Active School Week 2021 #ASW21

#ASW21 is fast approaching

Working Together
#ASW21 encourages schools and homes to work together to help more children and young people gain more active minutes every day

Active Schools Week website

National #ASW21 takes place 26-30 April, but if those dates don’t suit your school, you are free to choose a different week, later in the term.

IMPORTANT: All #ASW21 activities must comply with COVID-safety guidelines

Three Different Ways…
Active Every Day challenges schools to find three different ways to energise the school day, every day.

Parents/guardians are asked to encourage young people to find two other ways to be active, after school, for 7 days. Even better if the whole family joins in!

#ASW21 Challenges
As part of this challenge, schools are asked to send out #ASW21 Challenges. These physical activity challenges could be set by a member of staff, a sports organisation, a local/ national role model, or even by one of Ireland’s Tokyo 2021 Olympians.

Whatever the challenge, the main thing is, it’s FUN!

 

Hockey Skills Challenge
Challenge your students to get active and develop their sporting abilities with the Hockey Skills Challenge. Take on a skills circuit with an opportunity for everyone to earn a Certificate of Hockey Skill. This skills circuit is easy to run and easy to set up with resources available to support you every step of the way. The Hockey Skills Challenge is fun, rewarding and free!

We now also have great videos to help you and your players make the most of the challenge! Remember to show your skill on our social media channels by using the #HockeySkillsChallenge and tagging @IrishHockey.

You will need to set up a free account on our new e-learning zone to access the resources and videos. You can then find the challenge under the clubs / schools sections.

To access the resource and check out the video’s for each skill, click here. All the videos are saved on the Hockey Ireland YouTube channel

Or check out our Hooked on Fun (session plans for ages 6-9), Hooked on Games (session plans for ages 12+), small sided games cards (Fun 4’s, Super 6’s and Extreme 8’s) and our colouring book for a little break between all the active sessions. All of these are available through the schools area of our new e-learning zone. To access this zone click here

 

 

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Irish Women travel to Bisham Abbey to take on Great Britain in Uncapped Series.

The Irish Women’s squad will travel to Bisham Abbey, London, tomorrow as part of their preparation for Tokyo Olympic Games this summer. A twenty strong squad will travel on the 22nd of April, with four matches against Great Britain scheduled to take place between the 22nd of April and 2nd of May.

All of the games are being played behind closed doors and will not be streamed, both Hockey Ireland and Great Britain Hockey will share the results on social media at the end of each day. The matches will all be uncapped.

The squad travelling is as follows:

Carey Michelle Leinster                 Midfielder             Uncapped
Carroll Naomi Munster               Striker                     111
Colvin Lizzie Ulster                    Midfielder              196
Curran Ellen Leinster                Midfielder               24
Daly Nicola Leinster                Midfielder               189
Duke Deirdre Leinster                Midfielder               141
Evans Nicola Leinster                Striker                      198
Hawkshaw Sarah Leinster                Midfielder                33
Malseed Zara Ulster                    Striker                      Uncapped
Matthews Hannah Leinster                Defender                 147
McAuley Sarah Leinster                Defender                 Uncapped
McCay Shirley Ulster                    Defender                306
McLoughlin Hannah Leinster                Defender                 14
Mullan Katie Ulster                    Midfielder               193
Murphy Elizabeth Leinster                Goalkeeper             13
O’Flanagan Anna Leinster                Striker                      207
O’Flanagan Grace Leinster                Goalkeeper             36
Perdue Caoimhe Munster               Defender                 Uncapped
Torrans Sarah Leinster                Striker                      26
Upton Roisin Munster               Defender                 76
Watkins Chloe Leinster                Midfielder               226

 

Notable absences from the squad include Ayeisha McFerran who remains on duty with Dutch Hoofdklasse club SV Kampong. Both Megan Frazer and Elena Tice remain at home managing injuries, while Ellen Curran and Caoimhe Purdue are called up to the squad.

Speaking on the trip announcement, Performance Director Adam Grainger said, “We’re very happy to have been able to travel for these matches. Great Britain are obviously a very strong side so this will give the squad more opportunities to test themselves against challenging opposition ahead of an intense summer of international hockey.

It’s been a challenging process with so many moving parts; the changing restrictions and ensuring we are minimising the risk of COVID to our athletes and their families while also providing them with the best opportunity to perform at the Olympics this summer. The team have been excellent in dealing with the challenges the current situation has presented to their programme.”

