One of the first schemes to sit under Arsenal in the Community, the Gunners Hockey programme has been running for more than a quarter of a century and over this time has introduced more than 15,000 inner city children to hockey via a structured programme.
For the past two decades, Arsenal has had in its own team competing in the London Hockey League Division 5, linked to parent club Old Loughtonians Hockey Club, the largest club side in the East of England.
The club has worked with Arsenal in the Community since 1991/2 when the Gunners team was formed. The Gunners are the most successful side in the club winning no less than six league titles and a number of cups.
The Gunners pioneered the way youth hockey should be developed and have provided numerous graduates to the Old Loughtonians first team, including Warren D'Souza, John Brown and Darren Cheesman, a current England and Great Britain international.
The current 6-10 week coaching programme provides youngsters from all backgrounds with the opportunity to develop a sustained involvement in the sport, while the addition of hockey to the Premier League 4 Sport programme has further aided participation.
Thanks to a donation from The Arsenal Foundation, the programme will be able to thrive for a number of years to come by funding additional coaching sessions for the Gunners squad, new equipment for the team and staffing and travel costs for matches.