PUTTING SCHOOL HOCKEY FIRST - WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We recognise the importance that positive first experiences of our sport have on lifetime habits. So many of our senior international players and the wider hockey family often speak fondly of their school hockey experiences and how influential one key person was on their decision to pursue hockey for years to come.
The influence of these people cannot be underplayed. So often, a teacher with a personal passion for hockey will be the influencing factor for a group of children to experience the sport who otherwise may never have done so. These children then go on to live a life committed to hockey, either through playing, coaching or officiating.
Often, these role models are doing it for the pure passion of the game, and while they may not be able to enthuse every child to take up a lifetime habit of hockey, they are giving them a positive first experience of hockey and enabling them to make up their own mind about whether or not they enjoy it.
Unfortunately, in recent years there has been an increase in feedback and statistics to state that hockey participation amongst secondary school age children in Wales is decreasing. We recognise that, as the National Governing Body, we have a responsibility to understand the information and tackle this head on.
Recently we have been developing our provision to tackle inactivity amongst several demographics - Hooked on Hoci for Primary Schools, SMASH Hockey for areas of deprivation and Walking Hockey allowing people to play the sport without restrictions. All these interventions were developed following thorough research to ensure it is correct for the target demographic.
Over the last 6 months, Hockey Wales has been developing a project that intends to ‘Put School Hockey First’ – with the sole focus on Secondary school participation and development.
For us to create the right initiative and enable growth in participation, we need to understand the target audience.
We want to understand Secondary School Hockey from the perspective of everyone involved and not involved in the sport. We want to understand exactly what is happening in schools around Wales and why. We want to understand what isn’t happening in schools around Wales and why.
Our study aims to examine all the data we currently have, ascertain the perspectives of people currently involved in schools throughout Wales, and then begin to plan a road-map towards sustainable, long term hockey participation in secondary schools.
We are now at the stage where we need your help in understanding the landscape of secondary school hockey provision.
For us to get a realistic picture we want to hear from everyone, including:
· Secondary schools, teachers and pupils that do participate in hockey.
· Secondary schools, teachers and pupils that don’t participate in hockey.
· Secondary schools, teachers and pupils that have never even heard of hockey.
So, this is our call to you…. Be honest, be blunt and be detailed. Divulge your experiences of school sport safe in the knowledge that we want to, and we will, act and enable schools throughout Wales to provide better hockey experiences that will encourage a lifetime of participation.
You can contribute to this stage of the project by completing the questionnaire below:
For more information please visit the website or if you would like to arrange a further conversation about your experiences, thoughts or opinions on school hockey in Wales then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.