For the first time in what feels like months we had sunshine and hockey to match!!
This week instead of training or internal matches, the GU10 & BU10 groups banded together to show why hockey is the best sport in the world and to play a mixed festival.
It was fantastic to see many of the players reuniting friendships from the Mixed U8 level, and very quickly getting back to playing with each other.
Not only is hockey a great family sport, but is one of the few sports that can be played either separately or mixed.
Watching the games today it was fantastic to see all the girls and boys playing so well and utilising all the things we have been practising in training, whether that was shadowing and not diving-in in defence, attacking down the strong right side, taking quick “tap and goes” or making things easier for team mates with loud and positive calling.
Five weeks in, it’s amazing how much they have all come on and continue to develop.
As well as the skills and technique, it was great to see both the boys and girls getting fully involved, being hungry for the ball, running tirelessly and integrating with each other so well and so quickly. Girls and boys often have slightly different styles of hockey at this age and they can both learn a lot by playing with each other and in mixed teams – today was a brilliant way to ensure they appreciate the value that all can bring and think they all did so showing genuine respect for each other’s abilities and what they could bring but also having a LOT of fun playing together.
Even though Covid restrictions meant that we had to keep the two pools separate with no playoffs, when we added up points for wins, the leaders this week were the Vipers (Green team) coached by Rob Tong, so well done to Peyton, Sophie, Faye, Zoe, Oscar, Ralph, Freddie and William – great work, all, and shows the training is paying off!
And that was despite one team’s coach (who shall remain nameless) using the age old tactic of smuggling an extra player on to the pitch for most of the games! 😊. Next Friday we are going to start training with rudimentary maths / counting to seven ……..
Today though, hockey was the winner, with the glorious, sunny skies, amazing hockey, and happy children and parents, it really makes getting up early on a Sunday worth it. We asked a lot of children, parents and coaches after the matches whether they enjoyed the mixed hockey and whether we should do this again and the answer was a resounding yes!
So we will definitely be arranging more mixed hockey (and sunshine) over the coming months – watch this space and look forward to everyone fine tuning their skills at training this week.
As always, many thanks to the fantastic coaches, umpires, organisers and everyone who helps – your efforts are very much appreciated and it wouldn’t happen without you!