Eighteen months on from the London 2012 Olympic games where over 630,000 spectators experienced International Hockey first hand, and just down the road from Olympic Park and the soon to open legacy Hockey venue at Eton Manor, everything is being done to ensure that youngsters in Waltham Forest are given the opportunity to play Hockey.
This is emphasised by the borough’s Mini Games competition where this year’s event, which takes place tomorrow, will have over 330 children from 29 different primary schools are coming together to try hockey, hundreds of them for the first time.
What makes the competition, now in its eighth year, so popular is way the day is structured, with 3 hours of coaching in the morning before the competition starts so that schools that haven’t been able to offer Hockey as part of their PE curriculum can still compete.
As a result, in both 2010 and 2011 two teams where the entire team had never played Hockey before actually won the tournament and went on to represent the borough at the London Youth Games.
This year’s event is the largest held by the borough with 42 teams competing this year versus 23 back in 2013 and will continue the work by local clubs, Waltham Forest Hockey Club and Crostyx in encouraging children across Waltham Forest and neighbouring boroughs to try Hockey.
The event’s organiser, Hockey coach Matt Lovell said:“It’s great to have so many teams involved, particularly with fifteen schools competing for the first time.
"For me seeing this level of interest in a sport like Hockey is the legacy we were hoping for post Olympics and it’s fantastic that we’re getting the opportunity to let so many kids try Hockey.
"Hopefully we’ll find some future stars of the game along the way."
The competition will be taking place from 9am until 2.30pm at Peter May Sports Centre (Wadham Road, E17 4HR) and is being run by Waltham Forest Hockey Club.