Premier League 4 Sport and Sport England invest 16.8m in sport

Guess how much will be invested in sport

A new three-year partnership between Sport England and Premier League 4 Sport will see £16.8m invested in numerous sports, with hockey strong among them.

The collaboration, which was announced on Tuesday, will facilitate the growth of two community programmes, Premier League 4 Sport (PL4Sport) and a rebranded Kickz, which will in turn engage young people in a wide variety of sporting activities. PL4Sport has been delivered by the Premier League, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust since 2009 and it set about turning Premier League clubs into hubs linked to local community sports facilities to encourage young people to try out other sports. Read on to see how this partnership has been helping out some of our hockey clubs already.

Bolton HC

In co-ordination with Bolton Wanderers FC, Bolton Hockey Club has been able to create an organised programme with trong links to local schools. The hockey coach delivering the sessions has been outstanding and it has been their knowledge and understanding of young people which has been a key factor in the success of the programme. All parties actively promote the club allowing it to thrive, therefore providing opportunities for young people and leading to a participation increase of 170 young people aged 14 and up.

‘This programme has been very successful in Bolton and has been great for hockey. Both boys and girls have been given the opportunity to experience quality hockey coaching’
Julie Longden, England Hockey Relationship Manager - North West.

Marton Furness HC

Middlesbrough Football Club is one of 20 football clubs involved in the program, and through PL4Sport they have been involved in a project with Marton Furness Hockey Club, which currently has 80 young people from four local schools attending hockey sessions on a regular basis.

PL4S Middlesbrough hockey group

The sessions have been a real success story and since joining forces with PL4S in September 2011 32 of the young people involved in the programme have gone on to play in the local leagues representing Marton Furness HC.

“The majority of our ladies team is now made up of the girls that came through the programme last year and we also have a junior team which is going from strength to strength. Our first U14 team will be competing in England Hockey's Development League”.
Leigh Brown, Marton Furness HC - Coach

Initially the scheme involved four sports, badminton, judo, table-tennis and volleyball, with that number increasing to eight last year as basketball, handball, hockey and netball were added to the programme. That will now be expanded to 12 sports with athletics, boxing, golf and tennis the latest additions. It will also help target an extra 30,000 people in disadvantaged areas through the rebranded Kickz programme.

In addition, the PL4Sport deal will see 270 satellite sports clubs created, 1,500 volunteers trained and 2,500 sports qualifications obtained. The initiative is designed not only to introduce young people to sport but keep them engaged in it when they leave school.

To read what some athletes had to say about the new partnership, check out the Premier League website