Scotland's new Youth Forum
In Scotland the hockey season finishes around about May as schools finish in June so over the last 4 months I haven’t been able to do much work with the youth in my community. Over the past 3 years I have coached voluntarily, 12-15 year olds at my school. Having left school in June I was invited back to do some paid coaching at the start of term. For the past 5 weeks I have taken the new second years on a Wednesday afternoon and coached their games on a Saturday. I enjoy coaching as it gives me a sense of achievement when one of my players learns something new.
Since returning from the World Youth Hockey Festival in August I have met with the Scottish Hockey Union’s Youth Development Officer, Ben Glencross. It has been decided that Scotland will set up its own youth panel, following in the example of other hockey nations. I have drafted a letter to be sent to the Youth Reps of each of the seven districts in Scotland, asking them to find two keen youths who would be interested in being part of our panel. We hope to have our panel up and running some time early next year.
I attended the annual SHU Youth Commission meeting last month, where I presented a report on the Festival and shared my views on what I feel we (Scottish Hockey) should be doing to promote youth hockey. Several of the representatives present from each district were sceptical about what myself and Ben wanted to achieve, mainly because we are looking at a long term plan and they want to see results straight away. I have applied for a grant of £5000 to develop youth hockey in my area, so I hope that this will be successful as the money will play a big part in developing Youth coaches, umpires, leaders and of course players.
Fiona Cousins, Scotland