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1st Young Hockey Leader’s Course Takes Place On Island 2 July 2007

The weekend of June 30th / 01st July saw the first ever hockey leaders course take place at the NSC.

The course, run by tutors Zoe Shimmin and Kim Carney, saw 15 juniors attend to develop their skills in leading, umpiring, coaching and managing. The course, setup by England Hockey, is designed to be fun and informative and aims to provide juniors with a stepping stone in these four areas, should they wish to explore them further in the future through coaching or umpiring qualifications.

The course is divided between theory and practical sessions and focuses on aspects such as basic coaching drills all the way through to effective communication, teamwork, health and safety and organisation. This helps to develop confidence, skills and knowledge from a generic and hockey perspective.

On the Saturday, candidates undertook the leadership module, which involved theory work and practical sessions (indoors) on communicating effectively. The umpiring module took place in the afternoon, again a mixture of class room activities and a practical session outdoors to go over rules of the game, pitch markings and signalling. The day was finished with a true or false exam on various aspects of umpiring.

The second day started outdoors at 9am in the rain! The first module on coaching was completely practical and covered simple games and exercises and discussion on different aspects of coaching. The afternoon was back indoors focussing on effective management and organising which again had some practical elements to it.

Zoe and Kim, both keen hockey players, were approved by England Hockey as course tutors, meaning this, and future leadership courses, can be run using on-Island tutors.

Kim commented on delivering her 1st leaders course

‘It went very well and I am sure all of the candidates will put what they have learned to good use. The course is a great starting point and will only help in the development of these, and other leaders, to carry on either in coaching or umpiring in the future.’

The Manx Hockey Association subsidised the candidate costs and in return these young leaders must now ‘put back’ into Manx Hockey, either through schools or clubs. They will receive recognition for their work from England Hockey, who will award them with bronze, silver and gold volunteering certificates upon reaching the milestones of 20, 40 and 60 hours of voluntary work, respectively.

These leaders will also umpire a mini hockey game, under the supervision of a qualified umpire. If deemed competent, they will then become fully qualified foundation umpires and be able to umpire mini hockey games independently (and full 11-a-side games if experience engouh).

Development Officer Dominic Hobdell said

‘I think it’s fantastic that with just a 15 minute assessment these leaders can also come out with an umpiring qualification. We are looking at starting a Manx Hockey Young Umpires Group and using people like this to officiate the junior leagues and Manx Youth Games. Any promising young umpires could find themselves officiating across in England or even at junior internationals in a few years time!’

More courses are planned during the following season. Please contact the Hockey Development Office on 651572 or email: for further information.

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