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Why field hockey can be an investment in community-building

How can the UK’s amateur hockey teams work together to build modern and lasting facilities that serve not just one club but all the clubs in the region?

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There is no denying that amateur and grassroots field hockey in the UK simply does not enjoy the same level of investment as sports such as football or rugby. This is pretty shocking given that participation is high and is continuing to grow.

Unlike football, there just isn’t enough money trickling down from the professional game that can be invested in the amateur leagues, youth and junior game. This means that facilities such as changing rooms and meeting areas are simply not up to scratch for many clubs. One idea that has worked in Canada is for clubs to join forces, building a community building that serves as a shared facility and regional hub for clubs in the area. Sharing the build costs and maintenance is a really sensible way to approach such a project.

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Money-saving

Most amateur hockey clubs do not have the money to build a facility for changing, socialising and those all-important pre- and post-match talks, so working with other local clubs to build a community hockey building that serves the entire regional hockey population makes a great deal of sense. Clubs that come together to make bids for grants and funding may also find they get a better response when they work together.

Getting on with the game

Use of a community hockey building takes a lot of the stress away from coaches, who no longer have to find venues to hold meetings or store equipment. This allows them to get on with what they are good at – coaching and researching field hockey drill ideas from resources such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/ to use in the next training session.

Tournaments, cup games and finals

Investing in a community hockey building means having somewhere to host tournaments, cup games and finals; in fact, if there is enough space, clubs can even train and play matches on the grounds. Ideally, it would make sense to find municipal land or land set aside for recreation that adjoins a new housing development; in fact, money from a new building development can even help to fund the build.

In hockey, as in life, great things happen when we work together.

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