Our Olympic legacy
The history of Wapping Hockey Club is closely intertwined with that of Great Britain's Olympic hockey greatest achivements. When the Great Britain's men's team won gold at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, Wapping was founded by Tim Poeton and friends as part of a drive to bring hockey to urban London for the first time as part of the ‘88 Legacy. Many league officials were sceptical about accepting this club with no playing history, but when finally accepted into the league in 1989, with the backing of some of the 1988 Olympians, it was declared the future is “all about clubs like Wapping.”
In 2005 it was announced that London would host the 2012 Olympics. The majority of the events, including hockey, were held at the Olympic Park in east London where the Team GB women won a bronze medal. Creating a permanent hockey legacy was one of the pledges in London’s Olympic bid and in 2014 Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre opened. As the largest local hockey club, Wapping became the anchor tenant and our teams now share the same pitches that are used for major international tournaments. At the same time we were able to secure funding to relay our existing pitch at John Orwell Sports Centre in Wapping.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics Great Britain's women's hockey team went one better and won the gold medal, beating The Netherlands in a dramatic penalty shoot-out. Over fifty Wapping members watched the final in our clubhouse and the video of when they won is something to behold! When the team returned home Wapping was on hand to welcome them at Heathrow and recognise their fantastic accomplishment. The gold medal sparked a huge increase in interest for hockey and Wapping was able to use that momentum as a springboard to reach the National League for the first time in the 2016/17 season.
We can't wait to see what Tokyo 2020 will bring!
You can find out more by reading the full story on the England Hockey website.