Basingstoke Hockey Ladies 1s have been on a rocket ride to success over the past 5 seasons! Following the appointment of former England Captain Lisa ‘Lala’ Scarborough as their Player-Coach, they have been promoted 3 times in 5 seasons – two of those back-to-back!
Their progress has been stellar since 2014 when the team, stuck in the tricky South Division 3B, finishing in the top 3 over and over but never quite making it to the top spot, hired Scarborough, with Bausor, the youngest member of the squad taking up Captaincy. Scarborough re-grouped the already talented squad, drilling them through that first season to focus on team shape and roles, on their way to becoming a formidable unit, and finishing within touching distance of 1st place – in second spot, again.
The team really began to reveal Lala’s impact through the 2015/16 season – a two horse race, with the Ladies beating second placed East Grinstead 4-1 in their second coming together, but the hard work only beginning as the teams were joint on points all the way to the final game! In the end it was just 1 goal that saw Basingstoke to their first promotion on the final day of the season.
Basingstoke started to play with a new sense of confidence; with Lala’s guidance the team started to realise a bigger opportunity for the club aspirations soared.
In the 2016/17 season the Ladies 1s made Club history by gaining promotion into South Div. 1, the highest level the Ladies section had ever played at, as well as being promoted two seasons running. They also won the Hampshire Cup – a fantastic season for the leadership duo of Bausor and Scarborough.
Bausor said ‘It was a fantastic feeling being part of this achievement and being able to celebrate this at our home ground with our supporters was a really proud moment. Not only had Lala brought the team confidence and game winning tactics, she had started a momentum and the start of a new era for Basingstoke Ladies.’
Promoted now into the top regional league for 2017/18, Basingstoke finished 3 points below the league winners in 3rd spot in their first season in the league, narrowly missing out on promotion.
The hunger for promotion was now strong and with a league restructure giving 4 teams automatic promotion into National leagues, the objective was set and the hunt was back on! Coach Scarborough said ‘a mantra I learned from my coach and mentor, John Shaw, is that "if you make the player next to you have the best game of their life, then you have done your job", from week to week, I felt the squad committing
The Ladies adopted a ‘one game at a time’ approach, and with determination and grit, kept grinding out the results. The end of the season was another nail-biter, Basingstoke taking it to the last game to keep things interesting, but securing 3rd spot with points to spare, with other results going their way! Bausor said ‘I am extremely proud of everyone who has been involved with this squad over the past few seasons and thankful to be part of such a supportive club. We look forward to representing Basingstoke Hockey Club in the National (Investec) Hockey league next year and who knows what we can achieve next!’ The team represent all walks of life, of all ages and with 6 mums, the team have grown their supporter base, with families joining them on the sidelines week in week out.
Having attracted new players along the way, Bausor added ‘I am really proud of the fact that we haven’t lost sight of what it means to be part of the Club, there’s a real sense of community on and off the pitch. We are all part of a great hockey family and representing Basingstoke every time we step out on a pitch, we always have a smile on our face.’ Scarborough summed up ‘I am delighted at what we have achieved with the ladies at BHC in the last 5 years and can't wait to build on the success at Basingstoke as we start life in the National League - this is such a great club, with such an amazing group of members.’
In the final club games of the 18/19 season this weekend, the Ladies 7s beat Isle of Wight 3-2, finishing in 4th spot, whilst the U14 Girls lost 5-2 to Alton.
Basingstoke Hockey Club are pleased to confirm their second pitch will be laid at the end of this year to allow all our games to be played at our Down Grange home. Members have been raising money over the past few seasons and a number of kind local business sponsors have contributed too, including KJSmith Solicitors, Smith Plumbing Services, Ripton Windows, Basingstoke Electrical Services, The Fitness Centre and many more.
Fancy trying hockey yourself? You don’t need to be a superstar to enjoy it! Basingstoke Hockey Club will be running Ladies and Men’s’ Back2Hockey and for the first time, Walking Hockey every Wednesday 7-8pm from 15th May for 5 weeks, so try it out for yourself! Everyone welcome, just £3 a session! For more information contact Luci McCallum on email@example.com.
Basingstoke Hockey Club are open to new sponsors for their coming season. If you are interested in talking about opportunities with us, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 19:54 - 15 Apr 2019 by Paul Carruthers