Wandsworth hockey coach wins BBC London's Unsung Hero Award

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Wandsworth hockey coach wins BBC London's Unsung Hero Award

Postby Community Editor » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:10 pm

A Wandsworth hockey coach has been crowned BBC London's Unsung Hero of the year.

Marcia Gurney-Champion runs Spencer Junior Hockey Club which has more than 550 junior players on its books.

This year she dramatically expanded the club’s remit by introducing free hockey coaching to children who did not have the opportunity to play the sport, or indeed much sport at all.

The annual award recognises people who have made an amazing contribution to community sport in the London area.

Marcia said: “It is all very surreal and still a bit unbelievable to think that this little old sports fanatic will be heading off to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

"But I am just a cog in this huge Spencer Juniors machine, so thank you to everyone else who has done what they do, to make this moment possible.”

In September, together with a team of committed volunteers, she co-founded Spencer Lynx, an outreach hockey club made up of 50 children from state schools around the area.

The long-term aim is to provide a pathway from Spencer Lynx into the main Spencer Club, with bursary places being offered where appropriate.

Junior club chairman, Tony Matharu added: “When I set up Spencer Juniors in 2002, with Lesley Gairns, there were insufficient children within any age group of either sex to have any attempt at a game.

"No-one could have imagined the speed and scale of growth of the junior membership and the size of the task Marcia now faces to keep it all going.

"I am particularly proud and grateful that she has managed to maintain the Spencer ethos of inclusivity and that, despite the continued focus on enjoyment and participation, the club continually achieves county and now even national player recognition.” 
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