Hockey hero Richard Mantell, the stalwart England and Great Britain international defender, has thrown his weight behind a new web initiative (www.englandhockey.co.uk/youth) designed to attract and inspire hockey players, by agreeing to become the first guest for a series of live web chats.
Young players and would-be players across Britain will be entitled, and encouraged, to ask questions and receive immediate, straight forward answers from the hockey champ in person. The new site, developed by Nemisys (www.nemisys.uk.com), was officially opened to the public on Monday.
Mantell has been an international player for England since 2003 and was a member of the successful Great Britain's men's team that finished fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The live chat that he will be participating in forms part of a wider strategy to encourage more interest, and thence more talent, into the sport. Anyone can sign on to ask questions of Richard, whose chat will be held at 7pm on Wednesday 28 January 2009.
Executive Chairman, Philip Kimberley, England Hockey, said 'England Hockey's vision is to create a dynamic, vibrant successful sport for all. With 57 England caps and 34 for Britain, Richard will strike a chord with many youngsters with aspirations for 2012 as well as inspiring new players to give the sport a try. Our web activity is part of a wider strategy to attract more into the sport at all levels. The chat with Richard is, we hope, the first of many.'
The new site has been designed to provide numerous access points to the sport, from school and league through to county and professional, with an emphasis on the needs of younger players.
'Brochure sites have their place,' said Giles Bryan, Director of digital consultancy Nemisys' sports arm, 'but we know from experience that anything designed to target younger age groups has to be compelling, informative and interactive. We helped England Hockey to design something that would satisfy the needs of both youngsters and the parents and guardians who are often the ones seeking information on their behalf.'
Source: England Hockey