What is Friends of Durham Hockey?
Friends of Durham Hockey (FoDH) are all the people that aren’t currently members of Durham University Hockey Club but have a close affiliation to it and care about its success and future. The majority of these individuals are former players – i.e. the club’s alumni.
How did it begin?
FoDH was initially set-up by the men’s hockey club in 1996. Back then, they had four sides, four Exec members, one astro and no coaches. Subs were £50, including a club shirt (which also doubled up as a social shirt). It was a similar story for the women’s club - three sides, no official coaches and, with just one pitch between the two clubs, home games were invariably held at the distinctly unglamorous location of Silksworth.
Since then, not only has the club gone from strength to strength – a mixed club since 2000, 10 sides, 19 Exec members, two astros, eight coaches and vast amounts of kit – but so has FoDH. What started out as a simple way to help dig the club out of a bit of a financial hole, has grown into a community that has been there for each other during some wonderful highs and devastating lows. With over 700 alumni on the facebook group and at least 18 touring sides; the FoDH network is a vast, varied and global one.
What does it do?
There are two FoDH committees that support the club:
• The FoDH Durham Committee: made up of a mixture of DUHC alumni and local individuals with a special link to Northern Hockey and DUHC. Responsible for mentoring the present DUHC Exec in the day-to-day running of the club.
• The FoDH London Committee: made up of DUHC alumni from across the generations and responsible for alumni engagement and fundraising. The FoDH London Committee serves a two- year term before passing their responsibility on to other members of the alumni network.
Keeping in touch
Keeping alumni connected to what the club is doing, as well as with each other, is achieved through three main activities: communications, annual events and networking and career support.
• Communications: Alumni can stay in touch by being on our distribution list, a member of our Facebook group and a member of our LinkedIn group.
• Annual events: There are three regular events a year open to both students and alumni: April Weekend (held in London on the last weekend of the Easter holidays), June Weekend (held in Durham on the second weekend in June) and London Week (held in London over the last week of August). April has a networking, hockey and social focus; June is all about festival hockey and reliving memories in The Cow and Klute; while London Week is about seeing the new season’s players in action, networking and a sit-down dinner on the final night.
• Networking and career support: To help alumni and current students make the most of the amazing depth and breadth of the alumni network professionally, we host two networking events a year (in April and September) and have set up a LinkedIn group for virtual support. Additional events focused on more specific industries, professions and sectors are also in the pipeline.
Touring sides are another way that many alumni stay in touch. These are all teams set up and organised by alumni once they’ve left Durham and, at last count, at least eighteen sides have been set up over the years. Often the basis of life-long friendships, these sides are a unique feature of the Friends of Durham family. You can find out more about the different sides on the DUHC website.
We have four main ways of supporting the club from a financial perspective: alumni events, regular and one-off giving, player sponsorship and supporting the club with their corporate sponsorship activities.
When you’re next down at MC, take a moment to look at the Wall of Memories and see if you can spot the 12 plaques related to past hockey members and check out the 500 Board next to the main pitch to see all those that have contributed over £500 to DUHC over the years.
We very much look forward to welcoming you into our extended hockey family and seeing you at some of the events during the year. Any questions, you can reach us at [email protected]