Kettering Hockey Club moves to Corby because of poor state of facilities

Kettering Hockey Club have decided to leave the all-weather pitch at Thurston Drive after the facility began suffering flooding problems

Kettering Hockey Club have decided to leave the all-weather pitch at Thurston Drive after the facility began suffering flooding problems

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A hockey club which has been based in Kettering for more than a century says it has been forced to leave the town because of the poor state of facilities.

The club spent up to £10,000-a-year booking the all-weather pitch in Thurston Drive, owned by Kettering Council and managed by Parkwood Leisure for matches and training sessions.

However, persistent problems with flooding, which leaves behind a slippery mud when it has drained away, meant the club was forced to move league matches to Corby Business Academy a year ago.

Club chairman Jaime Cox said officials reluctantly decided to move training sessions to Corby in January, ending the club’s 120-year association with the town.

He added: “It became a health hazard. We got to the point where the league were saying we could not play there anymore.”

Mr Cox said the situation is all the more galling because of the sports legacy of the 2012 Olympics.

A former Kettering Hockey Club player, Anne Panter, represented Great Britain at those games and won a bronze medal.

Mr Cox added: “We’d like to move back to Kettering but at the moment the facilities are just not being looked after.”

A spokesman for Kettering Council conceded there were issues with drainage at the site.

She added: “Over the last 18 months, Kettering Council and Parkwood Leisure have invested £22,000 on the surface, floodlighting, security, storage and the changing pavilion. We understand that the facility has run at a loss for some years. We hope to welcome the club back in the future.”