Introducing your Diversity Champions
A focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion has always been part of our sport and a constant feature on the Hockey Wales overall agenda, providing us time for regular self-checks and improvement.
Up until now we have engaged with relevant campaigns and collaboration with other organisations to show our support to underrepresented groups within our sport. But, the lockdown of 2020 appeared to provide everyone, including us, with an opportunity to take a step back and look at what has been happening around us for such a long time and, whether it was positive or negative, there was much for us all to question.
With the support from our Senior Players and the wider Hockey Family, the decision was made to really understand what was needed, seek support and drive change within our sport and, in January 2021, the newly appointed Diversity Champions met for the first time.
To ensure there is a good understanding and that each member of the hockey family has a voice, the group is made up of a combination of staff and players with a varied background in the sport.
Representatives from Hockey Wales include Exec Lead and Head of Development Hannah Bevan, Performance Coordinator Anthea Barrington, Youth Board Representative, Platinum YA and Business Support Officer Alice Gregory, with Rebecca Daniels bringing experience from her role as Team Manager, club player and teacher.
Joining the group are Welsh international stars Rose Thomas, Hannah Cozens and Sarah Jones. They have a combined total of 42 years being involved with Hockey Wales, 25+ of those have been with the International squad having achieved 200+ caps between them. To get to where they are now, they have experienced school, club and pathway hockey in all its guises, and have a good understanding of the importance of diversity within our sport.
Members of the group will either be championing in a particular area or supporting in general, helping one another to provide a focus and a voice.
Wales Goalkeeper, Rose Thomas will be supporting the whole group,
“Females make up 50% up of the population and therefore must be part of the conversation.
“I am passionate and committed to redressing the balance, to ensure every female and male have equal opportunities to enjoy all aspects of hockey. Including playing, coaching, umpiring, spectating, volunteering and supporting.”
Midfielder Hannah Cozens has taken on the role of LGBTQ+ Ambassador,
“As a current Senior Women’s player and member of the LGBTQ+ community I am passionate about ensuring Hockey Wales creates an environment where all its members feel embraced.
“I believe diversity and inclusion goes beyond basic legislative requirements. It’s about celebrating differences and encouraging individuals to flourish.”
Wales and GB International Sarah Jones is the Female Coach Development Ambassador,
“[I wanted] To educate myself on diversity and the effects of discrimination, especially in relation to hockey in Wales. To collaborate and discuss with others how to target this.”
Anthea Barrington, recently joined Hockey Wales as Performance Coordinator, she is the Ambassador for Mental Health,
“I am keen to get involved in supporting and promoting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within our organisation, hockey community and further afield as I believe it is an area that is increasingly important to our day to day life in and out of sport.”
Our Welsh Language Ambassador is Alice Gregory, who has been involved with Hockey Wales for over 8 years,
“I have witnessed the effects inequality can have on someone and I believe no one should experience this.
“By becoming a diversity champion, I hope to support Hockey Wales in achieving its goals surrounding equity, diversity and inclusion and hopefully encourage others to follow, so everyone can be included and never experience inequality again.”
Rebecca Daniels has over 15 years’ experience with Hockey Wales and has experience in many other areas of the sport both as a club player and Team Manager, she will be taking on the role of Female Coach Development and BAME Participation Ambassador,
“I think it is important to provide equal opportunities for all regardless of your gender, religion, ethnicity or background. Hockey should be accessible for all.”
The group will be working on incredibly emotive subjects that have impacted so many people over the years which have been magnified by the struggles we have faced over the last year.
Your Diversity Champions will work determinedly with Hockey Wales and the wider hockey community to ensure that support is given to all and change is made where needed.
L-R: Rose Thomas, Anthea Barrington, Hannah Cozens
L-R: Sarah Jones, Rebecca Daniels, Alice Gregory