UCC Hockey going from strength to strength
UCC Hockey Club is a student-run club, whose home playing ground is the Mardyke Sports Grounds. The hockey club is one of the larger clubs in the university and has a history of competing at a very high calibre. This year, the club has six Women’s teams and Three Men’s teams competing in every division in Munster. Furthermore this year the Men’s and Women’s First XI are competing on a national level in the EY Irish Hockey League in division two. In the past month, both the Men’s Seconds and Ladies Fifths have had on the pitch success. The Men’s seconds beat NUIG in the Final of the West & South Colleges Cup, while closer to home the ladies 5th team beat Blackrock 4-0 in the Division 6 cup, a win which has them promoted to division 6 for next season. Both teams are coached by students.
UCC Hockey is a unique club compared to other teams in the league. As a student run club, every member gets the opportunity to learn not just how to play and develop on the field but also to learn the administration roles of the game. The men’s club chairperson, Brandon McEvoy says “We all learn what goes on behind the scenes, the fixtures and budgeting and organising of so many people, which really gives us an extra edge. We have worked in many ways to deserve our positions on the team making us more dedicated and determined.” Getting involved on the committee is quite sought after and is a competition in itself for students to get elected.
Interest in the Hockey club has grown hugely in the past number of years with a particular surge last September, possibly due to the Women’s Irish Team having such great success over the summer months. As a result, the hockey club are also looking to grow their training space in coming years following the launch of UCCs sports strategy in February. The strategy includes plans to build a new sports park in Curraheen which will feature upgraded facilities for the Hockey club, a feature they hope will allow the club to grow in both numbers and success.
Next weekend will be an important weekend in the clubs calendar, in particular for the ladies side of the club. The Firsts team will take on Catholic Institute in Garryduff Sports Centre, Rochestown at 5pm on Saturday in the division 1 Cup Final while the seconds team will take on Harlequins in the division 2 cup final.