There's lots of info on our hockey club we thought you might find useful for the start of the season, but the most important thing to start with is the hockey of course!
The club has 24 teams, as well as various social and touring sides. Don't worry if you're not in a team yet, we have something to suit all levels, so if you give the coaches your details at training they will make sure you get involved in our matches. Here's how it breaks down:
In England, the top of the top is the National Premiership, there's one each for either gender, and 10 teams make it up. One down from that are three Conferences (East, West and North), again one each for either gender, and 10 teams each, with East being the relevant conference for us.
The premiership and conferences collectively are the "National League". This is England Hockey administered and you can find more info on their website: http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/
We're not there yet, but we intend to be soon.
Below the East Conference is the East League: http://www.east-hockey.com
On the men's side, the divisions break down like this:
Top 3 - these cover the full East area
Prem A - our men's 1s finished second last year (1st go up to East Conference)
and div 1 - our newly promoted men's 2s
The second division then splits into north and south. So that makes div 1 quite a big step up. Our men's 3s are also newly promoted and play in div 2S.
From div 3 down it then splits again (so similarly 2S is a big step from 3SE), and you'll find us in the South East divisions:
4SE M5 and newly promoted M6
5SE M7 also promoted
6SE M8 also promoted
7SE the only division not to have a Wapping team!
8SE M9 also promoted
9SE MX new team
League info here: http://www.east-leagues.co.uk/showdata/sqlresults/EMLlatest.htm
Our ladies 1s play in East Div 1S and are keen to get promoted back to the East Premiership. One division down from them you find our ladies 2s in East Div 2SE. League info here: http://www.east-leagues.co.uk/showdata/sqlresults/EWLlatest.htm
Essex Ladies League
The Essex Hockey Association run a ladies league below the East league, and also run a mixed league. Our umpires affiliate to the Essex Umpiring Association, and some of our coaches coach at Essex junior development centres (i.e. the start of the "single system" which brings youth ultimately into the England set up).
Here's the Essex hockey website: http://www.essexcha.com/ and our teams are then spread as follows:
Essex Premiership L3 & L4
Div 1 newly promoted L5
Div 4 L6
Div 5 L7 (new last year) and L8 (new this year)
Hopefully you can see we have quite a range of options as we accommodate players of all standards. We'd far rather start a new team than run big squads with our members getting less pitch time.
Essex Mixed League
We field two sides, playing their games on Sundays.
Essex Indoor League
We field a male and female indoor team, these matches are midweek at Brentwood.
East Indoor League
Our indoor teams also compete in the East League. This acts as a qualifier for the national league. Indoor national league ultimately ends with playing in the finals at Wembley so it's quite something to aim for. This is a relatively new area for the club to be looking at and we're pleased that our men's indoor side were promoted at the first attempt last season.
Finally, we are also going to be playing in a few national cups this year. This is always a judgement call on how many to enter but we expect to enter a couple, most likely the men's 2nd team cup and the ladies O35 trophy. Which brings us to:
We have a fairly regular ladies vets team, the Wapping Remains, and a more sporadic men's vets team (as male vets need to be older for some reason).
Supporting the club
We are proud of our "pay it forward" culture of supporting. Simply put, we all would like someone to support our games, so if we all make an effort to support at least one other game as well as the one we play, what goes around comes around and our own game has supporters.
You can find our results as they happen on twitter @WappingScores and other club info @WappingHC
I usually try and do a results round up on Sunday if I have time, which finds its way onto our facebook page (Wapping Hockey Club). We certainly encourage you to take pics at your games and if you tweet them at us or send them across to me on what's app, we will happily share these.
We are delighted to have the support of our four local newspapers too, so well worth you picking up a copy of the East End Life, East London Advertiser or The Wharf, or accessing Your Local Guardian online. We usually take a pic of their articles and put out through social media too. You can also find them online:
http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/home (click e edition)
http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/ (search Wapping Hockey)
We've also occasionally featured in the nationals, like the Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/hockey/10673497/Wappings-hockey-revolution-bears-fruits-as-London-club-goes-business-savvy.html and the Express http://www.express.co.uk/sport/othersport/489766/England-want-hockey-gold-at-Glasgow-2014-says-Susannah-Townsend, and we've even been on telly! http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/27929540
Of course, if you take a great pic, share it with us and then it might find its way into the paper too! Remember, as well as it being nice to read about yourselves, press coverage is vital to us getting sponsors, so your clicks matter - the more of you that click on our online news, the more chance we have of being featured again.
We also have our own youtube channel, with last season's highlight definitely being The Lost Ball https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvXLxcITJ80
There's lots more that can be said to tell you about the club, but let's save it for the next article. Good luck for the season and I hope you enjoy being part of this cracking club just as much as I do!
Finally, if you're reading this and haven't joined yet but would like to get involved, our membership secretary can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
Wapping HC Chair