Each year, the England Hockey Youth Panel organises the National Mini Hockey Championships for young people. This year the event was sponsored by “YAZOO” as well as being funded by the National Hockey Foundation. My club team, Spencer Development Team, is sponsored by a local company that pays for our kit. They achieve advertising from when the team is in the local newspaper and also the companies write it off against tax. It does not cost them anything and they are helping out their local club. This means they are able to say, they do something beneficial to the local community, to prospective clients.
An Additional Scheme includes that of the “Club-School links Programme”. The club links programme builds on and enhances the existing Hockey opportunities to young people in schools. These people will be guided from schools to affiliated and accredited Hockey Clubs linked to the School. The programme will be able to address the key areas in youth hockey such as; Participation, Recruitment and Retention. By doing this the programme aims for clubs to be sustainable and for them to be more accessible to children in schools.
The Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), is a Government funded programme that is a partnership between sport and further education. Their aim is “to support the potential medal winners of the future”. TASS provides these athletes services such as Coaching, Strength and Conditioning, Talented Athlete Lifestyle Support, Physiotherapy, Sports Medicine. As well as support with competition and training expenses TASS is there to ensure that athletes have the best of everything to achieve Gold Medals at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Universities are also going to provide specialist academies for national players that also want to carry on with their studies through university as well as keep playing for England. All national players are funded by the lottery and this will also be funded by the lottery but not to a full extent. The provision for both male and female is very extensive, the entire local clubs close to where I live e.g. Spencer, Chiswick, Richmond, and HAC Sutlers. They all have at least 3 teams of each gender and Spencer has 9 men’s teams. All of these teams mentioned are part of sponsored leagues regionally or nationally depending on ability.
The provision for the disabled is very limited. There is no hockey Para-Olympic team and very few clubs offer anything for the disable hockey players in this country. To conclude, I believe that the provision for the sport of Hockey is quite concentrated. The provision for Men and Women is massive, you have a huge variety of clubs all over the country and locally that all have the Financial Status, Facilities and Organisation to be able to make their club sustainable.
This is in the contrary to the provision locally and nationally with disabled participants, as there are very few clubs that offer facilities or are able to facilitate disabled players, this may be due to the amount of disabled participants or the backing of them. The sport of hockey for the disabled is very new so this may explain why there is very few or no provision for them at all. The Provision for grassroots levels is also very good, especially with additional agencies alongside the NGB to help and enhance the development of it. Almost all clubs locally and nationally have junior sections, some bigger than others, but in contrary, not all of them are of a good standard and with a high attendance rate.