HOCKEY: Ely City raises thousands thanks to annual tournament

PUBLISHED: 10:30 16 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:30 16 May 2017

Winners of the Ely City Hockey Tournament, Team Panthera.

Winners of the Ely City Hockey Tournament, Team Panthera.


Ely City Hockey Club has taken another big step towards hitting their fundraising target thanks to hosting its annual tournament.

Winners of the Plate at Ely City Hockey Club's annual tournament, the Marham Bulls.Winners of the Plate at Ely City Hockey Club's annual tournament, the Marham Bulls.

The city club raised over £2,000 - which will go towards much-needed pitch repairs at its Downham Road base - by welcoming 16 mixed men’s and ladies teams for two days of hockey action last weekend.

Teams from Ely, Wapping, Bicester, Bury St Edmunds, Marham, St Ives, Cambridge City, Cambridge South, St Neots, Newmarket and Downham Market all went head-to-head, with Downham Market-based side Team Panthera clinching first place.

The side donated a £180 ROKU hockey stick as a raffle prize.

Action from Ely City Hockey Club's annual tournament.Action from Ely City Hockey Club's annual tournament.

As well as hockey, players and supporters enjoyed a 90s party at the Ely Outdoor Association (EOSA) clubhouse on Saturday night.

Tournament organiser, Gemma Neal, said: “It was a brilliant weekend – we are all exhausted!

“It was great to see so many players from all over taking part and we managed to raise over £2,000 for the Astroturf replacement fund, which is fantastic.

“A big thank you must go to the many members of Ely City Hockey Club who made the weekend happen.”

Ely City Hockey Club and this newspaper launched a campaign earlier this year to help raise £215,000 so that the club’s Astroturf surface can be replaced for the first time in almost 25 years.

So far over £1,000 has been raised via an online JustGiving page, and three local businesses – G’s Fresh, St Mary’s Pharmacy and Red Shoes Accounting of Littleport – have also dipped into their pockets to help the club.

“I think we can get one more year out of the pitch,” said club president Trevor Hopkinson.

“Nobody has a pitch as used as ours. If the surface goes below 8mm then it is deemed unplayable, and there are patches where it is less than that already.

“We’re part of the 12 per cent of clubs that actually owns its pitch, so we’re very lucky, but it has come to the stage where we have to make the decision to either replace the pitch or spend £3,000 a year for repairs.”

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