Youth Hockey Update

Just a quick update on how the youth section of the club has been getting on so far this season…well, to start with we now have nearly 60 children signed up across Hockey Heroes (5-8 yrs) and Juniors (8-13 yrs)! Please read on for news of what we’ve been up to…

Hockey Heroes
Our sixth course of Hockey Heroes started in October and ran for 10 weeks. We had 20+ children sign up (as per previous courses), with a good balance between new players and some of our previous Heroes returning. We have been running Hockey Heroes for 3 seasons now and the coaches have been able to build on their experience to create fun engaging sessions for our youngest players – sharks and fishes is a particular favourite! It has been great to see the children’s confidence and skills develop over the course and some are now old enough to progress to Junior training and join some of our other Hockey Heroes who have moved up previously. Thanks to all our coaches for this group: Lead coaches Danny, Hiren, CJ, and Ryder, Luke W. and HH.

The next 10 week Hockey Heroes course will start on 9th Jan 2022 – registration is open now at: https://play.englandhockey.co.uk/HockeyHeroes/Course/0995cff6-24d5-47ac-bf89-c5d6af8deee2 – please spread the word!

Juniors
After a low key start in 2019/2020, then a difficult COVID affected 2020/2021 season, things have really taken off and it’s been a busy first half of the season for the South Glos Juniors! After securing a grant from the Clubs in Crisis Fund we were able to purchase new equipment (including youth GK kit) to support the Junior coaching and teams which allowed us to enter the Avon Junior Hockey League for the first time. The Avon Junior League is a series of mixed 7-a-side festivals for U10s and U12s where teams play several short games. So far this season our U10s and U12s teams have each played in 3 festivals and have come up against a number of local clubs. Considering this is the first time any of the children have played competitive hockey the results have been fantastic, with both teams winning or drawing a number of their games, and against some quite experienced opposition! The teams have all shown marked improvement with each festival and the feedback from the children and parents has been really positive, they love the festivals and can’t wait to be involved in more!

Quote from a Junior parent:
“Just wanted to say, the festival today was my daughter’s very first experience of playing in a “proper” match (and only the third week since she joined SGHC). It has meant to the world to her to be involved today; she is absolutely buzzing now and it’s done heaps for her confidence, so thank you so much to everyone involved for giving her the chance today and being so kind to her. A lovely start to hopefully a lifelong love of team sports! Thank you again.”

Thanks to Mark H (lead coach for the Juniors) for his hard work planning and delivering training sessions and who has done an excellent job preparing the teams for the festivals, and to Simon and CJ who have supported Mark and stepped up to lead Junior training sessions when required. Thanks also to Jules, Player, Leanne and CJ who umpired at the various festivals. Junior training will restart on 9th Jan 2022.

It has been a very rewarding first half of the season and brilliant to see so many local children out on the pitch enjoying their hockey – we have some real prospects for the future!

Jane Wooster
SGHC Youth Manager