Members of South Gloucestershire Hockey Club (SGHC) are hoping history will repeat itself in Bradley Stoke this bank holiday weekend as they try to reclaim a Guinness World Record.
Starting at 10am today (Saturday 23rd May) and ending at 12noon on Monday (25th May), SGHC plans to play the longest single continuous field hockey match of all time.
The event is taking place at Bradley Stoke Community School, where SGHC trains and plays its home matches.
The club hopes the marathon match will raise £10,000 for the Cots for Tots Appeal at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol, which cares for critically ill premature babies and newborns.
The current record, set in May 2013, is held by Holcombe Hockey Club of Kent, and stands at 40 hours. SGHC hopes to add a massive ten hours to that total, playing non-stop for 50 hours.
SGHC is no stranger to the history books: over the same bank holiday weekend in 2011, they set what was then a new world record when they played for 31 hours, beating the previous total by 45 minutes.
They were one week short of holding the official record for a year when it was beaten by Crawley Hockey Club, who played for 34 hours and then, a year later, the current holders Holcombe took the crown.
Two squads of 16 players – men and women – will attempt the world record, played to the full normal field hockey rules, with 11-a-side on the pitch at any one time.
Those taking part have to be there for the duration of the record attempt; there’s no going home for a four-hour sleep and then returning the pitch.
In order to meet the strict criteria to claim an official world record, the players will be supported by a small army of volunteers.
They include umpires, timekeepers, stewards, photographers and, most importantly, independent witnesses.
Club member Leanne Birley, chair of the ‘Hockey Round The Clock 2’ organising committee, said:
“Ever since we lost the world record, there has been talk, from time to time, of trying to get it back again.”
“Well, finally the time for talking is over, and we’re now going to have a go.”
“Those of us who took part in it last time were immensely proud of what we achieved.”
“Playing for 50 hours is going to be incredibly difficult, and a real challenge. But we do have the advantage of having set the world record once before, so although we are going to have to play for a lot longer this time, we do have an idea of what to expect, and can plan it a lot better.”
In 2011, the club’s world record match raised more than £5,200 for the charity, which several SGHC members, and their families, have personally benefitted from.
A Just Giving page has been set up for anyone who wants to support the record attempt at www.justgiving.com/hockeyworldrecord. Alternatively, supporters can donate by text; type SGHC55£ followed by the amount you wish to donate – for example: SGHC55£10 – to 70070.
“We are very grateful to the firms, the school, and everyone else who has come forward so far to help support our effort, and ensure that we have the best possible chance of succeeding in our aim to become world record holders once more, and raise as much money as possible for such a very worthy charity.”
“ESOS-Energy, Simply Health, the Hope and Anchor and the Volunteer are providing corporate sponsorship. Cannon Security are kindly lending us equipment to record the record attempt and Gap Group have generously lent us port-a-loos which allows players some pitch side comfort breaks as they can only leave the pitch for 20 mins every 4 hours. Bradley Stoke Community School have donated us the pitch free of charge and Akuma have supplied us with discounted kit. MDB catering will be pitchside throughout the weekend enabling players and supporters to get much needed sustenance in order to power through the 50 hours. Tesco Bradley Stoke have also been kind enough to donate food for the players.”
Photo: SGHC players pictured before their successful world record attempt at Bradley Stoke Community School in 2011.
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