The King’s Hospital School recently opened its second all-weather hockey pitch. To mark this occasion, past pupils and Irish internationals Pamela Smithwick and Alan Giles attended a ceremony to cut the ribbon and officially open the pitch.It was also attended by members of the Board of Governors, parents, students and staff. Speaking at the event the School’s Director of Sport, Dave Keelty said: “The new astro pitch is a great and much-needed asset to our sporting facilities which not only benefits the 18 teams currently playing in the school but also the wider hockey club community in Dublin and Kildare.”
The pitch was officially named the O’Driscoll River Pitch, after past teacher and sports coach Paddy O’Driscoll, who is credited with reviving the sport of hockey in the school in 1937 after a hiatus of 40 years.
As part of the ceremony, the pitch hosted matches senior boys and girls teams against Newtown School from Waterford, the reigning All-Ireland schoolboy champions.
Keelty added: “I’m delighted to welcome back Alan to the school today, and to have Pamela on staff as a coach. What they have achieved in hockey from their beginnings at The King’s Hospital School, is an inspiration to our students.
“As part of our vision for sports, we want to meet the needs of every student and provide them with a positive sporting experience on top-class facilities. With a second all-weather pitch now in operation, we can facilitate more practice hours and matches, developing our students’ skills and fitness, to give them a better shot at the success enjoyed by Alan and Pamela.”
The school sits in a key area in west Dublin with the pitches utilised by Glenanne, Weston, North Kildare, St Andrews National School and the Irish Under-16 and 18 training squads.