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Development Consultancy, Bermuda 12 - 13 May, 2001

Allan Woods, the PAHF Regional Co-ordinator, made a Development Consultancy Visit to Bermuda.He was there for the worldwide Marathon in which Bermuda participated, on the weekend of the 12/13th of May 2001.

Q: What was your impression of the hockey marathon in Bermuda?

The YotY Day in Bermuda was very well organised thanks particularly to Liz, Laura and a number of others. I thought it was well attended and was particularly impressed by the supportive appearance of a number of parents. I think this is very important. Unfortunately there were no press present, but thanks to the digital camera there is an excellent record of what happened.

The Day was divided into two parts: The first was for about 30 12 to 16 year old boys and girls. Divided into 3 teams they played non-stop 20 minute games, rotating the teams so nobody sat out for long. I was very impressed with the athleticism and skills of these kids as well as their enthusiasm. I have been coming to Bermuda for years for various hockey activities (including playing) but had never seen anything like this before. The last couple of hours were devoted to the under 12 group which even included some boys and girls in the 3 to 5 age group. They had organised different activities which included collective fun drills and dribbling. The slightly older ones had half-field games with the coaches mixed in to keep the play going, fun and lively. Again there was a lot of enthusiasm from the kids and parents.

Q: What effect is a project like YotY having on the development of hockey in Bemuda and how important is that?

I think having the YotY program has been key to the programs success. This, plus the key individuals - something that is so often true.

Having programs with kids and sports going on always resounds with the politicians. I met with the Minister of Sport and others and I certainly mentioned all this. My main mission was involved with the inclusion of a hockey pitch in the new National Sport Center currently under construction. It is helpful to point out that there is a growing number of kids and parents (very important as they carry the votes) involved with a project. Thanks to YOTY and the national and local organisers!

Q: What is most needed for development? Which steps can and will be taken in the near future?

Now of course Bermuda is faced with 'what next' for these kids. How to channel the enthusiasm and keep the interest growing - not an easy task on a small island with limited facilities. I think one of the key things is to organise some ongoing competitions, perhaps 5, 6 or 7 aside teams. Whether they are mixed or separate boys and girls will of course depend on the numbers. I think this is what the kids want. They definitely want to keep going, whether it is after school, school oriented or Summer time.

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