A small group of girls leaving the old Tiverton Grammar School were reluctant to see the end of their hockey days and so they arranged a meeting of all interested parties in the Heathcoat Hall. At this meeting the formalities of commencing a Club were discussed resulting in the formation of the
Tiverton White Eagles Hockey Club on the 1st November, 1950.
These founder members worked hard raising finance, finding a home ground and arranging matches with opposition teams. The original membership subscription was 5/- and to bolster funds a number of well-known Tiverton people were invited to become Vice-Presidents of the Club. Their donations provided the funds necessary to purchase essential equipment. Within the first year of its existence the White Eagles invited Mrs R K Giles to be its President, a position which she held until 1965/66.
The Club held its first Annual General Meeting on the 8th September 1951 when it was reported that bad weather had reduced matches played to seven. However, the Eagles had entered a team in a local hockey tournament and were proud to finish third.
Records show that in the subsequent year, 1951/52, the Fixture Secretary arranged twenty-eight games keeping the team fully occupied from the 6thOctober 1951 to 12th April 1952. At this time the Club also became affiliated to the All England Women’s Hockey Association
In the ensuing years, the Eagles participated in many local social functions, holding their own dances and on more than one occasion entering a float in the Tiverton carnival.
The tradition of forming a Guard of Honour for members getting married was also started and continues today.
From the initial vision and enthusiasm of a handful of school-leavers the Tiverton White Eagles has grown from a struggling Club with one team to a membership approaching 50 + juniors and as many seniors fielding three teams every weekend from the beginning of September until the end of April. All three teams play in the West Clubs’ Women’s Hockey League. There is also a thriving under 21 section from which a number of girls have represented Devon County and the West of England in their relevant age groups.
The game of hockey has drastically changed over the years – there is now no bully-off, no side roll-ins, no offside rule and the shape of the stick head has shrunk to a club. Also, today matches are played on Astro pitches but the Eagles still remain grateful for the facilities at Knightshayes.
Another change has been transport to matches, once undertaken by train (the Tivvy Bumper), bus and bicycles now exclusively by private cars.
2010 saw the club entering its 60th year and much progress continues to be made. The club has gained The England Hockey Clubs Accreditation and continues to welcome both young and old to the friendly club.
When that first meeting of interested youngsters took place in 1950 much thought and deliberation was given to a meaningful Club name. Why not incorporate an Eagle? This was a bird with just the right qualities:
After all these years it would appear that just the right name was chosen for such a successful Club.