The England Hockey Board are launching an ambitious new programme titled Hockey Nation which will see an exciting array of hockey events and activities take place over the next year to take advantage of the increased profile that London 2012 will give hockey.
The project will cost the England Hockey Board nearly £1 million ($1.5 million/€1.2 million) and see various schemes in place such as Hockey House supporter venues set up for the Olympics to allow people to get together to watch GB matches.
The programme represents a large investment but Sally Munday, chief executive of the England Hockey Board, is confident the plan will help the sport capitalise on the 2012 Olympics.
"The England Hockey Board has been working hard behind the scenes for a number of years to prepare hockey to take advantage of the increased profile that London 2012 will give hockey and we have come up with Hockey Nation," Munday told insidethegames.
"Hockey Nation will be an umbrella for everything that will be great about hockey in 2012 and beyond so we want as many people as possible to join us as part of it.
"There are some fantastic initiatives going on that are designed to really create some fun and excitement.
"There is The Big Dribble mass hockey participation event which will we see us dribble a giant hockey ball 2,012 kilometres down the country and stopping at major destinations in major cities.
"That will be supported by nationwide hockey road shows which will be pop-up 'come-along-and-take-part' style facilities.
"We will have Hockey House supporter venues for the Games so people can congregate to watch and support GB like they do during the football World Cup and a new meet the athlete ambassador programme where our athletes go into schools and host hockey sessions.
"Our sport has come such a long way and London 2012 is something we really need to take advantage.
"For an organisation of our size £1 million represents a major investment but we cannot miss such a fantastic chance to promote our sport."
As well as the campaigns leading into the Olympics, there will be a number of campaigns during the Games to get behind the team.
"We are encouraging every GB fan attending hockey to wear red so we can create a kind of 'red army' to boost the players," Munday said.
"They can be the official GB shirts or simply just a red top.
"There is also a big screen in front of a small hill just outside the Eton Manor hockey venue which we want people to congregate on to create an unofficial 'Hockey Hill' similar to Henman Hill at Wimbledon.
"But the most exciting part of this for me is the Five Week Frenzy where the country will come alive with hockey activity during the Olympics.
"It will happen during the two weeks of the Olympics and the three weeks after when interest is at its highest.
"People will have the chance to sign up online, logging their interest in sport and be directed to their nearest club to take part no matter what their age or ability because hockey is a sport for everyone.
"More details will be unveiled on this soon and we are currently embarking on a tour of ten venues to showcase some of the incredible things it plans to do as part of the Hockey Nation.
"My advice is to watch this space."
Source: Inside the Games, Tom Degun
Posted 4 hours ago.
The relationship between on-field officials and players in many team sports is not always the smoothest. However,...
Posted 7 hours ago.
Field Hockey Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Robin D’Abreo as the National Women’s Program...
Posted 1 day ago.
USA: Family heirlooms traditionally consist of faded pictures, foreign coins and vintage rings, treasured items with...
Posted 1 day ago.
Since its foundation in 1969, the European Hockey Federation (EHF) has always valued its players with Best Player,...
Posted 2 days ago.
The Black Sticks Men battled hard but were defeated 2-1 by Korea in the sixth and final test of the series in a wet...
Posted 2 days ago.
The Hockeyroos will welcome back a number of familiar faces as they head to Europe for next month’s Investec Hockey...