England Hockey has today announced that its highly successful Give it a Go campaign will run once again this summer, in partnership with Join In UK.  Sites across the country will run hockey taster sessions for young people and adults over a five week period that will replicate the programme of the phenomenal summer of 2012. Last year’s Give it a Go programme has been credited with helping attract 30,000 more people to hockey.

Bigger and better for 2013, Give it a Go will run from 27 July until 9 September. And everyone’s invited!

Give it a Go sessions will provide anyone, regardless of age, ability, previous hockey experience or location, the opportunity to pick up a stick and give hockey a go. It will also provide a great opportunity to recruit and deploy volunteers into grassroots hockey.

The grand finale of the Give it a Go campaign will include the Harvester National Club Weekend, running from 7-8 September 2013. Last year, 30,000 goody bags were distributed at more than 300 hockey clubs that opened their doors to the community and England Hockey will help clubs to build on that success this year.

Over the weekend of 18-19 August 2012 – the weekend between the end of the Olympic Games and the start of the Paralympic Games – 300,000 people took part in Join In Local Sport by going back to where it starts for every great champion; their local sports club.  The aim of Join In was for every sports club and community group in the UK to capture the enthusiasm from our incredible summer of sport by hosting a special community event. In total, there were more than 6,000 events held for Join In 2012, with over 500 hockey clubs taking part.

The 2013 campaign will offer sports clubs an outstanding high profile opportunity to attract more members, supporters and volunteers. Through the partnership, England Hockey and Join In UK hope to attract new audiences to local sports clubs.  Any venues looking to get involved will be provided with support and guidance and will be backed by a national media campaign involving our best-loved Olympians and Paralympians.

Sport England’s Chair Richard Lewis said, “I am delighted to hear that England Hockey’s ‘Give it a Go’ programme will be returning for a second year in partnership with Join In UK. With 30,000 people picking up sticks as part of last year’s programme, it shows there is a huge appetite for hockey in this country which we can build on. As we celebrate a year on from a fantastic summer of sport, it’s great that programmes like ‘Give it a Go’ are ensuring the legacy of London 2012 stays alive and I wish they every success with inspiring the next generation of hockey players.”

Sally Munday, Chief Executive of England Hockey said, “This is a real, tangible opportunity for clubs and sports providers to fulfil the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games. As a sport, we were delighted to welcome 30,000 more people to hockey in 2012 and we want to ensure that we, along with hockey providers, continue to give people the opportunity to play and volunteer.”

 “Alongside the Give it a Go campaign, this summer will also feature some outstanding opportunities to follow hockey, building on our success of recent years. In June, London will host the women’s Investec World League, giving sports fans the chance to see more of our Olympic stars in action, while in August our men’s and women’s teams will compete at the European Championships in Belgium.  These events, coupled with the Give it a Go campaign, are a superb demonstration of the hockey legacy of London 2012, namely more opportunities for more people to play, watch and volunteer in hockey.”

Join In's Director of Sport Dave Moorcroft said, “It is fantastic that England Hockey is once again backing Join In.  Last year when we kicked the programme off, England Hockey was hugely supportive and this summer we will work together again to showcase hockey and get more people involved in their local club.  These clubs wouldn't exist without volunteers and it's vital that we build on the excitement of London 2012 to ensure that clubs are in the best shape to benefit from the Games.”

Alex Teasdale, National Clubs and Facilities Manager at England Hockey said, “Clubs really bought into Give it a Go last summer and had some great ideas about how to get their local communities involved in hockey. Our club affiliation figures reflect how well they did with young people in particular and clubs are now reaping the rewards with an additional 6,000 young people playing club hockey [on top of the 30,000 more regular adult participants].”

She added, “2013 is shaping up to be even better and clubs are already coming up with some great initiatives; Old Silhillians in the West Midlands are looking at a “Lads and Dads” camping and hockey weekend, Folkestone Optimists are living up to their name and will continue to run their Back to Hockey campaign, which began with a six week course in summer 2012 and is still running now. And the end doesn’t look in sight just yet. Sheffield Hockey Club has a fantastic opportunity as recipients of the pink and blue ‘smurf turf’ from the Olympic Games – they will be taking part in Harvester Club Weekend to launch their new pitch and will be welcoming their local community.”

Hockey clubs can register for Give it a Go, Join In and Harvester National Club Weekend by visitingwww.englandhockey.co.uk/giveitago

Source: England Hockey