‘Pitching’ a new future in Kirkby Stephen

Work has started to replace the all weather pitch at a Kirkby Stephen after its initial installation over 23 years ago. Over the years the pitch has been a home and venue to many throughout the Eden valley with a customer base of over 800 people,including 14 clubs and organisations.

The average lifespan of an artificial surface is generally 10 years, and considering the amount of use it has week by week, the all weather pitch has withstood a successful existence.  In 1996 this original facility was created on the grounds of Kirkby Stephen Grammar School by the Kirkby Stephen Community Sports Association (KSCSA), with a 50-year lease. Over the years the pitch has been well maintained and the community has worked hard to support the facility to ensure its financial viability over the last two decades. As a result, the pitch has always been self-financing from revenue generated from lettings. Kirkby Stephen Community Sports Association has sought to find the money to replace the pitch and the project has been made possible through major funding from the Garfield Weston Anniversary fund and the National Hockey Foundation along with support from many local funding bodies, sports clubs and charities. We are delighted to say work has started to replace the pitch by turf suppliers SIS pitches based in Maryport - they supplied some of the football pitches for the men’s football World Cup in Russia, and are Federation International Hockey accredited. Further funding has been secured from Eden District council and Kirkby Stephen Grammar School for the second phase to improve the lighting and replace the halide floodlights with more efficient LED lights. These improvements are hoping to take place in the next twelve months.

The pitch is home to Kirkby Stephen Hockey Club who currently runs two ladies teams, the first team play in the North Premier women’s league, the seconds in the Cumbria league, and once again this year the club is running a development team of young players mixed with experienced ladies in the Netherwood league. In addition the club has over 100 junior players from 6-16 years old with a very successful history with many of the junior players progressing through to play hockey for Cumbria junior county boys and girls teams and further selection to England Hockey performance centres in Durham and Fylde. The club has also had much success with our their junior teams, with last year the u12 girls qualifying for the National Round of the in2 hockey competition and went to Nottingham in May to play against the best u12 teams in the country. With dedicated volunteer coaches the junior section is really thriving and the future is almost certainly bright for KSHC.

With a brand new pitch for the upcoming season the club is opening its doors to everyone and promoting hockey within the Eden Valley. The future is exciting for KSHC and we look forward to welcoming all ages and abilities on a new artificial pitch.

  • Junior training starts again Monday 9th September, 5-6pm for school years 1-6 students (6-11years), and 6-7.30pm for secondary school aged students.
  • Ladies pre-season indoor training starting Wednesday 7thAugust 7-8.30pm at Kirkby Stephen Sports Hall. All welcome, no experience required. EVENT INFO 
  • ‘Back to hockey’ is a fun session for men and women who a looking for a run around with a hockey stick no pressure! Thursdays 8-9pm, starting once the pitch has been completed (September time fingers crossed)

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