Get Involved in Hockey

Find out ways in which you can take part in this Olympic sport

Last Updated: 20/10/12 1:11pm

Get Involved - Hockey

It was massively popular during the Olympics, but can hockey capitalise on the surge of interest it achieved at London 2012?

As part of our Get Involved series, Sky Sports News HD discovered a range of initiatives that are bringing people back to the sport - whatever their age or ability.

Crowds flocked to the Riverside Arena in the Olympic Park to watch the sport over the summer and many were inspired by Team GB's women's team who secured a bronze medal.

Now England Hockey are hoping to build on the momentum, as more people look at taking up the game.

We found out about three initiatives that the England Hockey Board are working on:

BACK TO HOCKEY - Launched in 2011, this scheme encourages women specifically to return to the game (often for the first time in many years) in a relaxed, unpressured environment. They aim to emphasise the social aspect of the sessions, meeting new people and enjoying a fun way of getting fit. It is being held at more than 100 sites across the country and organisers hope to engage with 15,000 people through Back To Hockey.
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RUSH HOCKEY - This is a shortened form of the full game played on smaller pitches. These five-a-side games allow you to turn up, pay and play. It can be played both indoors and outdoors, meaning you can play wherever and whenever you want! There are lighter balls, smaller goals (with no goalkeepers) and there are no umpires and very few rules. It's akin to five-a-side football and aims to include players of all ages and abilities.
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QUICKSTICKS - This is an introductory game for children aged between seven and 11. It is played with four children on each team and they use special sticks plus a bigger, lighter and safer ball. Children are consistently involved in the action and are even encouraged to umpire and coach games. It has been designed so that teachers with little or no hockey knowledge or background can deliver the game.
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If you used to play the sport on mud-soaked pitches, you may be surprised by the facilities on offer in modern hockey with astroturf becoming prevalent in the last 10-15 years.

And it seems the initiatives are working. Statistics show 27,000 more people played hockey once a week between November 2011 and May 2012... so there may never be a better time to get involved!

More information can be found at: www.hockeynation.info