The London 2012 Olympic Games gives sport an incredible platform, one which hockey is already taking full advantage of. The announcement by Sport England last month, showing 107,000 people are playing hockey once per week – an increase of 27,0000 in the past year is already showing the positive effect the Hockey Nation programme is having.
Hockey Nation – Give it a Go activity is aimed at people of all ages and abilities to come and try hockey for the first time during Five Week Frenzy beginning on the first day of the games, and finishing at Harvester National Club Weekend. Clubs and leisure providers have been signing up to host activity once per week for five weeks in the form of adult and young people Give it a Go.
The 500th site to sign up this week was Bedford Borough Council,who are offering the perfect opportunity to 'give hockey a go' as a family at the Bedford Olympic Live Site. Coaches will be on hand to help participants get started - with small sided hockey for both adults and youngsters. Hockey play will then be followed by the opportunity to watch and cheer on GB on the Live Site giant screens and everyone is welcome.
The activity is being run in conjunction with Bedford Hockey Club who are also offering the opportunity to play through adult Give it a Go activity at the club to kick off the first GB women’s match on the 29th July.
All of the Hockey Nation activity is beinguploaded into the hockeynation.info portal, which allows people to search for the most appropriate hockey activity for them in their area. The portal already contains all of the club activity in England, and will see all of the Give it a Go activity switched on in England, Scotland and Wales in July.
EHB has also partnered with Join In, and the BBC Things to Do teams, as two additional opportunities to promote the Hockey Nation – Give it a Go activities. Any club or leisure provider who registers with EHB will automatically find their details on both the Join In and BBC Things To Do websites.
On 18/19th August (the first weekend after the Olympics and before the Paralympics), Join In Local Sport will encourage the nation to head down to where it starts for every great champion – their local sports club. The aim of Join In is for every sports club in the UK to put on a special event or activity on the Join In Weekend – capturing the enthusiasm for sport that we know the Games will generate. Whether clubs want to sign up more members, supporters or volunteers, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attract local people who may never have come to their club before. And Join In will help them to do it.
EHB will be following the Join In weekend with an annual fixture in the diary in the form of Harvester National Club Weekend. The 1st and 2nd September will see hockey clubs up and down the country open their doors to welcome new players, volunteers and coaches to kick off the Olympic Legacy season 2012/2013.
With the BBC covering every single GB men's and women's game live during games time, the BBC Things To Do website helps people discover great local activities offered by the BBC and partners connected to our TV and radio programmes, and other BBC campaigns. They are working with hundreds of partners, and EHB is delighted to be able to ensure that all Hockey Nation activity will be present on the Things to Do website throughout the games.
Alongside all of these brilliant opportunities, EHB are also operating a "matchmaker" service between people who wish to volunteer or pledge their time to coach during the summer. If you want to volunteer, check out the Hockey Maker pages to get involved.
With an exciting summer ahead, make sure your club or facility is involved. Further information on how to register for Hockey Nation – Give it a Go and National Club Weekend can be found on the Hockey Nation pages of our website, or by contacting your local EHB Relationship Manager.