Hockey: Wapping Kidds continue to grow
PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 September 2019
Wapping Kidds launched in January 2016 after the laying of a new surface at John Orwell Sports Club.
It began with two enthusiastic young people, six willing volunteer coaches and support from Tower Hamlets Council and has grown beyond belief.
Honorary president Stuart Burnside said: "Some folk would have liked us to move faster at the start, but the key is sustainability.
"You have to get facilities, and staffing right first, or you risk disappointing children."
Since then, the club has explanded exponentially, although the enthusiasm remains the same, and Wapping now boasts 130 young people, over 70 volunteer coaches, two head coaches and two training slots to accommodate the sheer number.
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Wapping Kidds HC children are also seeing success, with the under-10 and under-12 teams playing in the Essex Junior leagues and finishing with medals in the last two final days.
This year sees the first of the older children playing for the parent club, with seven of the 14/15-year-olds playing for the adult teams so far.
Sandra Akinbolu, Wapping HC VC Community, added: "Heidi Trumper, 15 years old, is one of original members and has been a committed attendee since the beginning.
"To hear that in a successful debut alongside Alex Len and Freya Stobbs, she bagged seven goals across three games playing adult hockey, well, what a ringing endorsement for the youth programme!"
Wapping also engage in outreach work and have a coach providing hockey in three Wapping Primary Schools. Last year the club hosted the first Wapping Schools' tournament and hopes to host two more such tournaments this year.
Wapping Kidds now have 2 training slots, on Saturday mornings (9.30-11am) for six to 14-year-olds and a dedicated session for the over-14s on Tuesdays (5.30-7pm), at John Orwell and the club continues to grow, with new players of all ages and abilities always welcome.
The club is committed to affordable access and sessions cost just £3. The club also offers a bursary programme. To join, email firstname.lastname@example.org.