Hockey produced one of the moments of the Rio Olympics on Friday night as Team GB’s women’s team won gold in a penalty shootout against the Netherlands.
It seemed most of the country tuned in to see the drama unfold, with the watched on on Friday night as the BBC News at Ten was put on hold, and social media caught fire, with the heroics of Maddie Hinch and company trending on social media.
And Pendle Forest Hockey Club are hoping to ride the wave of interest in the sport.
Team GB’s inspirational captain of 13 years, Manchester-born Kate Richardson-Walsh, announced her retirement from international hockey after claiming gold, and being the flag-bearer at the closing ceremony on Sunday night.
Ten years ago, while playing for Slough, Richardson-Walsh played against Forest in the last 16 of the national cup.
Although it was a comprehensive win for the London side, Richardson-Walsh left her mark on the locals, who still speak about how professional, friendly and inspirational she was.
Fast forward a decade and Pendle Forest, are still going strong.
The club fields three adult ladies’ teams every Saturday.
The first team play in North Division Two North West and have won the league for the last two years, narrowly missing out on promotion via the play-offs.
The second team play in Lancashire Premier Division and, last year, came second in their division and were runners-up in the cup final.
The third team won promotion to Lancashire Division One and also won the plate final.
The club have also had a lot of individual success, with Charlotte Hartley playing for the England senior side & winning a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in Melbourne in 2006.
Olivia Bythell represented one of three England teams at the Sainsburys youth games two years ago, after going through the England Hockey Single System and playing for the Under 18 Pennines Pumas.
Currently there are three of the juniors – Harriet Ashworth, Freya Bythell and Thea Cormack – who have been selected for the Under 16 Manchester Pumas and are halfway through six training days before hopefully being selected for the next level.
Forest always welcome new players of any age or experience, so if the Olympics have inspired you, pick up a stick and join in!
Training is held every Tuesday night at Marsden Heights Community College, 7-8-30 p.m. for adults.
Junior training is also on Tuesdays, at the same venue, starting on September 13th, from 6-7 p.m.
For more details, please contact Dani on 07854135137.