Having spoken to other County Academies. The decision has been taken that no player pathway, Development Centres and Academy Centres will happen until at least after Christmas.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant a large number of people and facilities are or will be unavailable over this period. There is also the chance of a further wave or further lockdowns, however much we hope there will not be. Travelling to away fixtures and the administration to play at the moment is going to take time, so we shall start on the admin before Christmas but there will be no training or matches until January.
Further news Staffordshire is intending to amalgamate with the Black Country player pathway, this will give players greater opportunities and where there are more players than we have had up till now then Staffordshire will enter two teams at that age group.
The main reason for running the Player Pathway is to increase the number of youngsters involved in sport, particularly hockey. At the moment the main schools playing hockey are public schools or Grammar schools such as Denstone or Newcastle under Lyme school, a large proportion of players in the system will originate from these schools.
In an attempt to break into the state system of schools. Staffordshire are hoping to employ professional fully qualified coaches to go into these schools, either during lessons or after schools to introduce hockey to the pupils. As you can imagine this would normally be a difficult task. However during a pandemic it is even more tricky.
If you can help with this either financially by sponsoring the scheme or by acting as one of the coaches, please contact me.
What happens at player pathway events?
Players take part in a range of training sessions or camp-based activities to develop their skills and begin to stretch them beyond school and club hockey.
How do I get involved?Players are usually nominated by their school or club to attend a Development Centre
Players can be nominated from the age of 12-16
Players who want to play more hockey and develop their skills outside of school or club hockey should attend a Development Centre
What are the entry and exit points?
Players can join a Development Centre at any point during the cycle but, depending on location, Centres will run at different points during the season. Details of running dates can be obtained from your Country Administrator; a list of these can be found here.
Who is it run by?
All Development Centres are run by County Hockey Associations (HAs) but they may also be run on a HA’s behalf by clubs, schools or coaching companies. A list of County Administrator contacts can be found here.