Pictures: Gareth Young
Conwy County Borough Council hosted the official opening of the recently refurbished, and much improved all weather hockey pitch at Eirias on Sunday 7th May. The pitch has benefitted from a complete resurface, as well as being lengthened in line with FIH (Federation of International Hockey) requirements, enabling international standard matches to be played at the site.
The funding for the improvements was derived from a collaboration consisting of Hockey Wales, the Football Association of Wales, and the Welsh Rugby Union who identified Colwyn Bay as a strategic location through their ‘The All Wales Artificial Pitch Vision and Guidance document’, Welsh Government has also supported the project through their interest free Sports Facilities Capital Loan Scheme. Sport Wales also provided invaluable support and funding contribution towards the project.
Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans said: “We want people across Wales to live healthy and active lives. A key part of this is helping to ensure people have the opportunity to access top class sporting facilities that are sustainable and suitable for all weathers. We are delighted to have provided a loan of nearly £1 million to Conwy County Borough Council to update a number of sports facilities at Parc Eirias which includes the new hockey pitch. I am sure it will be a bit hit with everyone who uses it.”
The official opening was conducted by Cllr Graham Rees, Cabinet member for Tourism, Marketing and Leisure, and Chair to the Eirias Project Board, in what was his last public appearance before stepping down from the Council.
The pitch will be home to Colwyn Bay Hockey Club who field men's and women’s teams in the North West and North Wales Leagues. They have a strong junior section, and their U18’s boys were recently crowned Welsh Champions for the second consecutive year. The club, CCBC and Hockey Wales will be working to ensure that usage of the pitch is maximised, developing the sport in the North Wales region.
The opening event was rounded off with an exhibition match between Colwyn Bay Hockey Club 1st XI and Colwyn Bay Hockey Club Legends, included in the line up was CCBC Chief Executive Iwan Davies, an ex player at the club.