A SOLIHULL hockey club is celebrating after netting the European Hockey Club of the Year award and in doing so becoming the first English club to win the coveted title.
Old Silhillians Hockey Club increased its membership by 40 per cent last year and now runs a staggering 13 teams.
Its work in the community was also a big factor for being named winners of the European Cup for the ‘large club’ category.
It comes just days after being named England Hockey Club of the Year award for 2015.
The citation for the award said the club ‘had shown tremendous development in the last year. Their player membership grew by 40 per cent in 2014 and they now have a Parahockey programme as well as coaches and umpiring training and are planning to build more infrastructure’.
Old Silhillians will collect the award from European Hockey Federation president Marijke Fleuren at the National Stadium, Olympic Park, in August.
“We’re all very overwhelmed to have won such a prestigious award,” club chairman Stephen Tabb told the Observer.
“We were voted one of the top ten best hockey clubs in Europe in 2012 and have been runners-up for the England club award for the last two years. We also hold the National Mixed Plate.
“To be recognised by two different governing bodies for all we are trying to achieve is staggering
“It’s fantastic to know that all of the hard work and dedication put into the local community by everyone who is involved with the club has not gone unnoticed.
“The committee and its members have worked really hard to build the club, which only had about 80 members six years ago and now has 360.
“We were up against some massive clubs, some of which have thousands of people involved for example in Holland so it’s a fantastic achievement and hopefully we can continue to grow in the community.”
For more information about the club visit silshockey.co.uk