Sarah Jones Backs Hockey Wales Bid To Get More Young Players Into The Sport

Wales and GB international Sarah Jones at the interactive schools session. Pic; Hockey Wales

Sarah Jones Backs Hockey Wales Bid To Get More Young Players Into The Sport

By Josh Knapman

Wales’ Olympic medalist Sarah Jones says she will carry the backing of a nation when she represents Great Britain at the Paris Olympics this summer.

Jones emphasised the link between the elite end of the sport and the support she was given at grass roots level when she helped launch an initiative to grow the game, held by Hockey Wales.

The bronze medal winner with GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics helped deliver an interactive session to around 100 schoolchildren in Cardiff.

It comes off the back of a rebrand for Hockey Wales, which has also developed a new initiative to help introduce young people into the sport.

Following the recent news that sports across Wales could see a possible funding cut of almost £5m, Hockey Wales has developed new “game mode” that are designed to be an accessible way in.

“As a Welsh athlete, being part of a squad that has gained qualification for Great Britain to be at the Paris Olympics 2024 is an honour and a testament to the unwavering support I’ve received from Wales,” said Jones.

“To work together to reach aspiring young athletes who may have never had the chance to know if they love hockey or not.

“I hope these new game modes can inspire those in schools to join a local club and play the fantastic sport that is growing every day.”

A recent Sports Wales survey revealed that, out of 116,000 participations, nearly 17,000 pupils expressed a keen desire to play hockey.

In response to this demand, Hockey Wales have set out important plans to reach out to these young people and give them the opportunity to play.

A key part of the plan involves the introduction of new game modes across Wales, designed to simplify the game format and make hockey accessible to every child in Wales to engage with hockey anywhere and at any time, particularly schools who do not have access to hockey facilities.

Hockey Wales CEO Paul Whapham, said: “We’re really excited to carry out the plans that we have going forward where we’re ensuring that young people in Wales have every opportunity to pick up a hockey stick and play.

“The new game modes being developed will be such an important part of giving those without the facilities access to the game which we hope will inspire more to join local clubs in the future.”

The new strategy will aim to engage and inspire a younger generation across Wales. It sees the introduction of a new logo that portrays the traditional Welsh dragon in a modern and bold way that aims to motivate a new and younger audience.

The new brand and strategy follow a successful year for Hockey Wales.

The men’s team reached the Hockey World Cup in India for the first time at the, the women’s senior team claimed bronze at the European Championship and Cardiff and Met Men won promotion to Premier League, the first Welsh team to do so.

Four Welsh players have also been selected to represent the GB team and are in line for selection at the Olympics in Paris next year.


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