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HC Knole Park are one of the top nominees at the England Hockey Awards 2020!

HC Knole Park have capped a wonderful first season by being one of the most nominated clubs at the up-coming England Hockey Awards taking place on Saturday 6th June 2020. Featuring in four of the nine categories, HC Knole Park have been shortlisted for the Club of the Year, Innovation of the Year, Men’s Team of the Year (Men’s 1st Team) and their U14 Captain and England U16 star Lottie Bingham has been shortlisted for the Rising Star Award. Director of Coaching, Duncan Parnis, said: “We cannot believe that we have been shortlisted for so many awards. It’s incredible! When you consider that we only just started as a hockey club in June 2019, to be recognised by England Hockey as having made so much progress in such a short space of time is phenomenal. We are exceptionally proud of all our members and their commitment to Knole Park this season. It has been hugely rewarding to see how much they have all enjoyed and developed their hockey this year – many congratulations! We are also hugely grateful to all our partnership schools and facility providers, to Bat and Ball Sports for providing the kit and to the group of incredible volunteers that make up the Knole Park committee. These awards represent a lot of hard work, endeavour and good times together! Finally, a special mention to Lottie Bingham who has improved this year more than any other! Her selection for England U16s back in November was an amazing achievement, but to be selected from that group as one of England’s Rising Stars is superb – many congratulations!” HC Knole Park are shortlisted for the England Hockey Club of the Year as one of the success stories of the season. With just a handful of members last summer to a membership of over 160 people within a year; this nomination shows how impressed England Hockey have been with the club’s progress. Knole Park were able to run multiple weekly trainings and matches for members from the U10s all the way through to adult senior teams, including indoor hockey in all age groups.

Off the pitch they have created the branding, logo, sponsorship, website, membership platform, socials, newsletter and social media amongst everything else that has helped the club to be so successful so quickly. It was also noted that HC Knole Park’s work in the Sevenoaks and Tonbridge community through its coaching and coach development, mental health link with West Kent Mind and Back to Hockey projects were particularly positive.

The HC Knole Park England Hockey Innovation of the Year shortlisting was two-fold:

1) For our promotion of hockey in the Sevenoaks and Tonbridge area through our positive relationships with the local newspapers, Sevenoaks Sport magazine and our social media platforms. Indeed there weren’t many weeks where HC Knole Park wasn’t featured in the local press detailing their match reports or for stories on club or individual’s achievements, and the online social media has pushed the boundaries of creativity through its videos, pictures and promotion.

2) The second innovation was on the playing side. The provision for hockey at Knole Park is second to none and the club have been able to provide support for both high performing and beginner hockey players alike. The club has really maximised providing high quality enjoyable hockey for all.

In the junior age groups the club offers a full mid-week hockey programme that runs from September to May. This has been fantastic for the local community whose weekends are getting ever busier. The club’s Back to Hockey programme has also seen many adults join the club and they now play regularly on the weekend in the senior set-up. Including a number of parent-child combinations! Knole Park have also accessed a number of grants to help to support their various projects.

The third category for HC Knole Park is in the England Hockey Men’s Team of the Year. The Men’s 1st Team are shortlisted after winning 14 of their 15 matches this season to clinch the London League Division Six title. Building on the club’s successful Back to Hockey campaign, eleven adults played their first ever hockey match, alongside a similar number of juniors who also played their first ever senior match! The team scored 87 goals and conceded just 21 times as they won the league demonstrating what you can do with a group of enthusiastic and happy hockey players!

The final award was in the England Hockey Rising Star category where Lottie Bingham has been shortlisted. Lottie was selected for the England U16 training squad in November after playing at the England Hockey Futures Cup in August. She made her debut for England v Ireland in February 2020. At the club she was the top scorer for both the U14 Girls and Ladies 1st teams, both of whom won their leagues. She was also the leading light for Knole Park’s U16 indoor campaign. Lottie scored four goals as Knole Park won the Indoor Kent Cup. At the National Finals, Lottie was outstanding, scoring 11 times as Knole Park narrowly lost in the semi-finals. In May 2019 Lottie spearheaded her school team, Weald Grammar School, to win the EH National School’s U13 Championships scoring ten goals in five matches to become the best U13 Girls hockey team in England! Lottie is also actively involved at Knole Park through the ‘Young Leaders Programme’ and coaches every Saturday morning. She is hugely popular, and the younger members absolutely love her! She is an inspiration to all at Knole Park and we are very proud of her achievements!

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