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During the Christmas break families welcome home their children who have ventured off to University. This year, Sittingbourne HC will do the same and we will be doing it in style.

Sittingbourne Hockey Club will host the inaugural Martin Stephenson Cup, where current club members face off against University students who have previously played for SHC or as the club was previously know Old Bordenians Hockey Club.

Saturday, 28 December 2022

Match Starts 1400

Presentation: 1530

Sittingbourne HC, Avenue of Remembrance, Sittingbourne Kent, ME10 4DB

The Varsity challenge reminds us to continue to connect with our wider community and how hockey has brought us together.

We spoke with Alan Wilson this week who gave us an insight on why the Executive committee named the Varsity Challenge after Martin.

Martin joined our Club as a junior in the early days, playing on a grass pitch in the days when we shared the ground at Rodmersham Cricket Club. His family was very much a hockey family, his Dad and two sisters all playing at the Club.

Martin progressed through the junior section and rapidly up the 1st XI in the senior section and eventually to the captaincy of the 1st XI. Beyond playing for the Club, Martin represented Kent and also the South of England.

A cruciate ligament operation cut short Martin’s playing career, but not before we formed our first youth development team, the 4As, with Martin as its inspirational captain. Along with several other former 1st XI players, Martin led this very successful part of the Club for several seasons. For a junior to be selected for the 4As, he had to be a stand-out player, his performance clearly indicating that he was destined for selection in the higher XIs. This resulted in the 4As being successful not only on the field of play, often beating teams comprising all adults, but also in greatly enhancing the development of its junior members.

Some of those who have passed through Martin’s 4As have achieved; playing in the English National Premier League, playing for Paris-based Saint German HC in the French elite league, playing in goal for England U21s and an international hockey coach.

The Club is grateful to Martin for what he has contributed to the junior development section of the Club and for that reason we have named the Varsity Challenge cup “The Martin Stephenson Cup”.

Team lists for the match are below. We have some family pride on the line. Proudman vs Proudman, Byrne vs Byrne and Conway vs Francis/Conway.

Please come down and support and support both teams.

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