One Huntingdon sports club has had to create a home away from home

Pictured are players from the Huntingdon first and second teams ahead of their first 'home' games la

Pictured are players from the Huntingdon first and second teams ahead of their first 'home' games last weekend. They are, back row, left to right: Jen Lester, Katie Chandler, Rachael Gale, Hannah Curtis, Laura Porter, Gemma Custance, Charlotte Begg, Pam Begg, Karen Hannah, Catherine Wrightmam, Grace Gorley, middle row, Georgia Shipp, Ella Manning, Jacqui ONeill, Izzy Heppelthwhaite, Jes Homans, Zoe Skinner, Lydia Abbott, Chloe Cundick, Mia Townsend, Nicola Finch and, front, club president Kath Perkins. - Credit: Archant

Home does not exactly mean home where one local sports club is concerned.

Huntingdon Hockey Club, who boast two ladies teams, now find themselves based 23 miles from the centre of town at Sharnbrook Upper School.

The fact the club are based in the Bedfordshire village is due to a lack of suitable facilities in the Huntingdon area – a situation they have highlighted to Huntingdonshire District Council in a bid to be able to return to the town of their name in the future.

Huntingdon player Emma Knight said: “The performance of the Great Britain women’s team in winning gold at the Olympics appears to have inspired people to take up the game.

“We have loads of new players for this season despite the fact we are based so far from Huntingdon.

“The town has had a hockey team since the early 1900s and we’re determined to make sure we continue to thrive as a local club.

“We’re very proud of our legacy, and we are also proud of the friendly, inclusive culture which has been the key to the club’s longevity. We also desperately want to be able to play in the Huntingdon area again.

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“We’re in discussions with Huntingdonshire District Council to seek for their sports plan to be reviewed. It currently states that there are enough astro pitches for the town’s population and sporting needs, but it makes no distinction on the type of surface.

“Hockey has very specific requirements in that a full-size, 2G astro pitch is required.

“We’re also hoping to set up a discussion with the developers of Alconbury Weald to see if there are plans for the creation of hockey-friendly facilities there.

“But we appreciate there won’t be a quick solution and we very grateful to Sharnbrook Upper School in allowing us to use the facilities, and also to the East League, who have been very supportive of our situation.”

Huntingdon’s first two competitive games at their new base both ended in defeat last Saturday.

Their first team lost 3-0 to St Ives 2nds in Division Three North-West of the East Ladies League while Huntingdon 2nds went down 3-1 to Bury St Edmunds 3rds in Division Four North-West (South).

Both Huntingdon teams had tasted success the previous weekend in their opening fixtures – the 1sts triumphing 2-0 against Cambridge City 4ths and the 2nds thumping Cambridge South 3rds 6-0.

Huntingdon had been based at Kimbolton School in recent seasons, but the pitch there is no longer available on Saturdays. They continue to train there on Tuesdays.