Herne Bay Hockey Club, who celebrate their 75th Anniversary in 2001, are essentially a family-orientated Hockey Club running Men’s, Ladies and Junior sides in various Regional and County Leagues as well as promoting social mixed hockey as part of its normal winter activities.
The Club works particularly hard in promoting a friendly atmosphere for opponents and visiting officials to its Cheriton Road headquarters and has built a reputation over the years as one of, if not the, the most sociable Clubs on the County circuit.
Having Astroturf, grass pitches and its own Clubhouse at the same venue obviously helps to promote team spirit, an essential part of the success of the Club. The International Easter Hockey Festival, run by the Herne Bay’s Club, is the oldest such Festival in the Country as it now approaches its 100th year.
Four years ago, the Committee decided to broaden the Club’s outlook and ambition by financing the ‘employment’ of oversees coaches, so far all Australian. As part of their ‘contracts’ with the club, they are fully committed to both senior and junior coaching. For the last two seasons, two Australians have been brought over to help coach and run the Men’s and Ladies 1st XIs. In her three years with the Club, Ladies coach Kim Parkes has pushed our Ladies 1st XI to successive promotions from Kent Division 1 to East Division 1 by a combination of her own exceptional talent and her unquenchable coaching ethic to both the adult and junior sections of the Club.
Nathan Jaffrey, our Men’s coach will be in his third year with the Herne Bay this coming season. His task is probably the hardest task in the Club as the Men’s 1stXI play at Kent/Sussex Premier League level with his squad of players constantly eroded by the talented youngsters at his disposal often going off to University – and seldom coming back!
On Saturdays, the Club runs six Men’s sides, including its Development Squad the Fledglings, and three Ladies sides – all competing in their various Leagues. Junior sides, both boys and girls, compete generally on Sunday mornings in Kent Junior Leagues and the Club runs a highly successful local Mixed League on Thursday evenings.
So there’s plenty of hockey for everybody regardless of age, ability or ambition. We currently have regular players well into their 50s – even one or two in their 60s!. All abilities are catered for from the finely-tuned and extremely fit to the ‘only here for the beer’ brigade. New members of either category or any other in between are actively sought and will be heartily welcomed.
Any further information regarding the Club and its activities can be obtained, in the first instance, from: Rodney Kilbee – Club Captain