Saturday, 9 July 2016

PRHC Triumphs at Roller Hockey Cup Finals

This morning, I enjoyed the thrill of watching Peterborough Roller Hockey Club (PRHC) under 17s triumph at the Eastern Counties Roller Hockey Association Cup Finals at Bushfield Sports Centre in Orton Goldhay.

Never heard of roller hockey? To be honest, neither had I, until a friend invited me along to watch her talented son play in the Peterborough Under 17s team. PRHC were triumphant, winning by 4 goals to 1 against visitors Sudbury.

Established in 1966, PRHC meets on Thursdays and Fridays for training with boys and girls from the local community ranging in ages from 5 years upwards.

Roller hockey is a fast-paced sport, played indoors between two teams of five. It's a bit like ice hockey (without the ice) and a bit like hockey (but on wheels). The match I watched lasted for two 15-minute periods with success relying on agility, endurance, teamwork, skill, a very enthusiastic coach and and equally enthusiastic audience.

PRCH Under 17s Team
PRCH Under 17s Team

PRHC Under 17s warming up prior to their 4-1 victory

A couple of things struck me as I watch the teams from right across our region preparing to compete. All, without exception, were absolutely focused on their game. When a goal is scored not a moment is spent celebrating as the ball is brought straight back into play. The concentration on the players' faces made me smile, because there is something joyful in seeing young people united together as a team, determined to succeed in their goal.

I went to school in the '80s when 'contact' sports didn't have mixed teams. Girls played hockey or netball (I was rubbish at both), boys played football or basketball or rugby. In roller hockey, the teams are mixed, with the girls playing every bit as enthusiastically and energetically as the boys. It was great to see the girls holding their own and clearly being unafraid to mark their opponent. My generation wasn't encouraged in this kind of sport but it seems obvious that the girls and boys in these teams view one another as equals, and that can only be good for their confidence in all areas of life.

If you live in Orton, this is your local team. If you ever get a chance, do go along to view a match. You'll find the fixtures on the PRHC website.

If your child is interested in trying roller hockey, PRHC holds beginners skating sessions on Fridays 5pm-6:30pm at Bushfields Sports Centre, Orton Goldhay. The first three sessions are free, and then £3 per session thereafter. For more information, visit the PRHC Website and Facebook page.

Free roller hockey lessons for your child
Free roller hockey lessons for your child!

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