England Hockey are delighted to announce the introduction of a National State School Festival for 2023, with girls and boys events taking place at Nottingham Hockey Centre on Friday 5 May.
The event can accommodate 32 teams in each gender and schedules will maximise pitch time for every school. England Hockey are determined to lead positive change within the sport, and running this event is an important step in broadening access to players from all backgrounds.
In addition, the Midlands and Yorkshire North East Areas have introduced new state school competitions for early 2023 as part of a pilot for the new Areas.
Chief Executive Nick Pink said: "We as a sport know that more needs to be done to promote opportunities for all children and young people to enjoy PE and school sport.
"Earlier this summer our women's and men's squads wrote to the country's Prime Ministerial candidates to ask them to prioritise school sport, and I fully endorse that view. It starts with more qualified teachers in every state school as a minimum provision.
"To recognise the significant number of state schools delivering hockey, we have introduced the National State School Festival. It is aimed at broadening access to players from all backgrounds. This is just the start of the type of event we wish to see as part of England Hockey’s future, and we look forward to encouraging state school hockey to grow.
”We are also grateful to the Midlands and Yorkshire North East for running state school competitions in their Areas; it is important that the wider sport helps us on this journey for the good of the game across the country.”
The Nottingham event is open to Under 14s and matches will be seven-a-side including goalkeeper on a half pitch using In2Hockey rules. The competitions are open to state schools from anywhere in the country to take part and play. The girls’ competition will take place in the morning, with the boys’ event in the afternoon.
There’s a £20 registration fee per team and schools will need to make their own way to Nottingham but we will organise the rest – pitches, schedules, umpires, officials, presenter and sound system, trophies and medals, risk assessment, medical cover and coverage on England Hockey website / social media.
This is a chance for schools to test themselves against others from across the country in a festival to highlight what is great about school sport.
To register your interest please complete this form by 20 January 2023 – places will be allocated based on when you sign up so please act quickly.
The Midlands competition takes place on 17 March 2023 at Rugby School, Warwickshire – please contact Mindy on email@example.com
The Yorkshire North East event is on 7 March 2023 at Queen Elizabeth School, Hexham – please contact Maggie or Claire-Jane on firstname.lastname@example.org
The West Midlands Royal Grammar School Worcester (RGS Worcester) event is on Wednesday 29 March - please contact Jeanne and Lewis Freeman email@example.com