“Hockey is FUN!” This is the famous war cry of every little voice in the Benoni Northern's Hockey Club, echoing across our fields every Saturday morning during the field hockey season.
1976, the Benoni Northerns Hockey Club has grown from humble beginnings
to its current strength over the past 38 years. The main club
laid down its own roots only 4 years before, in 1972, and has been a backbone
of support for many sporting disciplines on the East Rand.
The junior club practises every Saturday morning from 08h30 till 10h00, at the Benoni Northerns Sports Club on Brodigan Street in Northmead. Our teams are all coached by SAHA (South African Hockey Association) accredited coaches who take pride in encouraging both developing skills in the sport and most of all, fun! All of our coaches volunteer their personal time to train our players.
For the first time in 2013 the junior and senior clubs were merged under one committee in an effort to grow membership in both areas of the sport. Currently the junior hockey division fields teams from under 5 to under 17, for both boys and girls, with the under 5 and 7 levels the teams being mixed. Seniors range from U21 all the way up to grand masters. The club is growing at a fantastic rate, having 102 registered players in 2013 and 144 registered players for 2014. 2016 has also seen the start of our U21 mens and ladies sides.
At our junior home tournament in 2013 we hosted approximately 1250 players and are expecting even more each year. Many clubs now have to split there tournamnets becasue of increased interest. Our home tournament is scheduled for 29 July 2016. The junior club will also be running an indoor hockey league for the first time this year, for the age groups of under 11 to under 17. The indoor league is due to start in September, after the close of the outdoor season in August.
Not only does the club focus on its own players, but has a strong focus of developing skills in previously disadvantaged communities. We currently have over 30 development players, mostly from Wattville, in various age groups who are being coached, supported and encouraged by the club, coaches and famlies. Through the generous donations from parents and players, we have been able to provide uniforms, kit, sticks and balls to all of our development players. The junior club further supports a development team named “Silver Stars”, from Diepsloot, who are getting much needed support and exposure to the fun and fast game that is field hockey.
In supporting the future skills growth of all our players and those in the region, Benoni Northerns Hockey is working hand in hand with the Eastern Gauteng Hockey Association. Eastern Gauteng now has a hockey astro field alongside the current club fields. The development is now completed and finalised. The next project planned for the fields entails the installation of lights on the astro so that practices and games can be done at night. The ability to train and compete on astro provides our players with the necessary experience to not only grow into the upper echelons of the sport but to also compete with other clubs who already have astro fields at their disposal.