New nonprofit sports club supports field hockey team

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By Michael Tierney, Business Manager As the sounds of field hockey sticks clashing and cleats scything the turf field wash across the Berwyn Sports Club, this new facility is taking the local sports community by storm and avidly supporting the field hockey team. John Bickel, a former lacrosse player, former high school coach and current...

By Michael Tierney, Business Manager

As the sounds of field hockey sticks clashing and cleats scything the turf field wash across the Berwyn Sports Club, this new facility is taking the local sports community by storm and avidly supporting the field hockey team.

John Bickel, a former lacrosse player, former high school coach and current club lacrosse director of Team Ten, developed and built BSC. The new field hockey and lacrosse club is a private, non-profit facility located a few minutes from Conestoga down Cassatt Road. Construction started in April 2021 and finished this past spring. The ten-acre facility was designed for field hockey and lacrosse training and is currently providing the girls’ field hockey team with a vitally important place to practice two days a week. 

The field hockey team is off to a strong start with 13 wins and one loss so far this season, reaching the second half of their season at the top of the Central League. Karen Gately, assistant coach of the team, has welcomed BSC with open arms and recognizes its benefits.

“The facility is brand new and is beautiful. It’s really nice because when it rains, we have the flexibility of going inside because they have an AstroTurf field inside,” Gately said. “It’s beautiful.”

The team usually practices at BSC every Monday and Wednesday. Co-captain Lily Norton is thankful for the facility and how it has boosted team morale.

“I’m just grateful that we get a place to practice that has field hockey lines and a turf field. Driving the underclassmen to practice after school has also helped with team bonding because I can talk to girls who I normally wouldn’t,” Norton said.

According to Gately, the only difficulty of practicing at BSC is the transportation aspect. It is not safe to walk to the facility due to the lack of sidewalks, and it’s up to players to carpool to make sure all the girls successfully get to practice. This requires a great amount of coordination, so no players or equipment are left behind. Despite this, the girls are thankful for this state-of-the-art training facility. 

“The players at times will miss practicing at Teamer just because that’s our home field. But again, I think they’re mostly excited about the fact that we’re assured an appropriate playing surface for every practice. That’s the biggest thing,” Gately said. 

In addition to Conestoga Field Hockey, Bickel anticipates having other local teams practice at BSC in order to help more athletes pursue their goals. Bickel used to coach Conestoga’s boys’ lacrosse team and he now runs the youth lacrosse program, Team Ten.

“I support athletes. I’m a big proponent of athletes,” Bickel said. “We saw a demand and a need for a home base for the program and other athletes. For me, athletics was a big part of my upbringing, and I attributed it to life and learning life lessons. This is a great place to attack your dreams and that’s why we put it here.”

This is just the beginning for BSC. Bickel has an optimistic outlook on the facility and believes it will have a strong impact on the local community and sports teams. 

“I think BSC is just a great place for kids to go and learn that you have to work for and earn what you want,” Bickel said. “If you want to become a better player, you have to work at it. Athletics for me was always something I was drawn to and passionate about, and that’s what drove me to create BSC. We’re a training facility that kids can call their home base. A place where kids can come and be proud of their hard work and attack their dreams.”


 

Michael Tierney can be reached at [email protected]

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