Maddie Hinch impact on HockeyFest 2016

Maddie Hinch HockeyFest

It was a HockeyFest to remember in 2016 for Basingstoke Hockey Club who welcomed Maddie Hinch to their club. A year on, we assess the impact it has had on the club.

Hampshire-based Basingstoke HC boasts a host of men’s, women’s and youth teams and opened its doors to hundreds of people. There was big press interest locally as well as nationally with both the BBC and ITV attending to film at the event in the wake of Great Britain’s gold medal success in Rio.

Maddie spent time with young goalkeepers at the club before holding a Q&A session with the crowds and letting youngsters hold her gold medal.

Basingstoke’s HockeyFest organiser Miranda Smith said: “It’s certainly raised interest in hockey locally – quite a few non-hockey players came to the event and it was also a great opportunity for families to come along together and get on the pitch. We also had quite a few past members who had left the area coming back to the club, which was nice and showed that people are still enjoying their hockey. Some were juniors of mine from years ago!

“Everyone was welcomed onto the pitch and into the club – we are very hot on that. Since then I have noticed an increase of visitors to the club at the weekend, with local residents walking over to watch and get a drink or their lunch in the clubhouse.”

Miranda highlights one particular visitor who stood out, and who has now begun her own hockey journey off the back of their event. Miranda explains: “We had one non-player who came with a friend. She wanted to get in a photo of club players and Maddie Hinch, so I jokingly said that she could if she came back to try hockey in September. We bantered for a while, she came along to training and now she loves hockey and was at the England v Netherlands game with us – she is going to be a very good player as well!

"I think it was a chance to bring the whole combination of experienced, new and developing players and families of those players onto the pitch together.”

Register your club’s HockeyFest event by Monday 31 July for a chance to win an athlete visit!