Sessions to encourage hockey players

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AS the country is gripped by the excitement of the London 2012 Olympic Games, Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Hockey Club in Howdon Road is opening its doors and offering hundreds of people the opportunity to pick up a stick and give hockey a go, free of charge.

As part of Great Britain Hockey’s ‘Give it a Go’ programme, Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Hockey Club will run sessions every evening from 6.30pm until 7.30pm for young people and adults over a five-week period as it looks to proactively build a sustainable legacy from the 2012 Games.

The sessions, which began last weekend, will provide anyone, regardless of age, ability, previous hockey experience or location, the opportunity to pick up a stick and give hockey a go.

Whitley Bay and Tynemouth residents can find their local ‘Give it a Go’ session on a new dedicated website – www.hockeynation.info.

The programme will be supported by the hockey hotline, a dedicated national phone line offering advice to people looking to get involved

The hotline on 0845 340 4000 will operate from 8am until 8pm daily.

In England, the five-week programme culminates in the Harvester National Club Weekend, on September 1 and 2, a nation-wide event providing a fantastic opportunity for clubs to open their gates and welcome the local community.

Sarah Williams, of Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Hockey Club, said: “The Olympic Games will be an incredibly exciting and inspirational time for the entire nation; we are proud to be a part of the Give it a Go programme and look forward to welcoming newcomers to our club, to pick up a hockey stick and enjoy the sport with their family and friends.

“Let’s get behind our teams and celebrate the nation’s greatest summer of sport.”

As well as the opportunities to play, www.hockeynation.info contains details of where to watch Great Britain during the Games, free of charge.

The site lists more than 80 hockey house venues around the country, including The Brandling Arms in Gosforth High Street.

Here supporters can gather to celebrate the goals, discuss the decisions, the tackles and raise the roof in support of Team GB’s hockey teams.