Edinburgh Festival Director Lee Cousins believes the 15th Golden Oldies World Hockey Festival has ticked all of the boxes.
He said that after two years of planning the end of the Festival has come around quickly but he is delighted with the reaction from Golden Oldies hockey players.
“It’s been the party we hoped it would be. We trust everyone had enjoyed it,” Lee said.
A key to the success has been the wonderful hockey facility at Peffermill and the expertise of the Scottish Hockey Association.
“We knew we could put on a very good facility. So it was always just a question of could we do the stuff around the edges if I can call it that. The trimmings. Probably we have that right too.
“A lot of people here have remarked how different it is to have the Festival at a dedicated hockey centre, what a pleasure it is to play hockey here and what that means to their enjoyment.
“A key has been the complimentary fit between EventScotland, Edinburgh City and ourselves. We are pretty good on running the hockey. But we are not so great on the other things which was where EventScotland have come in really well with the Opening and Welcome Party, the picnic day and so on. And the paper work, admin and licensing, health and safety is where City of Edinburgh have come in. It has fitted together really well.”
The only disappointment for Lee and Scottish Hockey has been the lack of local teams.
“There hasn’t been as many hockey people here from Scotland as we had hoped. Whether we didn’t sell the GO concept well enough I am unsure. The ones that turned up have seen it is a concept worth being part of. We have to try to spread the word.
“We will still use the legacy to knit our veterans together and see if we can get some of them to tour. If this is what you can achieve if you are over 35 and indeed over 50 as many of the players are, then there’s still plenty of scope for you to continue to play hockey, be a member of Scottish hockey and enjoying being part of enjoying the game.”
Lee paid particular thanks to the volunteers.
“They have loved the week. They got wet and worked hard and enjoyed it thoroughly.”
And his highlights?
“The ceilidh was pretty good. It is a very peculiar Scottish thing and not very easy if you don’t know how to do it but it was great to see everyone giving it a go. The other highlight has been the quality of the pitches.”
Caption: From left: Graeme Croucher (Edinburgh City), Rebecca McPherson (EventScotland) and Festival Director Lee Cousins (Scottish Hockey).