London, 23 May – Wapping Hockey Club won the England Hockey award for “Best Local Promotion” at Saturday’s prestigious annual awards ceremony in Reading, reaping praise for its Hockey Beer launch that has raised funds for the club and helped recruit new members.
Wapping HC launched a range of beers at last summer’s EuroHockey Championship, with aptly named Wapping Gold proving the perfect toast for England’s victory. The beers have been introduced at a number of local venues, providing both an income stream but also an unorthodox method of marketing the club to new members. The club has since worked with other local sports clubs to launch their own versions of the brand. This impressed the England Hockey judges and as a result Wapping bagged the marketing award for “Best Local Promotion”.
Wapping HC was shortlisted for an unprecedented four awards in the England Hockey annual honours ceremony. Facing strong competition from all over England, even making the shortlist was a tremendous honour. The Men’s First Team were recognised for a ground-breaking season, which saw them enter the national hockey leagues for the first time after finishing 8 points clear at the top of the regional premiership. At the other end of the club, the Ladies Seventh Team were also honoured for a season that saw them win Essex Division Five with 14 players new to the club. Many of them had never played before, joining through the Club’s free ‘Back To Hockey’ summer beginner programme. Dan Carter was also recognised for a phenomenal effort as the club’s Umpire Development Officer, with his achievements including nearly doubling the club umpire population to more than 70 in the past season.
Wapping HC Chairman Stuart Burnside, who created the Hockey Beer brand, said: “Bringing access to sport to everyone includes marketing its benefits it in as many different ways as possible. It may not be immediately obvious to do that through public houses, but as community meeting places, they give us an audience who we can then hopefully tempt into the sports centres.”
Wapping offer free beginner training, every Thursday, 7-8:30pm, at the John Orwell Centre, Wapping. To give hockey a try, email Wapping or simply turn up.
For more information on Wapping HC, go to http://www.wappinghockeyclub.com or the club’s Facebook page, or tweet them @WappingHC. Or if you’d like more information on the beers, tweet @TheHockeyBeer or go to The Hockey Beer on Facebook.
Updated 13:30 - 26 May 2016 by Stuart Burnside