Sunday, December 3, 2023

Scottish Hockey tests esports as driver for participation

Scottish Hockey has moved into Esports as a model for participation. In an innovative approach to attract people from diverse backgrounds to the sport, Scottish Hockey has been exploring how Esports can grow hockey in Scotland, while offering educational opportunities to all.

The pioneering test event saw young participants, from non-traditional hockey backgrounds, participate in a day of Esports, hockey, and personal development activities at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

The participants played Rocket League, and then matched their goal-scoring exploits in the game on the hockey pitch. Next year Scottish Hockey will look to deliver Esports camps following the same model of the test event.

Competitive electronic sport (Esports) is ubiquitous in modern culture, with 91% of UK under 15s and 60% of UK adults playing some form of video game regularly. 

Scottish Hockey intends to use Esports to augment its sports participation, education, and life skills contributions to public life. A £20,000 multi-role Esports hub will be created in the heart of Glasgow, augmenting the £5 million Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

Scottish Hockey CEO, Barry Cawte, said: “We’re trying to do something innovative to reach a more diverse audience for the sport, and Esports is a unique and creative way to do this.

“The partnerships we’ve built with Esport Scotland and The Brave Jnr are very exciting, and this test event is just the beginning of the journey.”

Scottish Hockey’s Esports consultant, Ben Grant, added: “At a time where Scottish sport faces mounting multidimensional challenges, from the value proposition of recreational facility’s to participation, events like the one held today represent the best of efforts from SGB’s in the space to find innovative solutions”.

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