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World Grand Master Hockey Cup - 14th-24th August 2012

Masters World Hockey Cups take place every two years and the England Hockey Board agreed to stage the tournaments in 2012 as part of the Olympic celebrations. Back in April last year, because of our new pitches and following an official Bid process, Hawks was chosen as the host club for the Grand Masters tournament - which comprises competitions in Over 60’s, Over 65’s and Over 70’s age groups. Entries have been received from42 teams representing around 15 countries including Australia, New Zealand,South Africa, Japan, Germany, Holland and Italy.  A concurrent tournament is being staged in Canterbury for World Masters (age groups from Over 40’s to Over 55’s). There is more information on their website.

The tournament at Hawks will take place over an eleven day period, starting on Tuesday 14 August when there will be an Opening Ceremony (the Lord Mayor will perform the official opening), with the Finals and a Closing Ceremony taking place on Friday 24 August. A total of around 130 games will be played during the course of the tournament. 12 matches will be played at BRN every day with the first game starting at 9.00am and the last game finishing around 7.30pm. Some games, perhaps around 15 in all, will be played at The Dragon School because of the much higher than expected number of entries (the highest ever by a considerable distance!).

Temporary accommodation will be provided during the event with marquees being erected to ‘extend’ the clubhouse as well as to provide capacity for a Reception and Information Desk, Team Briefing areas and an Umpires area. Furthermore, the whole spectator area along the length of Near Pitch will be covered.

A huge amount of planning has gone into the development of a Traffic and Car Parking Plan for the event. Essentially, this will entail parking being restricted at the ground to ‘pass holders’ only and spaces will also be reserved for the tennis club. Car parking capacity has been arranged in the top corner of Cutteslowe Park, and special arrangements have been made for the use of the Water Eaton Park&Ride.

At any time during a tournament day, there are likely to be around 400 people at the ground. As the host club, we are responsible for providing a full bar and catering service every day throughout the tournament, so it is going to be a very busy time for us. But in return, it is hoped that the money we make from bar and catering will help to pay for the many improvements that are being made at the ground in readiness for the event. The word Legacy seems much over-used these days, but this is effectively what we are aiming for . . . we are hoping that the money we make from hosting the World Cup will pay for some final improvements at BRN and ‘round off’ our facilities.

Work has already been completed to fix the unreliable and erratic shower system, and work has also been completed to fix the problems we have had with the floodlights on the Near Pitch tripping out, and also to try to improve the illumination levels on that pitch. Work is also ongoing on the pitch side area that we ‘won back’ by removing the trees. This work will include the building of a (permanent) two tier spectator seating area (for around 60 seats) as well as more decking so that the entire length of Near Pitch will be a spectator terrace. We are also building a bigger refreshment kiosk (because the existing one has proved so popular that it has ended up being too small!) and the existing kiosk will then be used as a Grounds Office and as a base, for example, from which tournaments can be run. There will also be more storage provision.

More information about the World Cup will follow as the event draws closer, but in the meantime, if anyone feels they would like to get involved and help in any way, they should contact Neil Biggs at neil.biggs@btinternet.com.

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