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Press Release - 05/09/1997

East Antrim Hockey Club
05 September 1997

For further information, contact:
Stephen Swann
Press Release Officer - East Antrim Hockey Club
34 Carnmoney Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 6HP
078 0316 7731
stephen@eastantrim.co.uk


EAST ANTRIM FITNESS PROGRAMME LOOKING GOOD

East Antrim Hockey Club are now six weeks into their pre-season fitness program and already seem to be in good shape. Rab Gibson, the club's fitness coach, remarked at a recent committee meeting that attendees are in much better physical condition this year than they were at any point last season.

The club is also having something of a revival in the youth department. Thanks to the schoolboy coaching sessions coordinated by Youth Liaison Officer, Tom Watson, and the staff at Ballysillan Leisure Centre, pre-season training has seen an unprecedented number of very young talent.

Club captain, Stephen Swann, is delighted with the influx of new faces: "It allows the club to field a fourth team this season for the first time in six years. It can only be good for the future of the club. Our only problem is subsidising a team which only pays a nominal subscription."

Honorary Treasurer, Michael Jackson, echoed Swann's thoughts when he revealed that his proposed budget for the year would have to be redrafted due to an unforeseen hike in playing costs. "The club plays out of the Valley Leisure Centre, as it has done since the astroturf pitch was laid there. This season, however, the Leisure Centre has increased the cost of pitch hire by 25%." Jackson continued by saying that he was still pursuing an explanation for the increase.

On a brighter note, the East Antrim Fantasy Hockey fund raiser looks set to break previous records. Now in its fourth year, the fantasy league has enjoyed great success - but this term it looks like profits from the league will be double the amount raised last season.

The club is also on the brink of closing a sponsorship deal for subsidising the club's Internet presence. The World Wide Web site was the first of its kind in Ireland and still remains the only hockey web site in Ulster. The site has enjoyed enormous success, and during July was voted "Hockey Web Site Of The Day" by hockey stick manufacturers, Dita. For those interested, the site can be found at http://www.eastantrim.co.uk/