A club school link is an agreement between a school and a club to work together to develop the very best level of quality and opportunity for young people to play hockey within their local area. By stimulating interest in the sport through good experiences at school, and then providing a seamless pathway for the participation to continue and develop further within a local club, we aim to ensure that young people can get the very most out of hockey and begin a lifelong involvement in the game.
Club school links can work in a number of ways but always tend to be characterised by the following:
• Effective communications - club and school in regular contact i.e. between at least one designated person from both the school and club.
• Structured activity - opportunities for young people from the school to participate e.g. coaching sessions, competitions, leadership opportunities at events etc. This can either be in a community and/or school setting.
• Participation - young people participating in club sport, either as an athlete/player or leader, as a result of the link.
How could your school benefit from a link with a local hockey club?
• Increased opportunities for your pupils
• Raise the schools profile in the community
• Share facilities and equipment
• Access expert coaches delivering in school to work with teachers
• Deliver Out of School Hours Club
• Healthier & more physically active pupils – improving standards across the school
• Increase awareness of exit routes for players, coaches and volunteers
• Access CPD for teachers – training courses & more ideas by working with quality clubs and coaches
Here we have provided a range of examples where clubs and schools have worked together effectively to increase the quality and quantity of hockey delivered within the school(s), and to help the club to grow their junior membership numbers. Hopefully there are enough examples to help different sizes and types of clubs to generate some ideas about how you could develop your club school links:
• Formby Hockey Club – setting up a schools development programme and growing junior membership from 100 to 300
• Westbury and United Banks Hockey Club – increasing junior membership by 25 by linking in to local school games activity
• Ealing Hockey Club – starting a junior section from just about scratch and growing to 160 members within 12 months
• Bicester Hockey Club - grown junior membership from 30 to 127 in 3 years by working with local schools
To find out about hockey clubs in your area please see our Hockey Nation website. The Junior Coordinator at a club is usually the main contact regarding club school links. You can also contact your local regional office who may be able to offer you some support – for their contact details please click here.