Huge boost for grassroots hockey

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Saha rolls out development plan for kids

DEVELOPMENT BOOST: All Saints Daycare teachers and pupils gleefully show off their new equipment donated to them by the South African Hockey Association (SAHA) last week. SAHA project manager, Gary Dolley, (black jersey at back) handed over hockey equipment and gave a presentation on the fundamentals of hockey to teachers who will coach the kids Picture: THANDEKA NTLONTI

SOUTH African Hockey Association (SAHA) has brought a plan to East London grow the sport from grassroots level.

The project aims to focus on the physical and technical skills development of the participants in a fun and caring environment as well as focus on life skills with a strong emphasis on education.

The South African junior modified hockey project overseen by former hockey player and project manager of SAHA, Gary Dolley, will focus on primary schools across the country and will incorporate the basic sport skills with the school curriculum.

In a hockey presentation held last week Thursday at All Saints Day care in Parkside, he said: “We are targeting 100 new schools in 2017. In the Buffalo City region we are targeting 10 primary schools from Buffalo Flats and at least 15 from Mdantsane,” Dolley said.

“This pilot project started last year and we refer to this project as the neighbourhood leagues, encouraging the local schools to participate. The aim is to get kids actively involved in sport, promoting sporting skills and consolidating fundamental movement skills,” he added.

SA Hockey will partner with provincial departments of sport initiatives around hubs identified by the department to roll out a coordinated programme to impact the development of hockey around the identified hub. The regional hubs will enable young athletes from the disadvantaged areas an opportunity to develop their talents to the best of their ability. All Saints Daycare owner, Patricia Smith, thanked Dolley for the generous donation of hockey kits.

“As All Saints Daycare we are very privileged to be part of this great project. My staff and I are ready and we will definitely get other crèches in the area involved,” Smith said.

Dolley said in his presentation how much easier it was to identify talent once a person has a solid base in terms of fundamental movement skills, which should be taught to kids at entry level.

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