King's Lynn-based hockey club hosts first youth tournament in two years
After nearly two years of no tournaments for the club's junior section, Pelicans hosted teams from Dereham, North Norfolk and Wisbech at Under-8s, 10s and 12s for a mini tournament.
Despite the heavy rain since the early hours, teams started to arrive early and it was obvious that all wanted to play and the smiling faces continued throughout the event.
In the Under-8 section, Pelicans had five mixed teams, the Chicks, Hatchings, Squabs, Fledglings and Colts, Dereham and North Norfolk both had one team each and Wisbech two, United and Wanderers.
Pelicans coaches Lee Dowers, Martin Metcalfe, Chris Page and Peter Oughtbridge and their parent helpers were kept busy as games came around regularly.
The skill from all the players was brilliant to watch, with goals being scored tackles being made and the start of what will hopefully be a lifetime hockey journey.
The eventual winners of the Under-8s were the Pelicans Colts team.
Pelicans had two teams in the Boys Under-10s – Flyers and Fury – while Dereham, North Norfolk and Wisbech all had one team each.
Graham Brooks and Helen Talmage coached the two teams and the young players certainly enjoyed showing off their skills.
All the results were close with Pelicans Flyers taking the medals on goal difference from Dereham.
In the Under-10 girls' section Pelicans had two teams – Hotshots and Hornets – coached by Rebecca Sheppard, Hannah Aldous and Katie Page, North Norfolk two sides - Lightning and Thunder and Dereham one side.
This was again a very close competition, with a one or two-goal margin in most games.
North Norfolk were a well-drilled squad with their Thunder team coming out victors.
Wisbech only had one girl available at this age group and she was a goalkeeper, so it was good that the other teams involved her as well in their games.
It was evident with the Under-12 teams that some of the players were used to playing in the development league, as the skill levels were raised again.
Pelicans had one team in each the boys and girls section, coached by Sam Phillips, Paul Aldous and Liam Olley, North Norfolk one boys and one girls team and Dereham had one boys and two girls teams – the Stars and Saints.
Both competitions were won by Dereham with the Stars team coming out winners in the girls' section.
To make any tournament work you need support behind the scenes.
The club were grateful to Ben Allen of Allen Tomas and Co Financial Management for sponsoring the junior section and the day.
The day was organised by Marelize Verdoes, head of the junior section, and head coach Wayne Masters, Carrie Chappell looked after the clubhouse kitchen,while Lucy and Charlotte Skerry and Jane Proctor helped with the outside refreshments.
Chris Hallum collected scores and time kept; Brian Page set up the gazebos, goals and general pitch prep while club press officer Richard Brown photographed the day’s proceedings.
Hopefully this will be the first of many that the club will host during the season in what was a real team effort from everyone.