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Cambridge City scheme to extend reach of hockey to more youngsters

Cambridge City are running a hockey outreach programme
Cambridge City are running a hockey outreach programme

Cambridge City Hockey Club are running a scheme aimed at increasing the opportunities for more youngsters to get involved in the sport.

They have an established outreach programme to enhance the access to hockey to children from state schools by hosting small group training sessions on a Tuesday evening.

“It’s an offering that Cambridge City Hockey Club provide that enables additional hockey coaching and development for a wider pool of children,” said Kim Small, the co-ordinator of the programme.

“Across hockey there’s a growing awareness of the disparity between the playing levels of children from different school systems and backgrounds.

“What we’re trying to do is encourage more new starters into hockey, especially those with limited opportunities through schools and bring those children in so they get more visibility and build a broader hockey community.

“One of the things we’re doing is providing the basics and supporting those new starters so it’s drills and skills, smaller teamwork so they can feel comfortable in an environment to play additional hockey if they’ve got an interest, with a pathway to age group hockey if they are keen.

“The second objective is for those players at our club or other clubs that don’t have the same amount of hockey in school, we’re giving them a bit of a booster with additional coaching and access to great facilities to further develop their skills.”

The Cambridge City Hockey Club Development Hockey Sessions are open to those in state schools in Years 7 to 9, from the ages of 11 to 14, at Wilberforce Road on a Tuesday night.

Dougie Rice, the City women’s first team assistant coach, is the lead coach for the session, and there are between four and five other junior coaches that assist to give a good coach-to-player ratio to help develop skills at a suitable pace.

The sessions are advertised to all state schools in the Cambridgeshire area, with information sent out to heads of PE, and posters supplied to drive awareness, while the promotion of the scheme is also helped by South Cambs School Sports Partnership’s Claire McDonnell.

City have invted players from other clubs in the area to join their development sessions to provide access to as many children as possible.

The Hockey Coaching Academy have also offered their support to City for the initiative through their holiday camps.

“You don’t have to be a member of Cambridge City Hockey Club to join in,” said Small, “if you are a member of other clubs and would like additional coaching and extra time on the ball then you can come along as well.”

Hockey sticks are provided, so all youngsters need is a mouthguard and shinpads.

For more information contact Kim Small at cchc.development@gmail.com.

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