COLORADO SPRINGS, C.O. – USA Field Hockey announced today an ambitious youth development program focused on inspiring boys and girls ages 7-11 to participate in field hockey nationwide. Fundamental Field Hockey, sponsored by Harrow Sports, will launch 250 programs, distribute 6,000 sticks and encourage 15,000 children to play field hockey across the country in 2012.
“Fundamental Field Hockey is a program that will allow kids their first chance to play field hockey in a fun setting,” said Liz Tchou, Youth Development Manager. “Our development goals will revolve around keeping youth in the pipeline by providing them with an avenue to continue to play and most importantly, have fun. I hope that once these kids pick up a stick, they won’t be able to put it down.”
Fundamental Field Hockey coincides with USA Field Hockey’s long-term strategic plan and commitment to enhance sport development by increasing playing opportunities for boys and girls. The program will emphasize fun, hence the program’s name FUNdamental Field Hockey and is focused on playing small sided games on any flat surface with a small or large group of children. The program will provide the necessary tools to young athletes to be introduced to the game and further provide them with channels to remain involved in the sport at all levels.
USA Field Hockey will encourage recreational organizations and schools across the country to apply to be part of Fundamental Field Hockey. To be eligible for the program, the organization must be a recognized recreational center or educational institution, like a YMCA or elementary school, demonstrate a commitment to expose 7-11 year old boys and girls to the sport and be located within 50 miles of a new or existing USA Field Hockey Member Club.
The application process for Fundamental Field Hockey will open on March15 and will be available on usafieldhockey.com.
“We want the next generation of kids to have the option to play field hockey, alongside other sports like basketball, soccer and lacrosse. Fundamental Field Hockey is going to make that happen and it will be a changing moment for our sport,” said Tchou.
Up to 250 successful applicant organizations will be selected to receive a “Field Hockey in a Box” equipment pack, which will include sticks, balls, cones, a carrying bag and a coaching resource book. Programs will receive support from the USA Field Hockey Youth Development staff as well as their local USA Field Hockey Member Club.
Harrow Sports will provide the 250 programs with sticks, balls and cones free of charge.
“Harrow Field Hockey exists to support the developing field hockey player from their first practice as a child, to reaching their goals at the collegiate and international level,” said Alli Tanner, Brand Manager, Harrow Sports, Inc. “We are thrilled to be involved as the equipment supplier for Fundamental Field Hockey and look forward to seeing our sport reap the rewards as it grows across the country.”
By launching Fundamental Field Hockey in areas where clubs exist, athletes will be able to continue participating in the sport at a recreational or elite level.
“Our hope is that once these athletes finish Fundamental Field Hockey, they will sign up to play regularly with a local club,” said Tchou. “Emphasizing sustainability will be key for these athletes and for the growth of the sport.”