People play hockey first in school P.E lessons, these are usually once a week during the hockey season every year. For those who like the game or have a talent for it there would be a school hockey cub at lunchtime or after school. From this club in most schools a hockey team is formed. School hockey teams all have a marked grass pitch to play on, only a few have the better surface Astroturf to play on. In Suffolk very few have Astroturf to play on Keggs and Culford do. The Keggs Astroturf at Bury is available for other schools and organisations to use if booked.
From school level hockey teachers can recommend players train with their local club, from this they may be selected for their county, if they are of good standard they can be invited to national training and be selected for their country. Locally, players can participate voluntarily in programmes for all abilities such as Champion Coaching, and be selected for things like the Suffolk Youth Games, these are a mixture of training, matches and tournaments.
Sportsmatch is a government funded charity helping sports, in England it receives money through grant aid from Sport England . Sportsmatch encourages the business sector to invest money in sport at the grass roots level. Priority areas for funding are schools, young people disability sport and community sports. There is now increased emphasis for improving sports opportunities for women and girls, black and minority ethnic and those in urban and rural deprivation.
Sportsmatch have improves hockey facilities a lot by making water based pitches and upgrading old ones, they helped fund the building of the hockey stadium in Milton Keynes, they also provide some equipment. Lottery funding helps sports through Sport England. Sport England has 2 major themes, providing equality of opportunity for everyone, whatever their circumstances to take part in sport and helping those with talent develop into the sports stars of the future.
The money helps build small local facilities and big international stadiums. Sport England also provides help to individuals who may struggle against financial hardship, it gives them the chance to compete internationally at the highest level they can. They also can provide coaches, facilities and support facilities for the athletes.