New Hartlepool dodgeball centre is believed to be first of its kind in the world
A new centre in Hartlepool dedicated to the sport of dodgeball – believed to be the only one of its kind in the world – was bouncing during an open day.
The Dodgeball Centre, in West View, is home to the Hartlepool Mavericks club and acts as a hub for one of the fastest growing and emerging sports in the UK.
It opened its doors to the public on Wednesday when budding young players got to have a go and meet a member of Scotland’s national team.
Councillor Brenda Loynes, the Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, also visited and chatted with players and coaches.
The open day also celebrated the official launch of the centre, which opened in April, and the fifth anniversary of the Mavericks.
Mavericks head coaches Stephanie Robson and Lucie Stott spearheaded the project for a dedicated centre in the town.
Stephanie said: “It was quite a big day for us after a long process of trying to get our own venue for the growth of the dodgeball club.
“It’s the first of its kind in that its specifically for dodgeball.”
The aim of the game is to eliminate all players of the opposing team by throwing balls and hitting them below the shoulders.
The centre in Winterbottom Avenue, owned and operated by Stott Fitness CIC, is recognised as a first of its kind in the world by the World Dodgeball Federation.
Visitors had a go at throwing and catching with Sarah-Jane Caine an original Mavericks member and now part of the Scotland squad.
Centre managers also hope to hold sessions with members of the England team soon.
The Mavericks has 180 members aged from three to adult. Their Under 14 and Under 11 sides are the reigning British Champions.
The centre also assists three established clubs in Teesside with over 200 members taking part in practise and squad sessions.
Stephanie added: “The club was originally set up as a health initiative to get kids fit and active in Hartlepool and it has really taken off.
"We have lots of kids coming every week really loving it.
She and Lucie thanked everyone involved in making the centre a reality including Utilita Energy, Sport England, PFC Trust, Impetus Environmental Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, and Paul Hewitson of HartlePower CIC.