Monday, April 15, 2024

Hockey needs to take leap into the dark to reflect our overall society

All children can gain equal access to hockey facilities but there is no easy short-term solution, writes PHIL BAILEY

From what has been reported into the current debate into the inclusiveness of hockey and the divide between the private/state school sectors, it seems clear that at the highest level there is a disparity in international participation between those who went to private schools compared to those who attended state schools.

In exploring these matters, I offer a personal view as someone who worked in the state sector for 43 years, initially as a PE teacher and latterly as a head teacher, for many years working in some areas of the highest deprivation in the country. I also play a minor role within the world of hockey as secretary of Clifton Robinsons HC, Hockey Wales Volunteer Cap Project Lead and an avid watcher of this great sport, both at club and international level.

This should not really be a debate about Private v State education and criticism should not be directed at those schools who have provided a quality product, scholarship and excellent facilities, but to how all children can gain equal access to this.

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Phil Bailey is a recently retired secondary head teacher and previous PE teacher. He is secretary of Clifton Robinsons HC and joint lead of the Hockey Wales Cap Project


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  1. As you rightly say, hockey is almost entirely run by volunteers who do an amazing job but mostly who do not have the time to meet all the requirements stated, The local and national authorities have abdicated almost all responsibility for school sport and left it to clubs as it does their job and costs them nothing.

  2. You need to run a year 5/ year 6 primary school tournament for boys and girls.

    Have the children training for a year in the morning of Year 5 and camps in the holidays of Year 5, the tournament to run in year six as a borough wide tournament, in the spring/ Easter of Year 6.

    Make sure there’s a girl and boy player of the tournament AND all the local hockey clubs in attendance.

    Moreover, run the tournaments in the same week and on the same weekend with a year’s notice.

    The talent is right in front of you, in a place where you can find it, you just have to let them know you’re watching and supporting them.


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