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Townsville students ‘hooked’ on Hockey

Hockey students at Townsville Hockey Association

Image: Students in Townsville having a ‘field’ day with Hockey

Students in sunny Townsville are getting the most out of their Sporting Schools hockey programme with the Townsville Hockey Association.

Marc Pike, Regional Coaching Director for Townsville Hockey believes the Sporting Schools programme is great because it provides sports with the opportunity to deliver structured sporting programmes in schools.

“The opportunity is a huge attraction to sport, particularly an Olympic sport such as hockey,” Marc said.

“The real benefit for us is that the programme can be run before, during or after school,” he said.

“This is crucial in North Queensland where it can get very hot in the day between December and February. Sporting Schools allows us to run morning sessions to escape the sun,” Marc said.

Townsville Hockey Association is now running six programmes; three early in morning, two after school hours, and one during school hours.

Marc believes that being endorsed by Hockey Australia is important because it’s a clear signal to schools that they are delivering an accredited, effective and well-organised programme with qualified coaches.

“We have trialled a programme with Oonoonba State School where their final session was held at the Townsville hockey stadium. It gave the children an opportunity to play on our synthetic turfs and their parents had the opportunity to come and watch,” Marc said.

Nine-year-old students Sophie and Emily couldn’t get enough of their Hockey programme.

“I love hockey because I have never played it before and it is different to the sports we do at school,” Sophie said.

“I like the coaches, games, and playing with my friends,” Emily said.

Oonooba State School teacher, Matthew Williams believes the programme was very well received with all of the children.

“The 60 kids who signed up were really engaged and motivated, and their skills showed massive growth from week one to five.  I think there will be more than a few students joining up with a hockey club next year,” he said.

Sporting Schools is a $100 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run a hockey programme at your school? Check out all the details on the Hockey Australia page.

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