In an ambitious project to mark the #HockeyInvites Year of the Youth 2021, Hockey Wales are planning to deliver the largest online hockey skills session to take place this year.
The European Youth Session, titled 'United Through Hockey’, will be delivered by young people to other hockey loving young people across the entire European hockey community.
The driving force behind the initiative is Hannah Bevan, who is Head of Development for Hockey Wales. She says: “Our aim is to provide our clubs and youth leaders the opportunities to connect with others who share the same passion for hockey across the world and all collaboratively work together to be part of the world’s largest online hockey session in December 2021.”
Hockey Wales, in partnership with the European Hockey Federation and online platform Scorrd, will use the power of technology to coach skills to hockey-loving young people no matter where they are located across the continent. This will not only be a fun, innovative session, it will also overcome geographical and cultural barriers that all too often prevent people engaging in sporting activities.
The project is in its infancy, but the three organisations plan to work in close collaboration to bring as many national associations into the fold as possible.
The project has two focus areas: clubs and workforce. Explaining how the sessions will work, Bevan says: “We will utilise various platforms to connect clubs and young leaders from our country with clubs and other young leaders from across Europe and beyond to inspire and learn from one another, through the common interest of hockey.
“We understand the importance of collaboration and the power of learning and experience that comes from it, therefore we want to facilitate this collaboration for our clubs and young leaders to form an attractive and unique offer for Hockey in Wales.
“We would like this campaign to capture the interest and engagement of our current youth membership of 2,420 members as well as attracting new youth to our game, after exhibiting the European and international connections that can be formed.”
There are two distinct strands to the project. Clubs from Wales will seek to twin with clubs from other European countries. Through interactive sessions, they will share best practice when it comes to youth development. To underpin the work of the clubs, Hockey Wales will host learning forums.
The other strand concerns the ‘workforce’ that keeps hockey running at all levels. To facilitate shared learning between young people from across Europe, a Pen Pal system will be created that allows young leaders to share their experience and learning picked up from their own work within club and community settings. As part of the sharing concept, the young leaders will be asked to write blogs, outlining their experiences.
Speaking about the exciting new programme, Bevan says: “We are really excited about exploring ways in which young people involved in hockey across Europe can work together to develop their knowledge and love of the game. If anyone wants to get in contact to talk through opportunities, please get in contact with me through Hockey Wales –Back