Hockey blues over summer - it's a real thing!
Playing hockey over the summer is always harder to commit to then people initially hope as the season draws to an end of March / April time. With the promise of social leagues and mixed games on a weekly or fortnightly basis, we all sign up excitedly to the prospect of not having to put away our hockey sticks just yet. And then summer happens!
Now this may not apply to everyone but I’d like to think this isn’t just me. We (or maybe just I) generally start the season as beginner-hermits, snuggled up in our big woolly jumpers, commenting comically on the smoke our mouths seem to be forming after every breath we take even though it’s only October (thanks England!), ready and itching to get out on the astro Wednesdays and Saturdays to make up for the sofa time during the other days! We keep this up for a good 6 months, dedicated to the course that is hockey, booking trips around games and declining drinks on Fridays so as to not embarrass ourselves on pitch the next day.
And then suddenly, boom, summer hits us straight in the chops. Suddenly our weeks are jam packed with barbequed burgers and charcoaled sweetcorn, Facebook statuses about sitting in an airport, festivals you’ve been talking about for 6 months, trips to paradise for those all important sausage leg photos, children’s school holidays, travelling round trendy remote places to increase our culture education, weddings with a marquee hovering nervously in the corner of the outdoor drinks ceremony as a two fingers to the great British summer, after-work beers for no other reason than the sun came out for ten mins at 4pm and Bob thought it would be a good idea on a Wednesday - you name it!
Suddenly we go from hermit junior to social superstar and our dreams of making it into the next Olympic hockey team floats down the river like the remote control pirate ship whose controller ran out of batteries.
And yet, even with the obstacle course of event invitations, Leatherhead Hockey Club has had one hell of a summer! And last Wednesday evening was no exception. Hesitating whether it was worth running a second Mixed Games / Open Evening due to the tidal wide of pre-planned socials and schools being on holiday, we decided there must be enough of us still around that it was a least worth a shot! At boy did it pay off!
The weather during the day wasn’t encouraging in any sense of the word and sadly this did put off a few players, however, come 7:30pm, Therfield carpark was graced with 24 eager hockey players ready for a run around and determined not to let a little British weather prevent them from hitting a few balls.
Numbers were divided up into 4 teams, with 2 goalies shared between the teams as and when we switched up the play. And although the drizzle hung about, 90mins flew by! We managed 4 mini-games taking place over two halves of the pitch – all of which embraced the social / competitive hybrid edge that you’d expect amongst LHC members. We were also excited to welcome two new players, two juniors and a couple of returners – all of whom helped make the evening a great success! We were also most humbled by the party of spectators huddled under a collection of golf umbrellas cheering us on – what troopers!
As always, we finished the evening swapping goal stories over a pint or two back at The Plough pub, Leatherhead - the best way to end a soggy Wednesday! Thank you to everyone who came along. Without you these couldn’t go ahead and all my worrying would be for something – I’d much rather worry about nothing ;-)
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