BEN Rhydding Hockey Club is preparing to celebrate the grand opening of their second Astro Hockey Pitch on Saturday (September 9) at noon.

There will be hockey matches all day on both pitches as well as a barbecue and bar open for all. The club's junior sections will lead the way in the morning before the official opening of the pitch by former Club President Noel Hutton at noon. Noel took the lead in seeking the funds needed from Sport England, England Hockey and many others before working with contractors to deliver the new facility.

A new grandstand has also been constructed as part of the new pitch with funding from Ilkley Round Table and club members. The grandstand will be opened by Rachel Lowe in memory of her late husband, Robert. Rob was a member for many years and played a big part in helping to deliver the second pitch, as well being treasurer of the Sports Club, only standing down in recent months. Despite his illness, he continued to manage the restructuring of Ben Rhydding Sports Club into a Community Benefit Society. Rob died in May this year.

In the afternoon the Ladies 1st team welcome the high flying Bowdon for a pre-season friendly (at 12.30pm) followed by a friendly for the Men's 1st team against Didsbury Northern at 2pm. There will be many other games for other teams throughout the afternoon.

Club Presidents Andrew Packett and Rachel Doherty are looking forward to welcoming as many members and visitors to the new pitch and to witness some top class hockey. Entry is free.

For further information contact the club by email at or visit the club's website