BEER to the Penguin International Mixed Hockey Festival is as mud to the football season and rain to the cricket. Inseparable, inescapable.
But 2005 may prove to have been a year of change. Rum may just have made its first move towards usurping (or should that be uslurping?) nectar as the mixed hockey player's tipple before, after, and — of course — during, the game.
One girl fulfilled a long ambition at Worthing. She brought her Beckenham HC girlfriends down en bloc, with a token inflatable plastic, somewhat gender-challenged male ("Ken"), and obtained special permission to play as all-female team.
Her name is Lizzie Greenwood, none other than TV presenter and reporter of children's Newsround: "I'm getting married next week to BBC London sports correspondent Geraint Hughes (her team will now fine her yet again for saying his forbidden name] and I've always wanted to have my hen party here across the whole Festival bank holiday weekend."
"Hockey's my favourite sport. I just love to play it."
For full report and pictures, see this week's Worthing Herald.