Hockey has been described as a minority sport in Bexley. Summer camps increase the sports visibility but the nearest opportunities for young people in the vicinity were in North London.
Bexleyheath and Belvedere Hockey Club sought to fill this gap. They felt the long term benefits of such a project and the skills that young people could gain included:
A Small Grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation helped the club appoint ex-Olympic international hockey player, Ali Raza Coach with Assistant Coaches, Peter Stanley and Dan Wardle for a two day camp. The young people who assisted the lead coach learnt leadership and coaching skills from Ali. This was drawn from playing at the Olympics, coaching elite clubs and schools, county and regional teams, and coaching at other hockey camps around the UK.
The summer camp even engaged with children from the clubs local rivals, Burnt Ash HC therefore building interest in the sport from a wide range of local young people.
The European Hockey Championships were hosted at the Olympic Park, Stratford the week after the summer camp. By then the young people were enthusiastic and aspired to be international players.
Lucy, one of the young people taking part said “I’ve learnt so much over the last two days. I feel I have improved my skills a lot.”
Louis said “I thought this was a really good idea. I hope this can be arranged again.”
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