A Joint Approach Gets Results

England Hockey heard of some amazing work going on in London, and decided to investigate further.

A pot of gold was found at the end of the rainbow, read on to hear how this inspirational story unfolded.

England Hockey speaks to Liz Basson:

"I am the Head of PE at Streatham and Clapham High School (SCHS)  We are a member of the Girls Day School Trust (GDST).  The GDST has a partnership with HSBC who have made money available for Trust schools to start and run projects at the school that involves the community.  SCHS laid an all weather pitch towards the end of 2008.  We are the only all weather pitch located in the area.  As a result hockey has never been a largely developed sport in south Lambeth.

I applied to the GDST and HSBC for funds to start a development program.  I was successful in the bid.  Working with Lambeth SSCO I delivered a session for the SSCOs at the school.  We also used the money to purchase 9 sets of quick sticks.  The program involved the SSCOs learning the game and the basic of coaching quick sticks.  They then took the equipment and knowledge into local primary schools.  They delivered a unit of work targeting year 5 & 6 with myself providing support when needed.  To complete the unit of work, together with the Competition Manager for Lambeth, SCHS hosted the first quick sticks festival in Lambeth. 17 primary schools attended.

One of the issues I identified was we were starting to develop hockey players at the school and within the community, but there were no local clubs for them to attend.  I originally approached Spencer Hockey Club with a proposal of expanding their junior club and using the school pitch.  The head of the Colts section suggested I contact London Wayfarers as they did not have a junior section, this is how I met Matt Dean.  After meeting and developing a plan (Matt was the lead on this and was fantastic) we were able to start LWHC Colts section in Jan 2010. Once again with support from the GDST and HSBC sponsorship, I was able to support the starting of the club with the purchase of some equipment, subsidised pitch fees and subsidised fees for SCHS pupils. LWHC also purchased numerous amounts of equipment and between the school and the club, we have now formed a very good working relationship sharing resources. We achieved a membership of close to 100 players in the first 3 months.

In September this year we once again hosted the Lambeth Quicksticks festival. (it is important to note the hockey was not one of sports identified as important and in need of competition and development, however having formulated a very good relationship with the Lambeth competition manager and based on the success of last year, she decided to keep it on the competition calendar. Unfortunately this meant we had to slot it in very early in the year.) 12 schools attended this year.  The Lambeth London Youth Games Coordinator also attended the day and between us we did some talent identification.

The future plan is to go back to GDST and HSBC, with the intent of inviting the identified players to the Club on Sundays with their fees paid by the sponsorship. 

The Colts have been incredibly successful and are growing from strength to strength.  Due to the determination of Matt we have already achieved Club First and have entered numerous leagues.

To further the relationship between the school and the club, SCHS is hoping to be able to erect floodlights and a new pavilion, with assistance from LWHC, with the view to long term commitment to continued development of hockey.

I hope this answers some of the questions about hockey development in Lambeth and the programs being delivered through SCHS and LWHC.  Lambeth have been very supportive and have also advertised the club on their website."

This is a brilliant example of how a number of parties can come together for the good of hockey. The relationship between both clubs and the school is fantastic, and one which more clubs should not be afraid to enter into. Clubs can work together without losing their identity, and collaborative working will lead to support from outside organisations, such as HSBC.

Great work to all the parties involved in this story.