TAP West Africa

TAP Schools

Following on from the 2018 Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup, England Hockey are working in partnership with The FIH, UK Sport, Ghana Hockey and the African Hockey Federation to deliver an exciting four year expansion plan for hockey in West Africa.

This is the first project of the FIH Hockey Targeted Assistance Program (TAP), which forms part of the FIH`s new 10 year strategy for hockey. The project, which began in 2015, will see England Hockey supporting Ghana Hockey in developing their participation and performance programmes for coaches, umpires and players.
Although the project is primarily focused on the women’s game within Ghana, it is hoped that by establishing the country as a hub for hockey in West Africa the long-term benefits of the project will be wide reaching for both men and women.

The plan includes:

  • Provision of hockey equipment and resources to schools and clubs across West Africa
  • The creation of umpiring and coaching pathways to recruit, train and retain more officials and coaches for the sport
  • Supporting the Ghanaian women’s national team with high performance coaching and athlete support
  • Working with Ghana Hockey to enable them to host more world level events at the Accra stadium
Umpire & Coach Development - TAP Team
To support the delivery of the programme, a TAP Team has been appointed including Mark Jarvis, Darren Cheesman from England and Siegfried Aikman from Holland.

Mark Jarvis
Role: Umpire Educator
Hockey background: Mark is a former RAF serviceman who served for 26 years and is currently teaching hockey at Wisbech Grammar School U7-U18 boys and girls. Mark started playing hockey aged 15 and began umpiring at 32. In 2003 Mark joined the National League panel, gaining his National Badge in 2009. Mark’s passion for the coaching aspect of hockey led him to become qualified not only as Level 2 Umpire Coach and Umpire Tutor trainer, but also as a Level 2 Player Coach, hopefully soon to be Level 3. Mark is an active member of the England Hockey Umpire Developer workforce and will be a valuable asset to this programme.
What are you most looking forward to about being involved in TAP West Africa?
“I see being part of the TAP West Africa team as a massive opportunity to broaden and further enhance my coaching skills, whilst being able to impart some of my knowledge to those in attendance, whilst experiencing life in another country both from a sporting and cultural experience.”

Darren Cheesman
Role: Performance Coach
Hockey background: As a player, Darren has represented England and Great Britain at every level possible - England U16, U18, U21, and Senior Men as well as Great Britain U21 and Senior Men. Over the past four years, he has been sharing that experience by running coaching sessions for each of the age groups and both genders at Tonbridge JRPC, where he was the CCC last year. Last year also saw him take on the role as one of England Hockey’s Coach Educators, running workshops across Great Britain for club coaches wishing to develop themselves.
What are you most looking forward to about being involved in TAP West Africa?
“I’m involved in this project because I have a genuine passion for giving people and teams the opportunity to develop their potential and achieve results they didn’t imagine were possible. Having been over in Delhi with them for the World League tournament, we have already seen a huge improvement. The goal now is to keep that momentum going until African Nations later this year. To help them be as good as they can be, we need to do far more than coach the players; we need to support the coaches too as they have had very little exposure to International hockey themselves."

The TAP team visited Ghana for 10 days in May to work with players, coaches, teachers, umpires and officials.