Most people will agree, the year 2020 was a wash-out on so many levels. For us ‘Grand Masters’ (herewith defined as mens and ladies’ teams over 60 years) they will to continue playing has never dwindled, writes Nick Cane
Indeed, it appears age is definitely just a number for the world of ageing hockey players, who just do not ‘give up’. Ipso facto, their numbers are swelling.
At least we did see some hockey over the last year. Having suffered a summer of lockdown and restricted access on the astros, mid-August saw a sudden and most welcomed change; enabling teams to complete against each other, albeit with some restrictions to navigate.
Two player/organisers, Nick Cane of Welsh Dragons and John Ingram-Marriott of Handbags HC (who have played against each other on an international platform and who first met at the World Cup in Barcelona) resolved to start making things right for all that pent up hockey energy needing to be spent.
They organised not one, but two full weekends of hockey last August at a Festival of Hockey, hosted by Handbags HC from Guildford HC.
Women’s teams were invited, but other factors prevented their attendance, and the net was cast a little wider to include some 50 years + players.
Indeed, this gave rise to the birth of the ‘Apprentice Dragons’ (50-59 years) from Wales Hoci, who fielded one of the 18 teams in total that took part over the two weekends. Hit 60 in Welsh hockey and you automatically become a ‘Dragon’!
All of this took place within the newly established covid restrictions, watched eagerly by eyes from England Hockeyand by the clever recordings of a licenced drone operator Jordon Robson.
Sadly we soon discovered that all the Masters World Cups had not only been delayed for a year, but now totally cancelled. Money lost by many in travel flights that would not honour ‘refunds’, but only issue ‘vouchers’ until December this year.
All is not lost. A Grand Masters Festival of Hockey 2021 is set for any male or female hockey players that can raise a team over 60+ years.
It is early days yet, but intentions are looking at early September, with a suitable location maybe in the South/Mid-South of England being sought.
Further details will appear at facebook.com/vetshockeytouringhub
Any teams interested in attending, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com