Uddingston Hockey Club have won the EuroHockey Club of the Year to become the first club to twice receive such an honour since its introduction in 2007.
The Scottish outfit won the large club category for 2022 having previously won the medium-sized category seven years ago as they continue to promote the sport in Glasgow.
Uddingston Hockey Club President, Allan McGill said of the honour: “The club are simply delighted to have been awarded this award particularly after winning European medium Club of the Year in 2015, which, even then, was a major achievement for the club.
“From the win in 2015, we have continued to develop the club with a particular focus on community engagement and youth development as we felt this was key to the long term sustainability of the club as a whole.”
The club is committed to being a high performing club that lives in the heart of their community and works as a hub for those living in the local area. This has prompted a string of initiatives which have burst into life in the last two years.
Uddingston is working with local community partners on projects such as the Men’s Shed to help tackle men’s mental health and give a positive space for the local community to come. They have donated land and resources at the club to this project and its a well used facility.
With the Bothwell/Uddingston action group, the club participates in food bank deliveries. In conjunction with the Harvest Church Group, they provide six weeks of hockey, food and transport for a local church group working with disadvantaged youngsters which will run every year.
As part of the South Lanarkshire active schools initiative, the club brings hockey to over 250 kids a week with all costs absorbed by the club. They are working with active schools to identify barriers for children participation in sport and break them down.
Another initiative focuses on children from with the Women’s Aid Service project, offering hockey sessions and services to children within the school holiday period to provide respite for women who need to focus on their own needs as well as their children.
Walking Hockey is offered, providing a physical and emotional support to a group less mobile while to help with the current financial crisis, the club host a “kit bank” where people can bring their unwanted sticks, shoes and kit and offer these out for free to people who might need them.
Supporting this range of ideas requires big volunteer support which Uddingston nurtures through a volunteer reward scheme, giving credit for every hour they help out; this credit can be spent within the club structure.
It has helped double membership numbers in the past three years and assisted the development of excellent new facilities at the club which hosted a EuroHockey Championship qualifier tournament in August.
That success was evident in the supporting statement of Scottish Hockey in their application form for this award, stating: “The biggest success for the club has been the number of external partners they have cultivated across Scotland and beyond to help them drive their projects. They have in excess of 15 partner organisations they work with to bring together the projects they currently run.
“This has meant an increased profile for the club which has led to benefits in the local community but being chosen to host the recent EuroHockey qualifiers to great success and domestically becoming a Gold accredited club with both Scottish hockey and Sports Scotland.”
Scottish Hockey Regional Development Manager Kelly Fillingham added: “Having worked with Uddingston hockey club for the last two years, I have seen first-hand the tireless work the club put into all their projects to develop as a club both on and off the pitch.
“They work to offer a space for the entire community to come together with the club at the heart of that. They have developed a world class facility for their hockey teams but, bigger than that, they have become a standard bearer for what can be achieved if we look beyond the pitch and engage in the community around us.”
As winners of the EuroHockey Club of the Year, Uddingston will receive €1,000, an EHF Club of the Year Pennant and a VIP visit by a EuroHockey ambassador to present the awards.