England Hockey have made provision for state school hockey by launching a national 7-a-side festival set for 2023.
The Nottingham event will be open to under 14s girls and boys and competitions are open to state schools from anywhere in England, the national governing body said on Friday.
The May 5 event at Nottingham Hockey Centre can accommodate 32 teams in each gender and schedules will maximise pitch time for every school. England Hockey says it is determined to “lead positive change within the sport, and running this event is an important step in broadening access to players from all backgrounds.”
The Midlands and Yorkshire North East Areas have introduced new state school competitions for early 2023 as part of a pilot for the new Areas.
England Hockey chief executive Nick Pink said: “We as a sport know that more needs to be done to promote opportunities for all children and young people to enjoy PE and school sport.
“Earlier this summer our women’s and men’s squads wrote to the country’s Prime Ministerial candidates to ask them to prioritise school sport, and I fully endorse that view. It starts with more qualified teachers in every state school as a minimum provision.
”We are also grateful to the Midlands and Yorkshire North East for running state school competitions in their Areas; it is important that the wider sport helps us on this journey for the good of the game across the country.”
The Hockey Paper, through its open access campaign, has called for more state school provision.
England Hockey said there will be a £20 registration fee per team and schools will need to make their own way to Nottingham but EH will organise the rest – pitches, schedules, umpires, officials, presenter and sound system, trophies and medals, risk assessment, medical cover and coverage.
To register your interest please complete this form by Jan 20 and places will be allocated based on when you sign up so please act quickly.
The Midlands competition takes place on 17 March 2023 at Rugby School, Warwickshire – please contact Mindy on email@example.com
The Yorkshire North East event is on 7 March 2023 at Queen Elizabeth School, Hexham – please contact Maggie or Claire-Jane on firstname.lastname@example.org