Friday, April 19, 2024

England Hockey aspires to network of Talent Schools under new vision

England Hockey will work with around 25 educational sites under its new Talent Schools framework, the national governing body aiming to work with a network of schools within its junior development strategy.

England Hockey revealed that there will be a phased introduction of Talent Schools from next April, with the first schools achieving accreditation in Spring 2023. It said that it could also work with a similar number of schools from April 2023.

Talent Schools will work alongside Talent Centres and County Hockey – flatly named as ‘Sub-Area’ – in England Hockey’s strategy, which replaces the performance pathway.

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  1. We’ve already got Talent Schools, otherwise known as private and public schools, who do a great job in providing top-class hockey – at a price. And when they spot talent they go after it in the shape of scholarships etc.
    What we need is hockey in MORE schools. Rather than ask schools for £600 (an absolute no-no for cash-strapped state schools) a national programme to get hockey into state primaries is what is required. Many state secondaries do not offer hockey; the need for astroturf and expensive equipment is a huge disincentive. However, a concerted effort to encourage primary age children – who can be taught the basics on a playground – into the sport and then feed them into the club structure is the real way to widen the base. So many children never get the chance to even try the game. If given the opportunity at a younger age and encouraged into a club, many will go on play at a high standard and become lifelong players.

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