Published: 06:34, 28 September 2021
| Updated: 08:22, 28 September 2021
Old Bordenian Hockey Club have changed their name of 76 years in a firm look to the future.
They received unanimous approval from members to take on the name Sittingbourne Hockey Club.
It’s hoped the switch will increase the club’s profile in the town and lead to an increase in players.
“This decision has involved a lot of soul-searching, as you can imagine, for a club that’s 76 years old,” said chairman Alan Wilson.
“But, all things considered, and they were, there were various reasons for changing the name.”
He added: “We have not abandoned our ethos or our history.
“We retain the same colours, we still have the same club badge, our history is very important to us.
“This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly.”
Wilson said a potential name change had been discussed in the past couple of years but “more so just recently”.
The committee put proposals to the membership at an extraordinary general meeting before informing England Hockey of the name change.
Wilson said: “The population of Sittingbourne is likely to expand dramatically over the next few years, there are applications to build many thousands of houses, and we’d like to be beneficiaries of that.
“A lot of people will be moving to the area and we think the town name will be more recognisable and more attractive, and I say that as an old boy of the school and someone who has been with the hockey club for over 50 years.
“We also feel it will help us be at the heart of the community.
“We already run coaching for five-year-olds and I think our oldest playing member is 70.
“But, in addition to that, in the last two or three months we’ve introduced walking hockey, which is there to attract people who are maybe coming to the end of their career and who want to stay active and mobile, or it could be people who have stopped playing because of a series of injuries or new people who want a gentle introduction to the sport.
“We’ve also started flyerz hockey, which is an England Hockey initiative for disabled players, with the aim of increasing access and opportunity.
“The other reason is we believe that corporate sponsors will be attracted to the town name because there will be greater kudos in that. That was a key factor in our decision, too.
“The idea was first discussed by the committee and then went to an extraordinary general meeting to get approved, which it was unanimously.
“Quite a lot of people were disappointed to lose the name but they could see the reasoning behind it and the need to look to the future.”