Pitch Opening Day a Huge Success
On a sunny Saturday our two new pitches were formally opened by Philip Kimberley from England Hockey. The day was jam packed with events, lots of hockey of course including matches against invitation XIs for the Men's and Ladies 1st teams, and U18 teams against Magdelen College School and Oxford High School. Food, fun, sunshine, hockey, new pitches, awesome.
A message from Club President, Paddy Roche:
"I seriously doubt if there has been a more enjoyable or significant day in the history of Oxford Hawks than Saturday's hugely successful official opening of the new pitches. The immense contributions made by a few committed club members to the completion of the project have already been publicly acknowledged but more than anything the day demonstrated again that Oxford Hawks tremendous club spirit has survived intact the trials of the season just ended.
We now look forward to next season on one of the best grounds in the country with the prospect of hosting National League hockey at BRN once again. Every single club member should be very proud of what we have achieved over the past few months.
There is plenty of work still to do and much thought will need to be given to the management of this fantastic facility but you should all be dribbling with anticipation at the prospect of playing and training on near perfect pitches every week.
Massive thanks to everyone who supported the opening day. With two pitches on site we can all look forward to the extraordinary atmosphere in the clubhouse on Saturday becoming a regular feature of next season - and with a bit of effort from everyone the mighty Hawks can fly higher than ever before. Let's go for it!"
Below are a few photos, and some comments from people with their impressions of the day….
“Even as I parked the car I was excited...since being involved with the club since 10 years of age, this was going to be massive! 2 pitches (and good ones), lots of great people and more juniors than at times we can cope with...what a day. I was privileged to both coach and play on the day and I was as excited as a 10 year old being part of the action that went on throughout the day. Happy times ahead for the mighty Oxford Hawks.” Tim Martin, Men’s 1s
“What a fantastic day to be part of, not only as a playing member but to be part of a group of people so dedicated to the long term vision of this extraordinary club.” Ali Omell, Ladies 1s
"They say first impressions are everything and from the moment you turn the corner past the clubhouse you are aware that you are walking into a first class, high performance sporting facility. Congratulations to Oxford Hawks and their partners and all those tireless people who have driven this project from start to completion." Todd Williams, Head of Hockey at Magdalen College School
“It was great to come back to Hawks last weekend and see redevelopment finally come to fruition! The club has worked long and hard to ensure it is not only the best and friendliest club in the area, but now has the best pitches and facilities to match. I'm sure it bodes very well for the newest Ladies National league club going from strength to strength.” Kate Filochowski, former member
“The last game of the day (general intra-club one) was awesome. Everyone invited, boy, girls, children...with parents enthusiastically cheering on. Harry Venables and John Black Jr. running between people's legs and Tim Webster (Freddie's little, soon-to-be-a-star, brother) scoring with his first touch after subbing on. A great way to show (and be part of!) the opposite end of the club to the 1sts v. the Invitational XI. And so many people stayed at the club afterwards for (lots of) drinks and the remaining sausages. What an amazing club to be part of.” Henry Manuel, Men’s 4s
“We have come along way from a wooden hut behind the Cherwell Inn and grass pitches at Five Mile Drive, Banbury Road North and Cutteslowe to two brand new pitches with facilities to match; and certainly have the infrastructure, people, playing strength and potential to do it justice!
It was great to see all the old players turn up and see their delight and obvious pleasure of still being part of Oxford Hawks, I was lucky enough to play hockey with most of them firstly as a 16 year old; 37 years ago!” Dave Hughes, Falcons
Also a HUGE thank you must go to Jan Roche for all her hard work both on the day, and also in the week leading up to the event. Jan was responsible for all the food on the day, whether it was the bacon rolls in the morning, the burgers in the afternoon, the buffet lunch, the post match chilli – absolutely everything was provided by Jan. The club is exceptionally grateful - and lucky - to have Jan on board!! Thank you Jan!