PENARTH Hockey Club’s recent resurgence has led to a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to represent Wales at the highest level of European competition, but time is of the essence to raise the funds needed to compete successfully.

Back-to-back GoCrea8 league titles and promotions, as well as the chance to repeat as Welsh Trophy winners later this month, have earned the 1st XI an invitation to the EuroHockey Club Challenge in the Ukraine at the start of June, but the timing of the opportunity means that the race is now on to secure as much of the estimated £7,500 travel expenses as possible.

Penarth have been slotted in Pool A of an eight-team tournament to be staged in Vinnitsa in west-central Ukraine between June 1-5. The draw pits the Bears against opposition from Belarus, Croatia and the Czech Republic, while the host club tackles rivals from Portugal, Denmark and Bulgaria in the other group.

“This is an opportunity that doesn't come along very often,” Penarth Hockey Club player-coach Ben Croxall commented.

“Competing in Europe would be a notable first in the club’s history and, naturally, we would love to showcase the obvious talent of our players and coaches on the biggest stage we have yet been offered.”

Travel plans are currently being prepared for an 18-man playing squad, with return flights to Kiev and four nights’ accommodation in Vinnitsa being the principal costs facing the Bears.

The club is hoping to attract sponsors to help alleviate some of the financial burden, but have already formulated a number of money-raising ideas, including setting up a crowdfunding page, which can be found at

“Penarth is one of hockey’s modern success stories, an organisation with a long history that is now back on the road to the highest echelons of the sport thanks to the commitment of a group of determined individuals,” Croxall continued.

“Hard work on and off the pitch over the past two seasons has resulted in back-to-back league titles and successive promotions for the 1st XI - as well as similar success at lower levels - and the invitation to compete in Europe represents the next step along the road to restoring the club’s former glories.

“The club is already planning numerous activities to raise money for the cause, but needs an extra push towards achieving its target. This is an opportunity, not only to make it an event to remember for everyone involved with the club, but also to make history for both Penarth and Wales, so any offers of support would be warmly welcomed.”

Penarth’s 1st XI will next be in action as they look to defend their Welsh Trophy title against Cardiff University at the Welsh Institute of Sport (Sophia Gardens) on Sunday, April 30, 10am start.

Penarth Hockey Club always welcomes new, old and returning players, umpires, supporters, friends and helpers regardless of age and ability. When the regular season resumes, training will take place on Wednesdays at Stanwell School, with the juniors on the pitch between 6.15pm and 7.15pm and the seniors between 7pm and 8.15pm.

Anyone interested in joining the club at senior or youth level can contact club secretary Dave Stevens ( for further information.