Norton Hockey Club has netted new kit for its junior members after being awarded £250 from Venator’s £10,000 Together Fund.

Global chemical company Venator, the experts in pigments and additives which has its HQ at Wynyard Park, established its Together Fund in July 2018 to support communities where its employees live and work.  Successful applicants went head to head with scores of community and sporting groups in an online vote involving 65,000 people region-wide.

The winning groups, including eight from Stockton, received a grant of £250 towards activities that inspire teamwork, one of Venator’s core values.

Grants were awarded to: Billingham Juniors FC Under 12 Lionesses; Stockton RFC (U13/U15 Girls’ Team); Norton Hockey Club; Wynyard Village FC U8; Stainsby School of Gymnastics; 6th Norton (St Joseph’s) Scout Group; Fairfield Primary School; and Children’s Dance Opportunities.

Norton Hockey Club has four senior male and female teams and trains at its new astro turf pitch at Norton Sports Village. It has grown its membership by over 150% over the last two years and its junior section is growing at a fast pace. The club is family orientated and its players range from six to 75-years-old.

Graham Clarke, Treasurer at Norton Hockey Club, said: “We are constantly trying new initiatives to get juniors and adults into sport by running summer schools, training, ‘Back to Hockey’ sessions, as well as coaching and training sessions in schools.

“Due to these initiatives, our junior section has grown and the grant from the Venator Together Fund has helped us to buy more safety equipment – in particular goalkeeper kit and face masks – which is now an England Hockey requirement.

“Without this funding and the ability to buy more of these items, we would have to limit the number of juniors attending sessions, potentially with some losing interest and stopping playing the game.

“These items are expensive so the grant from Venator’s Together Fund is a massive help to the club as a whole and the junior section in particular.

“Recently our club was nominated by England Hockey for European Club of the Year 2018, the only club in the country out of over 800 to be put forward against 42 other countries in that category – which was a massive deal for us as a club and for the sport of hockey in this region.

“Other successes also include being nominated for England Hockey’s club of the year reaching the last eight clubs nationally for all the initiatives we have put in place to encourage players of all ages into the sport. Our Men’s Over 40s team also reached the final of England Hockey’s National Cup.

“I’d definitely recommend other groups to apply for grants under Venator’s Together Fund and we will definitely be applying for a Together Fund grant again.”

Karen Fenwick, Vice President Corporate Branding and Communications at Venator, said: “It’s great to hear how the awards are actually spent and that, although small, they do make a difference to teams across the North East.

“With 800 employees across the North East, we think it’s important to give back to the communities where we live and work. Congratulations to all who received an award and for those that weren’t successful this time – there’s always next year!”

Norton Hockey Club is continually looking to attract new players of all ages. Anyone interested should visit, or call 07786 654883.

Venator is a New York Stock Exchange listed business with its global HQ at Wynyard Park and sites at Greatham and Birtley. The company established its first ever £20,000 Community Fund in July 2018 in a bid to support the communities in which its employees live and work and align with their values of teamwork.

The £20,000 Venator Community Fund incorporates The Together Fund and The Bright Ideas Fund, launched in January 2019 to inspire innovation, another Venator value, through ideas in science, engineering, technology and maths.