A NICHE new ‘walking hockey’ club launched for the first time in Bromsgrove has been so successful the scheme is now being taken to countries across the world.

Fairfield granddad Alan Gormley, who is a coach at Bromsgrove Hockey Club, was inspired to launch the club at the start of January as a spin-off to ‘walking football’.

Expecting around 15 members, he has been staggered to find up to 40 members attend the weekly sessions, which were initially only meant to run for a trial period of six weeks.

The club – which Alan believes is the first of its kind – has led to interest from England and Wales’ hockey governing bodies, plus clubs as far as Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Mr Gormley, 61, said: "It has gone beyond our wildest dreams. It has gone crazy.

"I've been contacted by clubs and associations in Liverpool, Norfolk, Bridgnorth and also Hockey Wales. I've had contact with people in New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

"Last night I found out that the scheme has been recommended to the Sunshine Coast Hockey Association in Australia. I never dreamed it would turn out like this.

"The project has gone berserk. Last week we had forty people attend. This week, even in horrendous weather, we had 34. It looks like we have stumbled onto something really good.

"The age range really is interesting. We have two girls who are 15 who come with their mums, up to a lady who is 79 next month. Some people have never played hockey before."

Due to interest, the sessions – which are an ideal pastime for people who want to get back into sport and meet new people – will now continue to run beyond the initial six weeks.

Sessions run every Monday at Bromsgrove Hockey Club on St Godwald’s Road from 7-8pm, costing £3 each. For more information call Alan on 07731369942.