About the Club

by: admin

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About the Club

by: admin

0

If you are looking for a lively, family-friendly Hockey Club, then join us! You will find various members of extended families playing in teams relevant to their age, experience and expertise.

Our social activities, organised by an ever-enthusiastic social committee, are inclusive and varied.

We aim to nurture our young members to develop into hockey-loving adults. However we also have members who have been with the club for many years who retain the link through playing, umpiring or being involved in club administration.

Although half our league games are, of necessity, mainland based, travel costs are borne by the club as those costs are built into subs and match fees.  Cross-Solent travel for members’ cars or minibus is generously sponsored by Wightlink.

We are competitive yet friendly, we welcome members of all ages and abilities at the club. The club currently fields 2 men’s, 3 ladies’ teams at Hampshire League level, together with U14 and U16 sides (Sunday matches) all playing home matches at Smallbrook Stadium, Ashey near Ryde (PO33 4BH).  We provide weekly training for both juniors and seniors under our team of qualified coaches at the Rew Valley Sports Centre, Ventnor (PO38 1BQ), where we strive to improve and hone our skills as well as fostering an enjoyment of the sport and encouraging our membership of the hockey family.

Our History

Research by Derrick Austin compiled by John Pearson, August 2019.

1892
"Cowes Hockey Club"
Early documented history is patchy, but it seems the earliest recorded hockey match on the Island was in 1892 when Cowes Hockey Club entertained and defeated a team from Winchester. Subsequently a number of clubs appear to have been in existence, including Old Rydeians (ex Ryde School pupils), Ryde Nomads, Saunders-Roe and JS Whites. According to records, there was an Island side playing local and mainland teams in the 1930s.
1945
"Ryde Hockey Club"
The main source of players post World War 2 was Ryde School, then playing under the name of Ryde Hockey Club at Pell Lane Recreation Ground in Ryde. Tony Gale, a player from that era, recalls that the changing facilities consisted of a former cowshed (later to be replaced by the luxury of a Nissan hut and shared with the local football team), with the undulating pitch considered a ‘risk’ element.
1947
"Isle of Wight Hockey Club"
A move was inevitable and the club re-located to Victoria Recreation Ground in Newport in around 1947/48 and was re-named the Isle of Wight Hockey Club. The club grew and the fixture list improved, playing Hampshire and services clubs. There were also local matches against the regiment stationed at Albany Barracks, and a second eleven was formed.
1951
Merger Creates "Isle of Wight and Old Rydeians’ Hockey Club"
In 1951/2 the club merged with the Old Rydeians and was re-named the ‘Isle of Wight and Old Rydeians’ HC.
1960s
Move to JS Whites Sports Ground
In the 1960s the club moved again, this time to JS Whites Sports Ground (now Cowes Community Club), later expanding to field 3 men’s and a mixed team.
1972
Inaugural Southern League
Season 1972/73 saw the club enter the inaugural Southern League, winning Division 3 at their first attempt.
1975
Move Back to Victoria Recreation Ground
Another base move followed in 1975, back to the Victoria Recreation Ground. This was a council run facility and the Island members ended up preparing their own pitches for league matches (marking out, cutting, carrying out remedial work etc) using equipment owned by Newport Cricket Club.
1979
The Southern League now the "Truman South League"
The Southern League morphed into the Truman South League in 1979 and the club continued to be competitive. (It is not known exactly when the club dropped ‘Old Rydeians’ from their title, but it would have been sometime in the early 1970s.)
1982
Ladies' Section
Following the success of running a regular mixed team in the early 1980s, there was a Ladies’ Section playing matches as least from the 1982/83 season until the mid 1990s.
1984
British Hovercraft Corporation Join Club
In 1984, a significant move occurred when the successful British Hovercraft Corporation side, based in East Cowes, joined forces with the IWHC to produce a much stronger and more viable club (still to be called the Isle of Wight Hockey Club). Initially there were four men’s sides, a ladies’ team, a mixed team and an occasional veterans’ side, as well as a ‘Chevron’ XI that competed in the Thursday night league at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth. This was the first Astroturf pitch to be laid in the south area and all the top local sides competed (including the likes of Havant, Fareham, City of Portsmouth, Bognor etc).
1985
Men's Hampshire Division 2 Winners
In 1984/85 the club won the Hampshire Division 2 title without losing or conceding a goal, and the following year was a whisker away from promotion from Division 1 to the Regional League, which would have been their highest ever recorded position.
1986
Veterans’ World Cup in London
In 1986 the club took part in the Veterans’ World Cup in London, thanks to the good offices of the then Secretary Terry Woodford. Highlights included a fixture with the Indian Veterans, most of whom were ex-internationals and Olympic gold medalists. There are many legendary stories that have been told from this fantastic event – just ask John Pearson who never tires of telling them!
1990s
Move to Smallbrook Stadium
With the advent of Astroturf hockey the club moved again from Victoria Recreation Ground to Smallbrook Stadium (Ashey, near Ryde) and all league fixtures were and continue to be played here. However, the club still used Victoria Rec to hold its annual Hockey Festival (originally held in Ventnor in the early 1990s) – at its most successful hosting up to 80 teams. This continued well in to the 2000s.
1995
IOWHC members form "Ryde Hockey Club"
In 1995, a breakaway group formed a new club, Ryde Hockey Club, and player resources were subsequently stretched. The IWHC fielded just the one men’s team during this period, but with the support of a dedicated group fulfilled its fixture list and gradually re-built season on season with membership rising again.
2003
Ryde Hockey Club Members Return
In season 2003/04, players from Ryde HC (the Ryde club itself now struggling to field a regular team), returned to the fold and took over the fixtures earmarked for the 3rd XI.
2010
Vectis Ladies and Solent Juniors Join the Club
In 2010 Vectis Ladies and Solent Juniors joined with the IWHC so that all senior and junior hockey was now again under the auspices of one club, the Isle of Wight Hockey Club.
2015
Veterans' Team
An interesting dalliance was entering a men’s veterans’ team in the Wessex Masters League for just one season (2015/16). Unfortunately the other senior men’s sides (particularly the men’s 2s) struggled and although hugely enjoyable for those vets who took part, numbers were not viable and the experiment ended after just that one season.
Now
The Isle of Wight Hockey Club
The number of teams that the club can field continues to fluctuate, depending as always on numbers for that season, with the Island having such a transient population of sport engaged people. Thanks to dedicated coaches and volunteers, the junior section of the club is now thriving with training sessions held at the Rew Valley Centre (Isle of Wight Free School) in Ventnor. The club currently fields 2 men’s teams, 3 ladies’ teams, U16 and U14 junior teams, all playing at various Hampshire League levels.