Reader John Hendy says there should be a title to reflect the communication needs in the modern world
When are we going to stop calling the younger members of our playing community ‘Junior’ and begin to refer, with appropriate respect, to the whole of our game’s younger section as ‘YOUTH’ hockey?
U14 players now play in our ‘ADULT’ leagues. These ‘ADULT’ leagues are not referred to as ‘Senior’ leagues.
Then, later on, we have ‘MASTERS’ not ’major’, ‘major’, ‘primary’ or ‘superior’. Younger individual players do not like being referred to as ‘Junior’.
Hardly surprising, since it is demeaning to be titled and classified as smaller, lesser, lower, subordinate, small, minor or secondary.
This classification feels like it is a left-over from the 1950’s and, possibly, a legacy of private education, which dominated our game at that time and which is an image (together with ‘Jolly hockey sticks”) that we have worked hard, but have yet to shrug off.
It would be a very simple change to make. It would make so much difference to the image we put out there for the world to see.
The image of our Youth playing community is critical to the future of our game.
Changing the personal and external perceptions of our young players and their game, plus the perceptions of their parents, schools, clubs, coaches, the media, and adult players would be a step towards promoting future success.
It is not Junior any more, the word is staggeringly inaccurate and no longer appropriate.
It’s time we woke up and gave our younger players a title that reflects the respect they expect and require, and the communication needs of the 21st century.