As most of us know, having had to play this sport at school, field hockey can be both fun and a little scary. Here in the UK, hockey is one of the most popular sports played; and so it should be. Not only is it a great workout, but smacking that ball with a stick can be a fantastic stress reliever. And our GB women’s team are the current Olympic champs!
I’ve never been keen. Why should I try it?
With the memories of hockey at school sitting firmly in your mind, it’s no wonder some can be sceptical at first. Once you pick up a stick and start running around the pitch, you’ll realise that it’s a great way to make friends while scratching that competitive itch of yours.
Is it expensive?
There are lots of clubs dedicated to hockey across the country, and they’ll usually be more than happy to provide decent kit and training without taking all your money. Schemes such as Play Hockey make it super easy to find a club near you.
Who can play?
Anyone. Male, female, and those of all ages and abilities are catered for with this sport. England Hockey has created a programme called ‘Flyerz Hockey’ for players that are visually impaired, deaf, have learning disabilities, ADHD, Autism or for those in wheelchairs. It’s literally accessible to anyone keen to take part.
“It’s a great way to make friends while scratching that competitive itch of yours.”
What are the benefits?
Not only is it a great cardio workout, hockey also helps to improve your hand-eye coordination, balance and agility; all that stop-starting and ball-chasing really works. You’ll also see improvements in your speed, teamwork ability and muscular strength – the benefits are plenty!
Anything else I should know?
If you take a liking to field hockey, SportsCoachUK offers plenty of opportunities to become a coach, teaching others the skills of the sport. There are also other schemes such as Back to Hockey, for those of all ages who have either never played, or have forgotten the basics.
- Field hockey is played in over 100 countries across 5 continents, by over 3 million people
- Players can travel more than 5 miles during the course of a field hockey match
- The original name for the game was ‘Shinty’
- Alongside football and cricket, field hockey is the 3rd most watched sport of the world
- Mens field hockey has the fastest swing speed out of any sport, recorded at 103mph
- The first Olympic tournament was played in 1908, and became permanent in 1928