Hockey proves a hit with kids in WA
Image: This term students at Chidlow Primary School have embraced the skill and control that is needed to play hockey.
Forget traditional schoolyard games, more and more excited youngsters from across Western Australia are playing hockey.
Designed to give young girls and boys the chance to learn the basic skills of the game, Hockey WA is now fostering the next generation of talent through the Sporting Schools program.
For many of the students involved it is the first time they’ve been involved with hockey but it allows them to try the sport in an environment that is safe, fun and inclusive.
Joseph Smart, Physical Education Teacher at Chidlow Primary School, said that this year’s inaugural Sporting Schools’ Hockey Program, which involved a total of 118 children, had increased engagement levels and provided a strong platform from which the school can build on over the coming years.
“When thinking about what sports I wanted to provide the children this year I didn't just want to go with the options that they all know,” he said. “I wanted children to experience as much as they can and I know many of the children here hadn't played hockey before so I wanted to give them that opportunity.”
“Hockey provides the children with an extra sport that uses a two-handed strike motion but not in the normal fashion like cricket or softball. A lot of skill and control is needed to play hockey and it is really good for children to realise this from a young age.”
Smart said it is not the strongest or fastest that are the best at hockey but instead it is the ones with more control over their movements.
“The advantage of using Sporting Schools is that it allows for the school to get external providers at no cost. As a small semi-rural school, Sporting Schools offers us an opportunity, which without them, we wouldn't be able to achieve.”
Ryan Lenegan, Hockey WA’s Participation Manager, said Hockey WA is thrilled to offer its Sporting Schools program to children across the state’s school yards.
“Hockey truly is a sport for anyone and is played by men and women, boys and girls from the age of five through to people in their 80s,” Lenegan said.
“Our Sporting Schools programs can be delivered before, during or after school and can be tailored for all ages and abilities. As the state sporting organisation for hockey, we offer schools and coaches quality programs that encourage children to participate in this great sport.”
“This is a great time to be involved with hockey and it is always great to see the excitement in the faces of so many of the youngsters involved in our Sporting Schools programs.”
Sporting Schools is a $200 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run a Hockey Australia program in Term 3? Check out all the details on the Hockey Australia page.
Looking for a club in your area? http://www.playhockey.org.au/Club-Finder