CALLS to enhance hockey facilities in Presteigne have been renewed this summer.
The club completed his meteoric rise through the Welsh hockey pyramid by securing promotion to Premier Division One of the South Wales Women’s League last season.
However while the club is now among the top in Wales the East Radnorshire club remains wholly inadequate with home games played at Llandrindod Wells Sports Centre.
Chairperson Tina Sparey called for the decades old project to install a hockey pitch in Presteigne to be revived
“We have been told in the past Presteigne is not central enough to warrant a pitch of our own but surely location is less important compared to the demands.
“The irony is that because Presteigne is not central is precisely the reason we need one.”
Presteigne have not played in their home town for more than 15 years but despite their lack of facilities the club has achieved four successive promotions to scale to the heights of the Welsh game.
“Our nearest astro pitch is in Llandrindod which means we never have the pleasure of a home game,” said Sparey.
“So we’re having to travel substantial distances to away matches every other week as well home game.
“This all tests the dedication of our small squad who obviously have other commitments while also makes the team feel a little isolated from the town itself as people can t just wander down to support us.”
Sparey insisted the lack of facilities in Radnorshire would ensure any new development at Presteigne would be embraced by the entire local sporting community.
“It would be well used by the school for a variety of sports including hockey, cricket and football.
“Our hockey club currently has a thriving youth section who play in the local Badgers league,” said Sparey.
“However, all matches currently have to be played in Llandrindod or Brecon.
“The girls who come to our practices from Presteigne have such enthusiasm and potential but don’t have anywhere to practice or invite other schools to play.”
Fundraising for an astro turf facility in Presteigne began in the 1990s and the club will be canvassing the town’s county councillor Beverly Baynham to make the project a priority.
The club’s calls have been echoed by South Powys sports development officer Elin Wozencraft, herself a regular with Radnor Ladies Hockey Club which also lacks suitable facilities in the area.
“It would be incredible to see the facilities matched to the standard of hockey that Presteigne are now playing,” said Wozencraft.
“It’s incredible they have got to the top of their level without a playing pitch in their vicinity to train or play.
“To secure funding and plans to get a suitable playing area in East Radnor would take this club from strength to strength and would 100 per cent encourage more young children and possibly adults to pick up a stick and enjoy one the sport.”
See full story in the County Times