Ely & Chesterton United earn rink hockey title rewards

Ely & Chesterton's under-15s

Ely & Chesterton's under-15s - Credit: ECU

Cambridgeshire-based Rink Hockey club Ely & Chesterton United celebrated winning the National Youth League under-13 and under-15 titles recently.

Organised and run by the National Rink Hockey Association, it was contested by the top six teams in the country - the top two from the Northern, Eastern and South-Eastern regional competitions. 

Matches were played in Middlesbrough, Peterborough and Herne Bay, with ECU U13s completing the Regional League at the top, level on points with Soham RHC.  

Almost all the players were having their first experience of playing hockey at national level and coach Luis Gomes said: “This is an unexpected result and trophy for our young team, but all worked very well in both our weekly training sessions and the hard work has paid off."

Ely & Chesterton under-13s

Ely & Chesterton under-13s - Credit: ECU

ECU U13s will compete in Herne Bay against favourites Herne Bay RHC for the National Youth Cup on Saturday after preparing for the final at the rink in Netherhall Sports Centre.

ECU U15s won the Regional Eastern Counties League in March and topped the National Youth League undefeated.  

The team has been playing together for many years and most of the players have international experience, having played at Eurockey and with the England national team. 

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Coach Gomes added: "The group has been training an average of six hours a week since August and the players, parents and coaches deserve this outcome for the amount of effort they put in."

As England National Champions, the team automatically qualifies to play Eurockey 2022, an international competition for the National Champions of Europe, between October 13-16 in Lloret del Mar, Spain.  

ECU U17s finished sixth in their age group as the team - mostly U15 players having their first national experience - stepped up to the challenge and delivered great hockey against older and more experienced teams from Peterborough and Middlesbrough. 

Ely & Chesterton United Rink Hockey club is one of the biggest rink hockey clubs in England with mixed teams in all age groups from U11 to U20 for the youth sector and an England Premier League team.  

Teams train weekly at three locations, including Ross Peers Sports Centre in Soham on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (5-8pm) for U15 and above, Netherall Sports Centre in Cambridge on Thursdays (5-7pm) for U11-U13s and Chesterton Sports Centre in Cambridge on Saturdays (1-4pm) for beginners-U13s.

The club also organises a fun skating session for families with children aged four to 14 on Saturdays in term time at Chesterton Sports Centre at 12pm. See facebook.com/FunskateChesterton.