Ipswich East Suffolk Hockey Club teams up with Ipswich School to pitch share

Paul Wraneck, left, bursar of Ipswich School, and Steven Farrow, chairman of Ipswich East Suffolk Ho

Paul Wraneck, left, bursar of Ipswich School, and Steven Farrow, chairman of Ipswich East Suffolk Hockey Club, shake hands on the deal which will see the club use Rushmere Sports Ground as its home - Credit: Archant

One of the region’s largest hockey clubs and leading independent schools have entered into an agreement which will give hockey a major boost in Ipswich.

Ipswich East Suffolk Hockey Club and Ipswich School have signed an agreement which will see the club use Ipswich School Sports Centre in Rushmere as home, and take advantage of the school’s impressive hockey facilities – including two Olympic-style blue and pink pitches.

While the club have been based at Rushmere for 15 years, they played their home games at Copleston School.

Club chairman Stephen Farrow said: “Whilst we are grateful to Copleston School for all they have done over the years, it has always been the club’s ambition to have a pitch and club house on the same site.

“When Rushmere sports ground was in private ownership we worked with the owners and planning consent was granted for an astro-turf hockey pitch with the intention that we would be the resident club.”

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He added: “Following planning permission being granted for the pitch, the ground was leased to Ipswich School as a charitable organisation, and we are delighted that they have honoured the planning condition that Ipswich East Suffolk Hockey Club will use Rushmere as its home venue.”

David Hacker, a former GB hockey player and current Director of Sport at Ipswich School, said: “Very few schools in the country have the facilities we now have.

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“We regularly compete at national level in both the boys’ and girls’ competitions, and the new facilities will hopefully provide a real boost.”

Paul Wranek, bursar at Ipswich School, added: “The community use of Ipswich School’s sports facilities at Rushmere is very important to us, and we hope that many people will get to benefit from what there is on offer.”

Farrow said: “The aim of the club is to provide hockey for all ages and abilities, for both male and female from the youngsters to the veterans. And now that we have secured our immediate future, we are able to do this.”

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