The University’s mixed hockey team has gone from strength to strength this year. We’ve maintained our strong social and inclusive aspect, whilst developing a strong, competitive work ethic towards our matches. At the start of the year we got in a great crop of freshers who have gelled fantastically in the team, and really come out of their shells since joining mixed hockey. As we take people of all abilities, the club is very diverse in terms of skill and goals. Yet somehow, this works perfectly for the club as the more experienced members help coach those who have recently started the sport, which has not only led to the development of many people into talented hockey players, but it has also helped create a tight-knit community.
Mixed hockey, whilst only training on Wednesdays and Fridays, can regularly be found meeting up in many of the bars across campus just for a general get-together. It also helps that as a club, we keep in contact with a number of former members of the club. We play against the ‘old boy’s’ team once per term, with many more socials with them as well. This is advantageous because all of our members know what happens to us after we leave the university! We regularly go on tour with these members, both to our tour in Warwick, held in March, against a number of Universities such as Warwick, Leicester, De Montfort and Buxton. This year we took 15 of our members to Warwick and won in the 11-a-side game 2-1. On top of Warwick tour, we also go to Yateley in July to play mixed hockey against teams from all over the country, even as far as Glamorgan! This tour is more social, and involves standard university touring rules and somewhat inappropriate tour shirts, but is great to break up the mundane nature of Summer when away from University.
In terms of games this year, the mixed hockey team plays against other mixed sides from around the area. This year we have played teams such as Amersham & Chalfont and the University of Winchester. Having started the season with a side much-changed from last year’s, it took a while for the new-look Reading side to adapt. But since Christmas, we have been in truly fantastic form! We beat the University of Winchester, and at the recent Varsity between Oxford Brookes and Reading, the mixed team came away with a comprehensive 3-0 victory, despite having been out till the early hours of the morning the night before due to our end of season formal! We’ll be looking to build on this year’s committee’s fantastic work next year with our brand new committee. We’re a very social and inclusive club, so we would love to see our club carry on developing, and we look forward to the next crop of fresher’s and anyone else who would be interested in joining next September!