Monday, April 15, 2024

Have your say: England Hockey launches five-year strategy

England Hockey has promised to make the sport “more visible, relevant, and accessible” after launching new objectives and values earlier this month — now you can have your say on the sport’s plans.

The national governing body says its ‘Creating A Future For Our Game Together‘ strategy will “share the love of the game and bring new people into the sport in the future.”

In a five-year plan, England Hockey says the sport will be guided by five key objectives to lead positive change, growth, visible impact, as well as responsible leadership and creating “inspirational” international success.

The Hockey Paper will be tackling EH’s vision with chief executive Nick Pink and we want readers to have their say. You can put your questions to the CEO: Email us or share your view on our social media channels.

Among some of its initiatives, EH plans to support 120 talent clubs and 20 academies by 2026 to “provide frequent, high quality contact time.”

EH said: “We will develop a talent system aligned to our values which maximises individual potential and sets a new standard for equality, diversity and inclusion; something for us all to be proud of.”

It also stated that it would also leverage the England and GB programmes to align with the club game.

“We will achieve this by working more closely with the domestic game supporting clubs with a shared ambition of ‘semi-professionalisation’ whilst targeting specific areas of skill development in international programmes,” EH added.

Meanwhile, EH claimed it would double the number of 7-13 year olds in club activity and the vision with the number of state schools offering hockey by 2028.

“We want to nurture a love of hockey within a more diverse group of young players and communities to reflect society,” the strategy outlines.

England Hockey also promised to be the “central hub” for all hockey communications through improved visibility and coverage of national leagues; and promoting the sport, clubs, volunteers, coaches and umpires.

It said: “We know we need to take a step up in marketing and communications. So our communications will always have our purpose at their heart, sharing a love of the game, the physical and mental benefits to participants, the communities it builds and its impact beyond.”

What are England Hockey’s five objectives?

Lead Positive Change: to create and champion positive change within the community by broadening and widening the engagement of the sport and making it more ethnically and culturally diverse.

Meaningful Growth: to make sure that our sport thrives and grows into the future, we want to nurture a love of hockey within a more diverse group of young players and communities to reflect society.

Drive Visible Impact: to produce and release high-quality, engaging content that shares the love of the game, captures the passion, builds a deep connection and amplifies the voices of the hockey community with new and existing participants.

Responsible Leadership: to provide forward thinking, compassionate and inclusive leadership. Leadership that fosters trust within physically and psychologically safe environments and which puts players, the community and sustainability at heart of every decision.

Inspirational International Success: inspirational club and national teams delivering podium success in Europe and on the world stage, underpinned by a thriving talent system and domestic game.

Coupled with this, England Hockey has also launched four values: Collaborate Inclusively, Care for People and Places, Play with Spirit and Win with Grace, and Resilient in Everything We Do.

Pink said: “This is your sport, but we want to provide the support for you to develop your club and the sport in your community.”

Total Hockey


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  1. It strikes me that the Talent system is perhaps the biggest topic of contention. The sport can make claims on participation, like every sport does when it comes funding, but the future direction of the talent id is striking. Surely EH must be able to admit that clubs will be affected and that more juniors will leave the game with less chance to progress??

  2. For over 50 years the sport has been London and south centric if your club is in other parts of the country EH encourages you to produce good quality players but do not make them too good otherwise they move to Bisham and your club loses them . Make England and GB training for national team be based in Nottingham and train there 3 days a week rest of times spent at parent club helping to bring on next group of talent . All national team players to be made available for domestic league matches ..

  3. There is a mountain to climb here. There is no commercial value in the sport. As an example the biggest game in recent history for the men’s game (outside the Olympics) wasn’t even on the television. How on earth can EH raise sufficient revenue to make a meaningful change without a route to commercial success.

    The first appointment that Nick Pink needs to make is a commercial director to identify and implement revenue streams. Only then can everything else fall into place.

  4. I feel the comment (from Jack) above has hit the nail on the head. England played Holland in a European final and it wasn’t even available to view on mainstream TV. If we can’t drive sufficient interest to watch a match of that magnitude at the very top of the sport what hope do we have at grass root levels.

    The Talent system seems to broadly identify and propel the best young players. It’s not perfect but the wider question for many is what is the end of the pathway. It’s certainly not a job/career/role as a professional hockey player. Yes it’s Olympic participation but without a radical shake up this remains a largely amateur sport in the UK and we need to accept that we will lose some of the best young athletes to other sports.

  5. Having second XI teams in the National league, and teams from the same club in the same division lower down the league ladder is a total nonsense and will end up with smaller clubs folding – end this nonsense now.

    • Where would you have them play? Lots of these clubs have some brilliant young players who benefit hugely from exposure to the national league. Propping up smaller clubs in a league artificially is also no good. It just means they get beaten every week and players leave the club and the sport.

  6. Pitch access not even mentioned. EH needs to work with local councils to get hockey on their sport development agenda. Funding exists, but there is no leadership or co-ordinated approach to managing the growth of 2g pitch provisions inside and outside schools.

    • It shouldn’t be – everyone taking part should feel they have a way of finding out what’s going on & giving their feedback. How would you like to see it become more transparent?


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