East Staffordshire's In2Hockey success

East Staffs BC In2Hockey 2

The East Staffordshire Borough Council sports initiative for hockey this year saw over 600 children between the ages of 7 and 11 getting hockey coaching at local schools by L2 coaches.

Schools have taken the opportunity to have hockey coaching both in school time and as after-school clubs, both at their own school and at the Shobnall Leisure Complex. Schools are then invited to play in two tournaments for children aged under 9 (years 3 and 4) and under 11 (years 5 and 6). Teams are mixed with a minimum of two girls playing in games and fully kitted-up goalkeepers.

Umpires are provided by local clubs and schools are linked to the clubs, developing school club links.

Under 9s 

18 teams from schools in East Staffordshire and Derbyshire competed in the under 9s In2hockey tournament and much like last year Picknalls School, Uttoxeter, brought four teams to take part in the competition!

In the quarter-finals and semi-finals several of the games were decided outright on goals scored, but there were still some shoot-outs needed to decide on a winning team after a number of draws.

The Final saw Picknalls Uttoxeter playing Outwoods School, and in a very even game there were no goals scored in the first half. Both teams had several chances to score but just couldn't get the ball past the spectacular keepers. The second half saw some great end-to-end play and again fine play from both keepers, but it was a single goal from Picknalls that finally saw the stalemate broken and gave Picknalls the winner’s trophy - victory for the second time in three years.

Under 11s

On Friday 4 April teams from schools in East Staffordshire and Derbyshire competed in the second In2Hockey age group competition. Schools competed across three groups, with the top teams from each group going to quarter-finals.

The semi-finals saw Richard Wakefield and Shobnall playing in the first game, and Outwoods and William Shrewsbury in the second. After two very close and well-played semi-finals, it was Richard Wakefield and William Shrewsbury who went through to the finals.

The final was between two excellently matched teams, but it was Richard Wakefield who, against the pre-tournament training form, looked the better team in the first half. At half time the game was still goalless and while the second half saw both teams having chances to score, good goalkeeping at both ends saw every attempt cast aside. With just minutes to spare a fine goal from Louis Henson of William Shrewsbury sealed the game. There wasn't enough time left for Richard Wakefield to get a goal back, so William Shrewsbury walked away the winners of the Year 5/6 Schools In2Hockey Tournament 2014.

East Staffs BC In2Hockey 1

Well done to all who took part and a big thank you to the teaching staff, umpires and table delegates, without whom this fantastic event couldn't have been run.

Have you got a story from your club you think we might be interested in - why not tell us about it? If you've got a story, you can email it to us together with some pictures (for U18s ensure parental consent is acquired) to info@englandhockey.co.uk, and your story might end up on the England Hockey website like this one!