Garstang Ladies Hockey Club will make history this weekend when double Olympic medallist Hannah McLeod helps mark their return home to the market town after more than 20 years.
The club’s annual open day will be a milestone moment for the club and dedicated team at Garstang Community Academy, with the official opening of Garstang’s first multi-sports all weather pitch at the school in Bowgreave in their 60th year.
Following a two-year campaign, a £100,000 Sport England grant and thousands of pounds donated through fundraising, the work on the state-of-the-art community facility was completed this summer.
England hockey player Hannah, 34, has been invited for the opening of the astro turf pitch at Garstang Ladies sixth annual club day, which will be held at the academy this Saturday September 8 at 11.30am
It is hoped the £500,000 sports development will inspire a new generation of players to the sport.
Club spokesperson and long time player Sarah Skelton said: “We’ve been running a Club Day for a few years now but this one is sure to stand out.
“It’s such an exciting year with the opening of the pitch which has meant we can finally return to Garstang after 24 years.
“This together with a visit by a double Olympic medallist, all in our 60th year! What better way to mark the occasion!”
GCA principal Alasdair Ashcroft said the resource would provide a great opportunity for pupils, the club and the wider community.
These are very exciting times at GCA! The school is moving forwards in every way. Academically, 2018 saw the school’s best ever exam results.
"Now in sport, we are, after lots of blood, sweat and tears, finally opening our amazing new, full sized, floodlit, all-weather pitch.
"The opportunities this resource provides for our amazing students in school and outside school, as well as for our fabulous community are immense.
"My thanks to everyone who has made this happen whether from within school, or from the wider community, especially Garstang Hockey Club, without whom we wouldn’t have been able to make this fantastic project a reality. I look forward to seeing even more sporting successes at GCA over the coming weeks, months and, indeed, years."
The school and the club first launched their ‘Pitch In’ campaign in 2015. This year Garstang Ladies and the school also celebrate their 60th anniversaries.
Garstang Hockey Club is opening its doors to boys and men from this season giving the whole Garstang community and district access to a sport for all levels.
The ladies first team currently play in the North Regional League, Division 2 North West. The club day will kick off the season and all are invited to join all the teams and supporters for a day of fun and sport.
Tracey Jones who helped put together the project said: "Five years ago this incredible facility seemed like an impossible dream.
"However in this, our 60th year, we are thrilled to be able to report that we have delivered what we set out to do all that time ago! We have a national standard all-weather pitch in Garstang and we are so proud of it.
Thank you to everyone who has donated and ‘Pitched In’ for Garstang.”
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