Huddersfield Dragons Hockey Club have secured a new home at the Stafflex Arena at Storthes Hall. The club has a new chapter to write in what has been a long and varied history.
Formed in 1900 the Dragons have played at a variety of venues in the Huddersfield area. For the last few years they have played at Huddersfield Rugby Union’s ground at Lockwood Park.
However, chairman Richard Waugh has always wanted the club to have a home it could call its own. Thanks to the Leslie Sports Foundation the club can now be based at Storthes Hall where Huddersfield Town Women FC play and where Shelley Community Football Club is based.
The foundation is a charity dedicated to local sport where all income and sponsorship is re-invested in facilities at Storthes Hall.
On the move Mr Waugh said: “We are delighted about moving there. We’d like to thank Huddersfield RUFC for the years we’ve been at Lockwood but this feels like a new start.
“The Leslie Sports Foundation has been fantastic and we are looking forward to being part of it and also to be working with both the Town Women and Shelley FC too.”
With 150 adult senior members at the club and over 100 juniors the Dragons are in a positive position and have a platform to build on. The club fields four men’s senior teams, three women’s teams and also a development squad.
Mr Waugh added: “This move is a big positive for the club and I really think it can help us move forward. We have a good amount of teams and a talented junior section.
“We are always looking for new people to come and join the club. Obviously we all like to win but we have got a balance at the moment between the social side of the club and becoming an even more professional outfit and it being about performances.”
One position Mr Waugh would like to fill at the club is the coach co-ordinator position.
“We used to have a person who oversaw every team and came up with a plan and direction to take the club in,” he said. “Each team currently has a team captain who runs that team and we have a number of coaches at the club who are spread throughout the club.
“Now, though, we’d like to get someone in who can oversee everything and come up with a plan and strategy and look at player pathways and development.”
The men’s senior first team plays in the Yorkshire Hockey league Premier Division with the women playing in the Yorkshire and North East League.
“The men finished mid-table last season and Mr Waugh said: “I think we did OK last season and we’d like to build on that but the division is very hard and so if we finished in a similar position next season that’d be OK. There is lots of potential here and it’s something we’ll continue to build on with all our teams.”
Mr Waugh got involved with the Dragons five years ago having returned to Huddersfield after living in Scotland.
“I could see lots of potential here,” he said. “The club had a good player base, had a thriving junior section but the only thing it lacked was a proper home that felt like ours. Now, after lots of hard work, we are very close to making that dream a reality and from this position the club can have a springboard to move forward.”
The Leslie Foundation at Stafflex Arena was set up by local businessmen and philanthropists Graham and Craig Leslie in 2013 to help provide affordable access to high quality training and coaching facilities for amateur sports enthusiasts.
If you’d like to get involved with the Dragons find out more HERE.