Across Wales every day, Hockey Young Ambassadors are dedicating more and more of their time, effort and energy, towards making sure great hockey experiences are available for both new and existing players.
Our Young Ambassador Programme actively encourages those involved to seek out opportunities to not only increase hockey participation within schools and communities but also understand how they can promote the benefits of sports to wider audiences. The programme allows Young Ambassadors to experiment with their creativity whilst further providing key learning opportunities as the programme develops.
We’ve recently caught up with a few of our South Wales based Young Ambassadors. Here’s what they’ve been up to…
I attended Charles Williams Primary School but at the time they didn’t offer hockey as an after-school activity and the school didn’t play in any hockey competitions. However, in my last year of primary school one of the teachers started an after-school hockey club. I was already playing hockey for Gwent Hockey Club so went along for the session.
Since September I’ve been helping at the weekly sessions. After attending the Hockey Young Ambassador Camp in Newtown I’ve used the skills and exercises taught at the camp to make the after-school sessions more interesting for the children taking part. I start each session with a range of fun warm ups; choosing a theme or skill for the week such as sharks and islands.
It’s great to be able to introduce hockey to a wider audience and to children who I used to be in school with. I can see them developing skills and improving each week. In the next term I hope to be able to help them at an inter school competition.
As a group of Young Ambassadors, we wanted to carry out a Christmas Fundraiser. We wanted to fundraise for face masks and first aid kits as there is a demand for both in our club. I managed to raise a total of £96 and as I sold 7 cards I have to give out £35, £5 to each winner so overall, I raised £61.
The project entailed designing scratch cards which were South Wales Hockey Clubs, Senior Welsh Men and Senior Welsh Women themed. We then gave the cards out to players to sell. £1 for a square. My responsibility was to sell them to the Youth Girls section.
The positive outcomes were that many people got involved in the fundraiser and I thought it was a good creative idea. To improve for the next time, I think we should get all players to bring a £1 along to training and maybe use it as a fancy-dress session too, and then we will automatically have more players taking part.
For over a season, I’ve been coaching the U13 girls at Gwent Hockey Club almost every Wednesday. Each session lasts an hour and a half between 6:00pm – 7:30pm. Coincidently, a member of the coaching staff has recently written a report on my coaching as part of my Duke of Edinburgh award.
“Ellie has shown commitment and enthusiasm when coaching the Gwent U13 girls team. She is always punctual and keen. I asked Ellie to prepare several coaching sessions and each time she came with a comprehensive plan. She explained the sessions clearly and then led them with confidence. Following the sessions, many players approached Ellie and said they had thoroughly enjoyed themselves and that she made it great fun.
Ellie is a knowledgeable and skilled player who treats the girls with respect and they respond very positively to her sessions. When players are struggling to master a technique, she approaches them in such a way that does not undermine their confidence and gives them individual tips to improve.
Ellie is a team player – she volunteers many 7 aside tournaments with the U13 girls team. It has been a pleasure to spend time with Ellie; the commitment and hard work she has shown has meant she has become a valuable member of the coaching staff.”
Also, I’ve umpired both indoor and outdoor tournaments/matches whenever the opportunity has arisen. These have given me so much confidence and helped me learn new things about the sport such as the rules of indoor hockey and umpiring signals.
Interested in joining our Young Ambassador Programme? Find out more here.