Pitch Replacement Project 2014
On September 6th 2014, Taunton Vale Hockey Club began a new chapter in the club’s story.
Around 1000 people were welcomed on site for the unveiling of the newly resurfaced hockey pitch (with widened run off, covered spectator area, digital scoreboard) and LED floodlights, which coincided with England Hockey’s Club Day.
Over £500,000 has been spent at Taunton Vale Sports Club on the improvements. Thanks to Sport England's £273 grant from their Sustainability Fund, £99k from England Hockey, £40k from National Hockey Foundation and £30k from Taunton Deane Borough Council, when the works are finally complete, Taunton Vale Sports Club will be the first fully LED sports club in the country, with the ATP being the first LED floodlit hockey pitch in th UK.
The project was the brainchild of club member Harry Riste Jr, who worked tirelessly to find the funding and project manage the delivery of the works.
The pitch opening ceremony was attended by TVHC members past and present and their friends and family, as well as representives of Sport England, England Hockey, the National Hockey Foundation and TDBC. The pitch was opened by Harry Riste Jr and Colin Johnson (Chairman of TVSC), with Jeremey Browne MP and John Williams, leader of TDBC. The pitch was renamed 'The Sandra Wickham Stadium' in honour of our long standing Head of TVHC junior section.
As a result of Harry’s achievements, Taunton Vale HC was recognised as an England Hockey ‘Spotlight Club’ for the 2014/15 season. The club then went on to receive a nomination for England Hockey ‘Club of the Year’ 2014/15 and Harry was nominated as England Hockey ‘Club Champion’ 2014/15. In addition to this Harry was appointed as an Honorary Life Member of Taunton Vale Sports Club, and was the worth recipient of Taunton Vale HC’s 2014/15 Clubman of the Year.
The clubs future is now secure for the foreseeable future, and as part of the requirement of the funding, a specific hockey pitch sinking fund is now in place with a minmum of £15k being paid into this per year. So when we need to replace the pitch again in 12-15 years time, in theory it will be self funded.
We are eternally grateful for the work of Harry Riste Jr and for the financial assistance of Sport England, England Hockey, the National Hockey Foundation and TDBC.