Welcome to the RAF Hockey Association Website

Welcome to RAF Hockey Association

RAF Players from Inter-Services 2010
RAF Hockey Logo Gp Capt McLean

Welcome to the home of RAF Hockey on the web: RAF Hockey had a successful Inter Services Tournament in March at Aldershot Garrison. The Ladies finally broke the Army Ladies’ recent domination of the tournament, scoring with seconds to go to secure the draw that gave them the championship on goal difference, and the Men’s Masters regained their trophy lost on goal difference to the Army Masters in 2012 winning both of their matches convincingly. The Under 23s battled bravely but ultimately lost out to the Army whilst the Ladies Masters came 2nd in a tournament restricted to 7-a-side games due to unavailability of players; this is an area of concern as there is a real threat that the Ladies Masters tournament will not proceed in future years if all 3 Services cannot field teams of 11 players. I would urge everyone involved in Ladies Hockey to trawl their contacts, friends and fellow players to encourage current and retired Ladies to come forward to support Masters Hockey. Finally, the RAF Men’s Seniors failed to live up to their own high expectations, losing close games to both the RN and Army to finish 3rd in the tournament. On the individual front, it was encouraging to see so many players selected for the various Combined Services squads, whilst Jess Webb (RAF Ladies) and Finlay McLean (RAF Men’s Masters) won Player of the Tournament in their respective age groups – a great personal achievement.

Following the Inter Services, the inaugural RAF Hockey Association Dinner was held at RAF Benson on Friday 22nd March. Attended by 40 personnel with Air Mshl Simon Bollom, President CSHA and AVM Greg Bagwell, President of RAFHA present, the evening was a great success. Guests of Honour and speakers at the dinner were Jason Lee, GB Ladies Coach and ex GB Men’s Coach, and Simon Mason, President of England Hockey and our most capped Goalkeeper ever. We also had representatives from RAF Hockey’s sponsors, Thales Group UK and ISS Defence at the Dinner, who presented generous sponsorship cheques to the President of RAFHA. Their continued support of RAF Hockey is the lifeblood that enables the RAFHA Executive Committee to promote the game of hockey within the RAF at all levels and send our representative teams on training camps and tours. I would hope that our long and fruitful association with both of our sponsors will continue for many years to come and we really appreciate their ongoing commitment and support to RAF Hockey.

On the 17th/18th April 2013 the RAF Inter Station Hockey Tournament will take place at RAF Halton, with the winners going forward to represent the RAF at the Tri Service Cup Winners Cup to be hosted by the RAFHA at RAF Halton on 26th June 2013. The Inter Station Tournament will also see the unveiling of a memorial to Cpl Brent McCarthy, a keen RAF hockey player who lost his life on operations in Afghanistan in 2012. We are grateful for the support of Thales in sponsoring a new trophy for the tournament, the Brent McCarthy Trophy, which will be presented to the winning team by Brent’s parents, John and Sarah McCarthy.

Looking further ahead, the annual Festival of Hockey will be held at RAF Halton on 14-15 August 2013. This is the ideal vehicle for newcomers to the game to ‘have a go’ at hockey, alongside more experienced players and receive coaching from England Hockey qualified coaches. It also gives the representative Team Managers an opportunity to talent spot players who can be developed into future Inter Services players, so I would urge OICs to get the message out on their units to encourage maximum attendance at the Festival.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone involved in RAF Hockey, players, coaches, Team Managers, officials, OICs and Executive Committee members for their help in promoting hockey in the RAF during what are difficult and uncertain times. 2012/13 was a good season for RAF Hockey, but we can do better next year so I would encourage everyone to redouble their efforts to ensure that the 2013/14 season is even more successful. I look forward to sharing the craic with you all at forthcoming RAF Hockey tournaments and events.

Finlay McLean

Group Captain

Chairman RAF Hockey Association

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