ESOS–Energy Ltd, an Energy consultancy specialising in implementing energy saving solutions into commercial and residentail buildings, is sponsoring South Gloucestershire Hockey Club (SGHC) in hoping to repeat history as they try to reclaim a Guinness World Record™.
Over the Whitsun weekend of May 23 - 25 2015, SGHC plan to play the longest single continuous field hockey match of all time.
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.
The event will take place at Bradley Stoke Community School, where SGHC trains and plays its home matches. 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 Adrian Newton is a committee member of the Hockey Round The Clock 2 organising committee.
He said: “Ever since the record was lost, there has been talk, from time to time, of trying to get it back again. Well, finally the time for talking is over, and SGHC now going to have a go. Those who took part in it last time were immensely proud of what they achieved.
Playing for 50 hours is going to be incredibly difficult, and a real challenge. But SGHC 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 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.
Leanne Birley, Chair of the Committee said: “SGHC would love to hear from anyone who wants to play their part in making history and supporting a very worthy cause. If you are interested in being an umpire, timekeeper or independent witness, or if you think you might be able to help in any other way, through sponsorship or services, we’d love to hear from you.”
Anyone who does want to find out more can visit the club website, www.sghc.org.uk,or contact the committee directly by emailing them.
A Just Giving page has been set up for anyone who wants to support the record attempt; it is 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.
A huge amount of work is under way behind the scenes, preparing for the record attempt. ESOS-Energy and Simply Health have come forward as the first corporate supporters.
Leanne added: “SGHC are very grateful to these 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.”