This Page: Introduction
The Active Sports Hockey programme will provide wide-ranging quality opportunities in hockey for young people aged 10-15, including an introduction to club-based hockey for years 6 (top primary) to 10 through festivals, leagues, and local coaching centres. The benefits to hockey include:
- Development work with clubs to ensure they are more able to meet the needs of the young people who wish to play hockey in both the short and the long term
- More concentrated activities for those in the Under 13 and Under 15 age range who are identified as having talent in the sport and want to improve, with nationally led assessment guidelines and coaching programmes
- Volunteer recruitment, training and development programmes (for coaches, umpires, administrators and leaders) to ensure suitably trained people are available to ensure the quality of all aspects of the programme.
Sport England developed this overall approach working in consultation with all ten of the participating sports. But each sport has different development requirements, so each has produced its own specific framework to guide the local programmes.
English Hockey has invested considerable thought and effort in planning how to make Active Sports work for our sport. We have produced a detailed framework that we believe will deliver the best results for hockey.
The framework consists of four distinct stages.
Stage One aims to attract those who have already learnt the basics of the game, usually in school, and now wish to take their involvement further. Young players from school Years 6-10 will get the opportunity to participate in new inter-school competitions between September and November, January and March and April and July. These will be coordinated to meet local needs and demands and a hockey coach will be available to help schools prepare their teams. Between September and February we will also be providing short coaching courses for under-13 and under-15 age groups, linked to local clubs to provide the participants with an introduction to those clubs.
This stage includes developing and setting up quality junior clubs. These organisations will be responsible for providing regular coaching, competition and social programmes so that young players can continue to improve their skills and enjoy the benefits of regular competition. Such clubs will be developed not only to satisfy Active Sports' minimum standards relating to safe play and equal opportunities, but also to provide quality coaching and competition programmes as advised by English Hockey.
Stage Three - Assessment
This third stage concentrates on the most effective way of assessing the abilities of those who are participating at local level in schools and clubs and want to take their involvement with hockey further. Young players will be recommended by schools and clubs and, from January to February, will be selected for development squads through a mix of skill tests and game play in one-day open assessment sessions.
Stage Four - Development Squads
Between February and May, and in July, those under-13 and under-15 year olds identified at Stage Three as having ability and talent will get additional training and assessment at pre-county levels through Sub-Partnership Squads. These will provide quality coaching programmes and introductions to specialist support. The young people will also be eligible for further selection to a Partnership Squad consisting of 25 players. This will in turn give them access to an additional eight hours' training as a final County Squad selection process.
We also feel very strongly as a sport that we could be doing even more to attract those sections of the community that have yet to enjoy hockey. That is why we are committed to using Active Sports as a way of targeting those groups that are under-represented in our sport, especially young people from our most disadvantaged areas.
Our programme is now in place and we have trained development teams on hand around the country to ensure that our Hockey Action Groups have everything they need to implement Active Sports at the local level.