It’s been a year since we launched our Southgate18-86 scheme for alumni of Southgate’s junior section so it seem like a good time to catch up with two of the alumnae who have been enjoying the benefits .
Caitlin Haberlin- Chambers (CHC) was part of the U16 squad that won silver in the national championships in 2016 and who left in 2018.
And Jenny Hammond (JH) who played alongside Caitlin in that team, and was also one of the victorious U18s that claimed the national indoor title in her final year as a junior, 2019.
Tell us more about your career as a Southgate junior.
CHC I left the Southgate team after U16s when we were runners up at the national finals. I was also playing in the Ladies 3s at this time but I wanted to focus on my A-levels so couldn’t commit to u18s on a regular basis.
JH: The first team I played in was U8s and I went all through the age groups. I started playing in the ladies’ section in the 5s when I was 13 and when I left in 2019 I was in the Ladies 2s.
What has happened since then?
CHC I am at the University of Leeds and am in my fourth year. I have continued to play hockey at uni and am in the uni’s first team and Leeds Hockey Club 1s/2s (to be confirmed;-) I used to be social secretary for the women’s hockey team in my second year.
JH I’m at uni in Durham, just about to go into my third and final year studying Archaeology & Ancient History. In my first year (2019-20) I played hockey for Durham City HC. I started in DCHC 3s and by the end of the season I was playing in the 1s. I also played for my college team, but the standard wasn’t very good. In my second year I started playing at the uni and trained with the 3s.
And how have you been involved with the 18-86 programme?
CHC I have played summer league and attended winter and Easter training sessions when I come back from uni. During my industrial placement in my third year I did play at Southgate for a season with a discounted fee. I played for the 2s and occasionally for the 1s and it was lovely seeing everyone and meeting new faces. I also co-captained our team in the Big Blue League this summer and attended preseason.
JH Loads! With the pandemic I’ve been back home in London and been able to train and play at Southgate. I played in mix-ups over Christmas, friendly mixed games, summer league. I’ve been invited to performance training and pre-season and got my breakthrough playing with the 1s in the friendly Y1 summer league over the spring when we came out of lockdown. I’ve played in the Big Blue League over at Olympic Park and Old Loughts and I captained a team at the Magnificent Sevens in June.
Do you think it’s good value for money?
CHC I paid just under the £200 mark for my subs last season at Southgate during my industrial placement year, which was a significant discount but still rather expensive for a student. Summer league was great value for money at only £6 a game. I also was able to attend preseason for no charge, which was a bonus.
JH Definitely. The club has been really generous because of the programme – as alumni we are just charged on a pay-per-play basis in the same way regular members are for summer league games and I’ve been to pre-season without having to pay too.
Do you think you’ll come back to Southgate when you graduate?
CHC I am due to graduate in 2022 and will be coming back to Southgate. My sister and I have been playing at Southgate since the juniors so we have a lot of friends here. I enjoy the atmosphere at Southgate and can’t wait to get back.
JH Absolutely. I’ve been at Southgate since I was six-years old and have made some friends for life. I’m due to graduate next year and hope to take advantage of the reduced subs for returning alumni.
So you think the 18-86 alumni programme is a good idea?
CHC I think it’s a great idea to put people in touch with alumni and that we can attend events at Southgate despite not being a full member. Kathy has actually put me in touch with a new fresher who will be joining Leeds and have reached out to her so I am able to answer any questions she might have. I think it is comforting for those who are starting uni and may be feeling nervous.
JH For sure. I’ve had access to excellent coaching and it’s been really good to feel part of the club again, especially after my tough hockey experiences at uni. With the programme in place, it means those going off to uni can be put in touch with Southgate alumni already there so that don’t feel daunted when they turn up at trials/pre-season.
Any message for those just going off to uni now?
JH Yes: If you don’t get in the team you want to, don’t give up. Keep trying, join the local club and come back to Southgate whenever you can!!