It has been nearly 6 months since we launched the OCHCPitchIn campaign to fund our new astroturf pitch at Thames Ditton. Since then the Beast from the East has been and gone and we have now been struggling to sleep due to the heat, one of our number is playing Masters World Cup hockey for England, the travellers tried to invade but were sent packing, and the main hockey season has ended with some fab results for both young and old. We rounded things off in style with a fantastic End of Season Dinner.

Back in February we set out that we needed to raise £150,000 through a combination of reserves, Legacy Fund donations and most important of all fundraising by each of our senior teams and colts age groups. This is then our committed contribution to the Old Cranleighan Society who as owners of Thames Ditton have entered into the building contract.

New Pitch Update

The main contract was awarded to Smiths after an extensive tendering process involving a huge amount of work by the Astro Committee and, in particular, Doug Dodson.

For those on our various social media platforms you will have seen that the big dig began on 2nd July. The very heavy waterlogged old pitch has been lifted, the diggers have removed the old sub base, new drainage has been laid and now they are preparing the ground for the new surface. It is a long process but the aim is for handover between 1st and 8th September.

Ultimately we will end up with a new state of the art blue pitch with an orange (rust to be precise) surround and new sub base. The sub base was 20yrs old and its replacement is key to the project in order to provide a world class surface that not provides stability for the future. The old pitch drainage was also found to be completely inadequate and explained why the pitch flooded so regularly.

You will also see a replacement fence which will be much higher than the old one and will create a safe and secure compound for the pitch and its users and protect other TD users from low flying hockey balls. It will also prevent vandalism and misuse of the pitch by unauthorised users. Happily the grandstand will be within the fence and so uninterrupted views of the hockey will be maintained for spectators.

Two new containers will also be put in place at the far end of the grandstand providing more dry storage for our ever increasing kit needs, especially for the goalkeepers. The blue garage building has been demolished to make way for the new compound, and the car park layout close to the clubhouse is being re-configured to allow for dedicated bike racks to encourage players to cycle to their matches or training and to relieve pressure on the car park and on surrounding roads.

Fundraising Update

Whilst the dig has started we have still not hit our fundraising target and the next 6 weeks are crucial to us achieving our goal.

So what have you all been up too? …

Our Barnstormers are by far the biggest fundraisers with their 275 mile bike ride to Den Bosch, Holland which has raised over £15,000 … thank you to each and every one of you. The Men’s 2s started us all off admirably in February with their Alternative Race Night which raised their £2,500 contribution.  The Vets lunch hosted by our Club President Tony Rogers raised a further £2,000 through the very generous donations of the many former players. The U6s and U7s reached a massive £2,700 with their sponsored dribble and Lend a Hand initiatives. Mentions must also go to the Boys U14s for their excellent car wash; U12 Girls for their 2hr dribble; U10s boys for getting Ivy Gate Boards up and around Thames Ditton; to the Ladies for their Cake Sales; to Rob Jonkergrouw for his World Cup sweepstake. The Summer Social in June also brought in another £3,000. Many thanks to those that helped on the stalls and made it a great day… U14 Girls; U14 Boys; U12 Girls; U8s; Ladies; Mens 3s/4s and Jay / Nikki from the Vamps for super Balloon modelling!


Our Club Captains initiated the Legacy Fund, which to date has raised an amazing £25,000+ and we are still inviting contributions from members of the wider OC Family to help secure the future of our amazing club. Three levels of contribution are invited at £5,000, £2,500 and £500. All contributors will be featured on a dedicated board once the project has completed

We have also working with corporate donors and sponsors to raise further funds and we thank them in advance for their valuable contributions

The Mens 1’s and Mens 3’s have also kicked off a huge raffle and silent auction which will culminate at the pitch opening celebrations. For details of prizes and to purchase tickets please contact Ollie Davies on Oliver.Davies@brooksmacdonald.com or Max Arthur pm.arthur@outlook.com


So What Next?

This year also happens to be the 90th Anniversary of the OCHC. We are therefore going to combine these celebrations with the pitch opening at the 90th Anniversary Ball on 8th September. We will be hosting a champagne reception at Thames Ditton for the pitch opening and then transporting all guests to a fantastic ball in the Equus Suite at Sandown Park racecourse. This will be a sparkling black tie event and we invite all current and former players and their partners plus Colts parents to put tables together or to help us celebrate. Tickets are £65 per head and available from www.ochockeyclub.org

The following day the 2018-19 season launches with the start of the Colts season and there will be some very excited junior members looking to step onto our new pitch. We are also planning to bring as many Colts games as we can back to Thames Ditton on Sunday afternoons which means everyone will get a chance to play on the new pitch.

Before then however we do need to put in a final push to raise another £20,000. Some of this will come from the proceeds of the Ball, from the raffle and from the silent auction but we need to raise the rest from Legacy Fund contributions and from other fundraising initiatives.

Please contact your Club Captains  Simon Marshall (Virge) on simon@eshp.com or Helen Hawes on helen.hawes@btinternet.com if you need any information on how you can contribute.







August 2, 2018