Within this essay I will be looking at the sport hockey. I will be briefly looking at the history of the game and different versions of the game, but the main focus for this essay will be provision, for men, women and disabled participants, the different agencies for hockey, the grass roots for hockey, and the provision provided to improve player’s performances. Provision is when something is provided, to relate this back to my essay schools provide children the chance to play sport therefore schools have good provision for sport. A hockey team consists of 11 players, a goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders and attackers. The only player on the field who is allowed to use their feet and hands as well as their stick is the goalkeeper.
Grass roots are essential for discovering and developing British talent. In Great Britain there are some development programs for young people, in Guernsey, Yorkshire and Nottingham. This is good for developing young talent. Hockey has many opportunities for young teams to compete against each other, they include The Mini Hockey Championships, Youth Hockey Festival and Thames Valley youth games. The partnerships between England hockey, UK sport and sport England enable hockey to secure significant levels of government and lottery funding. “There are 1069 hockey clubs in England of varying sizes. A typical hockey club would consist of senior, junior teams and maybe a veteran team. The total number of teams in England is 6020 this number consists of, 2365 men’s teams, 750 U18 boys teams, 1935 ladies teams, 700 U18 girls teams and 280 mixed teams.” (www.englandhockey.co.uk )
The majority of hockey is played in leagues with local country and regional associations offering players weekly matches throughout the season. The league structure has a successful national hockey league and has strong regional and county based competition structure below it. The hierarchy for ability levels in hockey is: P.E lessons in school, the school team, local club, county, regional, national and international (elite level). Also within clubs you have different teams e.g. in Milton Keynes hockey club there are four ladies teams, 1st team, 2nd team, the 2A’s and the 3rd team. All of the Milton Keynes teams are in the same league but in different divisions, this league is at county level, the divisions that the teams are in range from premier 1 to division three. (Appendix 1)
The main agency for hockey is England hockey. “England hockey has been the National Governing Body (NGB) of hockey since December 2002 having succeeded the English Hockey Association (EHA) who had to suspend operations earlier in 2002 because of significant financial problems. The EHA had been formed in 1996 to unite the separate governing bodies for men’s, women’s and mixed hockey, the first two of which had been in existence for over 100 years.” (www.englandhockey.co.uk). Other agencies are Sport England; “Sport England is responsible for promoting and investing in sport, helping the government meet its sporting objectives in this country and distributing both Lottery and Exchequer funds to sport,” (www.sportenglnad.co.uk). “Youth sport trust; they believe passionately in using the power of sport to improve the lives of young people,” (www.youthsporttrust.org ) and “U.K sport, their goals are, world class performance, world class standards and worldwide impact. Their mission is to lead sport in the U.K to world class success.” (www.uksport.gov.uk )
England Hockey’s achievements in 2005/6 were, bringing more young people into the game, developing a thriving club infrastructure- club development, more umpires and more coaches, Achieve international success at the highest level, improving the profile of the sport and developing a broader income base. Men and women are equal in this sport. Nobody in hockey gets paid to play. Some of the elite players may get given cars or get paid travel expenses so that they can get to the games but some may not even get that. If you compare hockey to football, hockey is a very expensive sport because the international athletes have to pay to play where as in football they get paid to play. In hockey you have to pay match fees and subs plus the yearly membership of around ï¿½100, maybe more, but in football you get a contract of about 4 years.
“In 1961 an organization called the British sport association for the disabled was formed; it was renamed and restructured as Disability Sport England.” (www.disabilitysportengland.co.uk ). Zone hockey is an adapted version of hockey that can include players of all abilities. It is for players with special needs and offers opportunities for playing with able bodied players. “Zone hockey was developed by Nottingham Trent University, the youth sport trust and England hockey. Other supporting partners include disability sport, the British wheelchair sports foundation.” (www.ntu.ac.uk ) It is a 5 a side game and can be played both on a hard surface, on a quarter of an artificial turf pitch, or inside a sports hall.
“The first zone hockey tournament was in 2002 and resulted in the demand to set up a schools zone hockey league. Supporting partners include Disability Sport England and British Wheelchair Sports foundations. G Hockey or LG Hockey has also been developed for mentally and physically disabled children this version is not very popular but it can be found in Germany and Holland”.(www.disabilitysportengland.co.uk ) Grass roots are essential for discovering and developing young British talent. England hockey, UK sport and Sport England secure significant levels of funding for hockey. There are hockey development centres in Manchester and Plymouth. Fresh English talent depends on good grass roots.
The reason why top hockey players don’t get paid is because there isn’t a lot of money put into hockey, for example hockey doesn’t get coverage on main TV channels unlike football, cricket and athletics. The media is the main reason for hockey being so deprived of money because no one really knows anything about hockey events unless they play. Therefore not many people watch hockey so the popularity of the sport is small in the country.
The only place most people play hockey is at school. The only real difference in men’s and women’s hockey is that men’s games tend to be faster and more physical. It is quite easy for people to take up the sport and get into a team of some sort whether it is at school level, club level or higher. I think the NGB is successful because young people can get into clubs, but I also think that some young individuals do get overlooked. If someone was really good at hockey, lets say county level; it would be very difficult for them to play if they couldn’t afford all of the expenses.