SWINDON Hockey Club celebrated its landmark 100th year as it moved into a new home with state-of-the-art facilities.

Players of all ages competed in friendly matches on the Deanery Academy’s newly-built pitches in Wichelstowe while crowds of families enjoyed facepainting and food.

The multi-million pound secondary school is set to open in September and the hockey club can use its facilities for weekend and evening matches and training sessions.

Bruce Cameron, 79, has presided over the club as president for decades. He gave a speech to welcome guests to the fun day then looked back at his lifelong love of the sport.

He said: “I was president during the half-century celebrations, too.

“I first played for the club as a schoolboy back when Winston Churchill was prime minister and things have changed so much since then – for the better.

“Nowadays, I wouldn’t make the third or fourth team because standards have increased so much and will continue to do so at our new home.

“Thanks to all the hard work of the voluntary committee and the community here, the club is getting a fantastic deal and the children who go to this school have one of the best opportunities to learn hockey in the country.

“This will be a great base for the next 100 years and for future generations of Swindon hockey players who will bring down the average age of our first and second teams. Hockey is a very social game and I’ve always loved it.”

Sporting officials and town MPs joined the festivities at the family fun day to congratulate the teams on their continued success and reunite with club veterans who have gone on to play in league matches.

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said: “It’s wonderful to celebrate and look back over 100 years and also look forward to the future and a successful association with our newest secondary school that has state-of-the-art facilities.

“It’s going to be a really good addition to our community and I’m very pleased and proud that the government have invested in this new school which will meet the growing demand for places in Swindon.

“People of all ages were here, some playing into their 70s and some younger players who had just started. There’s a real sense of community which is why clubs like this are the lifeblood of Swindon.”

England Hockey's Verity Langfield said: “It’s great that they have a permanent home and are celebrating this amazing anniversary. We would love more clubs to have a partnership like this with their local education facilities.”

North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson said: “What a fitting tribute for the team on their 100th anniversary. It’s such a big thing to unveil these amazing new facilities.

“This was a great day for all of the volunteers who have made this happen.”