Let’s start with a small history of the club, which is only 7 years old!
Grove Menzieshill HC was formed in 2010 with the merger of Grove Ladies and Menzieshill Men to create a club for the whole family. Both clubs were very successful but growth was restricted due to the lack of a youth pathway. The merger enabled the formation of a youth hockey section, while also remaining inclusive of the whole family. The youngest members are 5 years old and the oldest playing member is 65 years old!
The youth section now boasts 175 members, and club growth has been consistent with 247 members and counting! Each week three ladies and six men’s teams participate in District or National competitions, along with youth teams regularly participating at under 10, 12, 14, 16 & 18 levels; the club also has a male veteran’s team. Teams participate in both outdoor and indoor hockey events, the Club now operates twelve months per year.
The Hockey Club received an award of Direct Club Investment from Sportscotland to appoint a Youth Hockey Development Officer. This enabled the Club to link directly with local schools and deliver hockey coaching sessions on a daily basis.
One of the most impressive features of Grove Menzieshill HC’s application for the EHF Club of the Year award was their focus in growing their youth base. They have created a pathway for young hockey players to progress in the sport.
Grove Menzieshill gave us two great examples of the pathway: Cameron Golden was 10 years old in 2007, when he joined the club. He is now a regular member of Scotland’s hockey squads and trained with the Great Britain U23 squad in 2016. Carly Edward was 13 years old when she joined the club in 2011. She is now a regular umpire of Scottish National League matches and umpired her first international match in 2016.
Grove Menzieshill HC’s women are a familiar presence in the EuroHockey Club tournaments. Most notably, the ladies won the EuroHockey Club Challenge II in Mérignac, France in 2015.
This past season, the men’s Indoor team won the Scottish Indoor league title and has secured its place in the European Competitions for 2018. The U18 boys squad has won both the Scottish Indoor and Outdoor Championships this season. This was a repeat of their remarkable double in 2015-16 season, further highlighting the great work of the youth coaches within the club.
However, when pressed, the club gives us its proudest achievement: being a true family club. Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, brothers, sisters, grandparents and even entire families play, coach or volunteer every week.
Looking ahead: Summer of Hockey!
This summer is very special for Grove Menzieshill Hockey Club as both the Ladies and Men’s 1st teams are representing Scotland at the European Club Trophies (Women in Munich, Men in Elektrostal) in June. Some Scottish performances to look forward to as well: the World League in London and Brussels and the Rabo EuroHockey Championships.
Plans: A pitch of our very own
Over the next two years the Club’s main target is to construct their own hockey pitch at their home base in Forthill Community Sports Club.
This has been an aspiration of the Club since its formation and winning EHF Club of the Year (Small Clubs) has further focused their efforts. A pitch will enable the club to further promote hockey in Scotland and strengthen its ties to the City of Dundee and the local community. Not least, it will enhance the club’s possibility of growth, and help increase the availability of coaching to local schools. A home pitch will cement its identity as a community club, which is truly the club’s aspiration.
EHF Club of the Year (Small Clubs) 2016
What does it mean to win this award? Grove Menzieshill’s leadership tells us: “The recognition of our efforts has put Grove Menzieshill Hockey Club ‘on the world map’ and helped the promotion of the City of Dundee and Scotland. We have received many notes of congratulations from around the world since the award was announced. We are extremely proud to be recognised as the ‘EHF Club of the Year (Small) in 2016. This award has invigorated and excited all our club members: their efforts are recognised internationally!
It is especially significant in 2017, as on the same weekend in June; our men will compete in the EuroHockey Club Trophy in Elektrostal and 2,500 km away our ladies will be competing in the EuroHockey Club Trophy in Munich. True reflection of the scope and influence of the European Hockey Federation and the significance of this award.
We are extremely proud to be promoting hockey as a sport for all in Scotland and to hopefully have given the local community something to be proud of too.”
The club also wanted to share its thanks with its many supporters, sponsors and partners:
“A huge Thank-you, to all our club members and friends whose contributions are being recognised by this prestigious award. Special thanks also to SportScotland, Leisure & Culture Dundee, Active School Coordination Teams of Dundee and Angus Councils, Forthill Community Sports Hub, Midland and Scottish Hockey Union. Their support and assistance over the years has contributed towards this award and makes Grove Menzieshill Hockey Club a great club. This award demonstrates the club is going in the right direction. As a member of Forthill Community Sports Hub we are actively pursuing community involvement. We look forward to developing our own facilities and seeking partners to support this community project.
It is only through investment in the sport that we can offer hockey opportunities to all. Players, coaches and officials of all ages and levels. Our aim is to have all our teams playing at the highest level. Growing our community programmes and through this, produce and foster talented players, while maintaining our school programmes and recreational hockey for all!”