Right Athlete Right Environment (RARE)

RARE recognises there are multiple environments within the Talent System offering different experiences and supports players, parents and coaches


Players have traditionally progressed along a linear pathway structure via county, regional, national teams. In contrast, there is not a definitive entry point to the new England Hockey Talent System. The Talent System is the combination of people and environments which provide opportunities for gifted players to develop their potential, with multiple ways to progress.

There are thousands of young people taking part in hockey who are all progressing at different rates and in different ways in different places. Therefore, there are many factors to consider when deciding the best environment for each person.

A young person’s experience is shaped by the environments they inhabit, so matching the environment to their physical, mental, and social needs at any point in time is critical to ensuring they can thrive, develop, and enjoy their time playing hockey.

Through accreditation and licensing, England Hockey will recognise club, school and county environments within the Talent System which provide high quality talent development environments. It will actively provide advice and guidance to players, parents and coaches on decisions aligned to training and competing within the most appropriate environments, to ensure that all aspects of a player’s development are considered.

However, England Hockey is not looking to instigate the movement of large numbers of players between clubs or stipulate the combination of club, school, and County Hockey for most junior players.

The RARE principles are intended to support players and parents to make good decisions about the most appropriate hockey environment(s) to attend. 

These principles will guide the direction of a player’s journey and will be the backdrop to the conversations that occur between all parties engaged in a player's programme. With the player at the centre, this should ensure they are receiving the appropriate provision at any given time.

The principles will also help guide decisions about the best environment for a player on a dayto-day basis when there are multiple options available e.g. club and school hockey matches.