than that.
Vice Chair and session lead Sandra Akinbolu advises: “We want to do everything we can to make both the adult and youth club financially inclusive and attractive to everyone in the community. Sometimes you need to buy equipment to practice at home, and sometimes borough children will need help with that. That’s the idea behind this bursary.”
In January 2016, immediately after the John Orwell Centre refurbishment, Wapping launched its long planned youth section. Focussed on the need of local primary children, this was a significant step towards delivering former Chair Stuart Burnside’s pledge “to help nurture the next generation of hockey players in the borough.”
Now Honorary President, he said: “We wanted to get going a lot sooner, but we had to wait for our condemned pitch to be replaced with something safer. This bursary represents another step in the right direction, but there is more to do.”
Incoming Chair Matt Patterson added: “We are training as many youth coaches as we can, and we invite anyone who wants to work with us to get in touch. We recognise to really make a difference we need more people so we are able to perform targeted outreach work.”
The youth club can be reached at Kidds and to join the adult club, contact Membership. Whatever your income level, whatever your background, there is a place for you here.
Whilst momentum continues to grow, the clubs recognise we have to ensure everyone in the community recognises they are both welcome at Wapping and can afford to join. Watch this space, there'll be more to come.
Finally - THANK YOU to everyone who has helped fund this. If you want to contribute, please contact Stuart.
Notes for editors:
2014 Daily Telegraph interview in Stuart Burnside’s first season as Chair contained the club’s first announcement of its intended youth project (the “help nurture” quote from Burnside drawn from there): Telegraph
2016 Club launches Wapping Kidds
Updated 19:18 - 3 Aug 2017 by Stuart Burnside