"I take thee npower Big Dribble"

A bride enjoys the npower Big Dribble in Gateshead
A couple interrupted their wedding day to take part in The npower Big Dribble this week with the bride completing the circuit with the assistance of her bridesmaid, who held her train as she completed the course in Gateshead. 

The couple’s story was just one of a number of fantastic highlights from the opening four days of The npower Big Dribble as it makes its way from the north into the midlands.

A bride joins the npower Big Dribble in Gateshead

Elsewhere, in Middlesbrough, the local police showed their community spirit as they picked up sticks to join in while in Manchester on Wednesday, children’s TV programme Newsround filmed with school children in the city’s Albert Square. On the same day as the country celebrated “100 Days to Go”, Great Britain Olympic hopeful Sam Quek was on hand to teach the kids and presenters some skills before the dribble moved to her home city of Liverpool, where she was joined by Lancashire cricketer Paul Horton. 

At every leg, the event has been brilliantly supported by an army of volunteer Hockey Makers, who have really got into the Olympic spirit, telling the public about hockey and showing them how easy it can be to pick up a stick for the very first time. Many of the Hockey Makers have been members of the England U21, U18 and U16 squads.  And there is still time to sign up to be a Hockey Maker for the rest of the dribble and the hundreds of hockey activities coming up this summer.

Young people sign the giant hockey ball at the npower Big Dribble in Middlesbrough

So far, since its launch on Sunday in Scotland the npower Big Dribble has been in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Carlisle, Gateshead, Durham, Middlesbrough, York, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Wrexham.

The npower Big Dribble is now 386km into its 2012km mission after just four days. On Thursday, we’ll be in Sheffield (9:30-11:00am), Nottingham (1:15-2:45pm) and Derby (4:30-6:00pm) before hitting Loughborough (9:30-11:00am), Leicester (12:45-2:15pm) and Coventry (4:15-5:45pm) on Friday.

You can see all of the locations on our interactive map at www.thebigdribble.com.

The npower Big Dribble is giving the Great British public the chance to get into the sporting spirit of 2012, encouraging thousands of people to pick up a hockey stick for the very first time while raising money for national children’s charity WellChild.

It’s completely free to take part. Simply turn up, give the 100m dribbling course a go and sign your good luck message on the giant inflatable hockey ball to wish the GB hockey teams the very best ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

For those who have never pick up a stick before our dedicated volunteer team of Hockey Makers will be on hand to show you how.

To see the interactive map with all the locations and times, visit www.thebigdribble.com. With 40 venues in 18 days, there’s sure to be an npower Big Dribble near you.

A young boy takes part in the npower Big Dribble in Glasgow, 15 April

Visitors to the website will also have the chance to win a fantastic Union Flag electric scooter signed by the GB hockey teams courtesy of event sponsors npower.

And more great news - many of the npower Big Dribble sites will have special guests, including:

• Vikki Bunce, GB hockey athlete, in Edinburgh and Glasgow
• the Mayor of Gateshead Councillor Joe Mitchinson in Gateshead
• Sam Quek, GB hockey athlete, in Manchester and Liverpool
• Paul Horton, Lancashire Cricket batsman in Liverpool
• James Fair, GB goalkeeper, and Jane Sixsmith, 1992 Olympic bronze medal winning hockey player in Birmingham
• Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport, in Loughborough
• TV presenter Tim Lovejoy and England netball stars Tamsin Greenway and Rachel Dunn in Guildford
• BBC Sport presenter John Inverdale (venue tbc)
• GB Hockey athlete Susie Gilbert and Adam Pengilly, GB skeleton bob Olympian in Bath
• Susannah Townsend, GB hockey athlete, and Sean Kerly, the most well known British hockey player ever, in Canterbury
• Ben Hunt Davis, 2000 Olympic gold medal winning rower in London
• Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England, and Andy Hunt, Chief Exec of the British Olympic Association in London
• PLUS.... more than 20 former Olympic hockey players including some that played international hockey in the 1950s and ‘60s
• PLUS... more than 40 under 16, under 18 and under 21 international players from right across the country

Be part of the npower Big Dribble in your town from 15 April to 2 May. Visit www.thebigdribble.com to find your nearest venue.

If you would like to volunteer a couple of hours of your time to help at your nearest npower Big Dribble become a Hockey Maker here. You'll get a free t-shirt and be entered into a fantastic prize draw, plus, you'll meet great people and get the chance to play your part in making hockey in this Olympic year.

The ferris wheel in the background of the npower Big Dribble at Glasgow's George Square


A Marathon 'Little Dribble'

GB men's Head Coach Jason Lee and Team Manager Andy Halliday are dribbling the London marathon as part of The npower Big Dribble. Their 'Little Dribble' will see them dribble hockey balls the whole way around the marathon course.

They are attempting the incredible 26 mile/42 kilometre effort in aid of WellChild, the national children's charity. WellChild is the official charity partner of Great Britain Hockey and The npower Big Dribble.

England Hockey TV

Find out more about their 'Little Dribble' from the horses' mouths on our YouTube site here.

Donate to Andy and Jason's marathon Little Dribble here.

The npower Big Dribble supports WellChild, the UK’s national charity for sick children and is part of Great Britain Hockey’s Hockey Nation programme. Text BIGD123 to 70070 (£3 is then donated to WellChild).