Our primary obligation is to provide access to sport for the people of Hitchin. For over 65 years this has been through Hitchin Cricket Club and Blueharts Hockey Club. More recently we’ve made available the redundant hockey pitches for lacrosse and youth football.
The cricket and hockey clubs alone provide coaching and games for 150 adults and nearly 300 young people.
The cricket club can boast 4 mens teams, 1 ladies team and a dozen age group sides from U9 upwards, including 2 girls teams. Recently we have been U10 County Champions and regularly have boys and girls from every age group representing county and area teams.
Blueharts have 6 mens teams , 4 ladies teams and enter sides in county competitions for boys and girls from U8 upwards and U14, U16 and U18 teams in national competitons. Our U12 girls were national finalists in 2012 and we are the current U12 County Champions for both boys and girls. Our U16 and girls and boys teams have reached the penultimate stages of the national championships. We regularly have over 30 juiniors attending county coaching and some go on to regional and national age group honours.
Protecting our sporting legacy
Our legacy is now in jeopardy. The club house is a converted pre-war isolation hospital. If you visit us you’ll see that it’s at the end of its life, costly to maintain and is not appropriate for the volume and diversity of sport provided by the clubs. Changing facilities are particularly poor, are not segregated and are beyond recovery to an appropriate standard.
Over the last 15 years all competitive hockey has had to be played on artificial pitches. With no pitch at Lucas Lane Blueharts have had to hire the facilities at Hitchin Boys’ School and are now one of only three East Premier clubs without their own pitch. Apart from the cost implications, a remote pitch has disrupted the club’s social cohesion and significantly reduced the income generated by the use of the clubhouse.
Fundraising organised by members, particularly the November 5th fireworks display, allows the hockey club to pay its share of the cost of running Lucas Lane and remain solvent. The fireworks display carries weather and increasing regulatory risks to what is after all a voluntary organisation.
To ensure its survival, the hockey club has considered ceasing to use Lucas Lane, but then it would have no clubhouse or social cohesion. Without the hockey club’s contribution, the cricket club cannot afford to run the clubhouse and the ground. These circumstances have existed for a number of years and have impacted on the playing standards and the social fabric of the clubs.
Without a significant change, sport at Lucas Lane will come to an end. The fabulous grounds that are enjoyed by players, spectators and local residents will fall into decline. There will be no legacy for clubs which have been part of the Hitchin community for decades. In this Olympic year we want to secure the future of sport at Lucas Lane.
Sustained and protected standard of hockey and cricket in Hitchin
Program for youth participation in sport and physical activity without barriers
Olympic hockey legacy to inspire future generations of our youth
Renewed and fit for purpose clubhouse & venue for community use
Transparent and open consultation process with the local community