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Hockey Wales keen to educate with rise of 3G

Jacob Draper

Jacob Draper starred for Wales PIC: Worldsportpics

Hockey Wales has raised small concerns over 3G pitches being installed across the country and the potential impact it could have on the sport.

There are around 50 3G artificial football pitches across Wales, with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) aiming to raise that number to 100 by 2024.

Football, however, is working alongside Welsh rugby and hockey officials as part of a collaborative sports facility group in a safeguarding of sport.

“From a hockey perspective, it is important to educate on whether it’s the right surface,” said Ria Male, Hockey Wales’s chief executive.

“There is a part concern as we don’t have the capital investment but we have a good relationship [with other sports].

On the pitch, Male, a former Welsh international goalkeeper, hailed the rise of the senior squads in 2019 and praised those players who had recently stepped up to the GB programme, including Leah Wilkinson on the women’s side.

Hockey Wales will receive a further five per cent reduction in funding from April and Male highlighted that there was more of a focus on the national governing body becoming more commercial in its approach to sponsorship.

Currently, players are forking out £1,500 per year to play for Wales but Male said there had been positive conversations with companies following success on the pitch.

Male, who took over as chief exec in February, is also keen on holding more Home Nations’ tournaments to boost the sport’s profile.

The Hockey Paper will report on this and feature Luke Hawker in our March print edition

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