The new all-weather pitch at the OC Club was officially opened on Saturday, September 8 by Dudley Couper, the president of the OC Society. The pitch is at the centre of a £450,000 investment into Thames Ditton by the OC Society, OC Hockey Club and Elmbridge Borough Council.
The new pitch is blue with an orange surround, reflecting the club colours, and the entire sub-base has also been relaid, in effect giving a brand new facility. The perimeter fencing has been upgraded with a higher but less obtrusive green replacement. This will provide greater protection for those outside the playing area as well as making the pitch itself more secure from vandalism. The drainage, a perennial problem since the original pitch was laid in 1993, has also undergone a major overhaul.
The incredible success of the OCRFC minis and the OCHC colts means that we now have more than 700 children using the club on Sundays and this has created parking issues on nearby roads. After consultation with local councillors – who have been fully supportive of what we are doing throughout – we looked to alleviate some of the problems with a substantial investment in new bicycle racks as well as creating more all-weather parking by laying a plastic matting on some areas of Weston Green Sports Club’s car park which were unusable in the wetter winter months.
The funding for this project came initially from the OC Society but the OC Hockey Club undertook to contribute £150,000 and have been furiously, and successfully, fund raising all year. We also received a £106,500 community grant from Elmbridge council.