National league Southgate HC has challenged other clubs to follow suit and create a carnival atmosphere at domestic hockey matches.
Southgate saw over 1,000 people through its doors – with an official attendance figure of 761 – for its men’s and women’s double header weekend this month.
The Hockey Paper was present at the Clifton Robinsons game in 2016 which had around 700 present and so Southgate certainly can lay claim to having set an official domestic modern day record.
“We plan to build on this and keep on pushing the envelope over the coming weeks and months,” the club said.
“In the meantime we pass the baton to other clubs to try something similar- we’d love someone to beat our attendance figure by the end of the season.”
Southgate also had 4,000 watching its online broadcast on “the biggest club day we have ever had”.
“A huge step forward for England Hockey club matches … this was an amazing event,” said Dan Strange, who was commentating on the day.
Meanwhile, GB international Phil Roper said: “Love this – hope other clubs follow your lead!”
The club added: “An amazing day really showcasing what the centre was built to do – and a great opportunity for the whole club to come together. Sincere thanks to everyone who came, who cheered, the M5 for writing their brand new chant and special thanks to Michelle for her work and all our volunteers who braved the weather all day to help us pull it off. A great club day.”
The Hockey Paper says…
Southgate’s initiative is exactly why The Hockey Paper’s #watchyour1s campaign was launched in 2019. The club even admitted to launching its record bid project having seen some of our published pieces on attendances.
While England and GB Hockey attracts crowds for its international fixtures, focus on the domestic product is woefully lacking. Southgate has showed that clubs and the sport has to be different to stand out.