Garstang in market for new faces

Booths store manager Jeff Brookfield with Garstang Ladies' Hockey Club players Lindsay Norton, Josie Rice and Deborah Huyton at the store in Garstang

Booths store manager Jeff Brookfield with Garstang Ladies' Hockey Club players Lindsay Norton, Josie Rice and Deborah Huyton at the store in Garstang

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Garstang Ladies’ Hockey Club could have new players queueing in the aisles to join up – supermarket aisles, that is.

Northern retailer Booths has donated £750 to the club to help finance events aimed at encouraging more local women to take up sport.

Garstang LHC – in its 56th season of competing – will be running 10 ‘Back to Hockey’ sessions, starting today, and every Thursday, until July 3.

The hockey tasters take place from 7pm to 8pm at the UCLan Sports Arena, and are aimed at women and girls, aged nine upwards, who either have not played before or might not have played since school or university.

The sessions, supported by Booths, are coached sessions to provide the opportunity to make new friends and give a basic introduction to the game in a relaxed environment without the pressure to perform.

The donation from Booths will also enable Garstang Ladies to organise a one-off Club Day in September designed to recruit new players, officials and volunteers and ensure the future of the sport in the area.

Josie Rice, communications officer for the club, said: “We wish to continue to build on the success of the club and recognise our future strength will depend on not just retaining players but more fundamentally, in attracting players of all ages and abilities to hockey in the first place.

“As the sport declines in schools, this responsibility is increasingly resting more with clubs, and the funding from Booths will support us in delivering recruitment 
events.

“We have undertaken a number of activities in recent months to encourage our club membership to grow and we have other plans to continue this and build on our community links.

“Our club understands the importance of sport in changing lives, and hockey particularly has the added attraction in that it is also a very social sport, with members of the same family often participating and can be played for many years.”

Edwin Booths, chairman of the retailer, added: “It’s a great pleasure to be able to support such a worthwhile local club which has important physical and social benefits to a large number of local girls and women.

“Sports teams are a great way to make friends, keep active and learn about teamwork, which all help to contribute to a healthier and happier community.”