Match dates and times:

  • Tuesday 27 April: Great Britain v Ireland, 10:00 BST
  • Wednesday 28 April: Great Britain v Ireland, 18:00 BST
  • Friday 30 April: Great Britain v Ireland, 14:00 BST
  • Sunday 2 May: Great Britain v Ireland, 13:00 BST

FUNDAMENTALS OF UMPIRING MODULE 1 Q&A SESSION 19TH MAY 2021

 

 

We are pleased to announce the next online Q&A session as part of the Fundamentals of Umpiring Module 1 will take place on Wednesday 19th May 2021 at 7.00pm. To take part in this online Q&A session you must have fully completed your Fundamentals of Umpiring Module 1 through our eLearning Hub https://hockeyirelandhub.ie/

To book onto this online Q&A session please email linda.monaghan@hockey.ie by Monday 17th May.

Anna O’Flanagan on the Challenges Along the Road to Tokyo.

Sitting on Anna O’Flanagan’s desk are a set of pens that have remained in the packet for almost six years now.

In just under a hundred days, she may finally get around to chucking them out, maybe even burn them. Bought in something of an emotional daze in Valencia, in 2015, the day after Rio qualification was denied by the width of a post, they sit there as a vivid reminder of shattered dreams.

“They will definitely go in the bin once I set foot on the pitch in Tokyo!” the Green Army’s all-time top goal-scorer says of that pen set.

“There’s a long way to go and I need to hopefully stay fit and well and play to the best of my ability over the next while to get on that pitch. Maybe I can burn them then!”

For many of her team-mates, the stationary is an odd keepsake but is something O’Flanagan uses to find something of an emotional catharsis in good times and bad.

“I have lots of notebooks and do get slagged over it!” she laughs. “I find it interesting to write about how I am feeling. You can have so many thoughts going around your head, worries or concerns, thinking about what might happen.

“When you write it down, your rational brain kicks in and the act of writing means you can rationalise it a bit better and wonder ‘why was I thinking about it like that?’ When you put pen to paper, it can look a bit ridiculous. It helps get a sense of reality!”

It is something which helped her through the tough lockdown times when she struggled for a sense of purpose. O’Flanagan has put her career on hold to, first, pursue and succeed in the run-up to 2018 World Cup silver, and then again for this Olympic push after a stint with Deloitte in the Netherlands.

But when Tokyo was put on hiatus, it had her questioning what next as the limbo of whether or not the Games would go ahead was played out.

“There was so much uncertainty for everyone in the world. For us, as athletes, we thrive off certainty and being planned. What gets me through training and those tough days is really visualising being at that next major tournament, being at the Olympics, competing and winning games.

“I went through a period when I just couldn’t see it, I couldn’t feel it. The world seemed so upside down that the thought of being able to travel to an Olympics seemed so far away.

“That was when I struggled the most. The last couple of months, there’s been such positive communication coming from Tokyo and also seeing other sports teams and events happen.

“Now, I can see it unfold. It will be weird and different for sure but being able to visualise it makes it seem more real, more tangible. We have to stay focused and assume it is happening, but I am not as anxious now that it will be binned at any second.

“That was so hard when we were training and trying to do your best, doing it with that in the back of your mind. I don’t have that worry anymore.”

The nature of the current world, though, means the road remains a bumpy one with plenty of twists and turns. The most recent example, last week’s proposed trip to Malaysia being called off at the last minute.

“Malaysia was a disappointment, but we are still able to train and play and this just gives us a perspective on how sport is cruel and your whole sporting career can change overnight. You have to treasure each day.”

A feature of the Green Army story, though, is how they roll with the punches and while other countries may be new to such slings and arrows of fortune, O’Flanagan says there will be few better outfits capable of coping.

“We know if there is any team that knows how to deal with adversity, it is us. If there is any team that has come together before and succeeded, it is us.

“We always say we are used to playing in front of no supporters. An empty stadium in Japan is no different to training in Abbotstown every week. Those little things add up.

“We saw from the GB win that what we are doing here has been going well and the year probably has stood to us as a group. If anything, we enjoy doing it when our backs are against the wall.”

 

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Irish Squad No Longer Travelling To Malaysia

The recently announced Irish Squad trip to Malaysia has been cancelled as of this morning. Over the past two weeks Hockey Ireland and their key stakeholders have been working tirelessly to provide the opportunity to travel to Malaysia for heat and humidity training and competition. Having constantly monitored the situation throughout this period, due to changing conditions in the past 24 hours, the difficult decision has been taken not to travel.

Speaking on the decision, Head Coach Sean Dancer said, “We informed the squad early this morning, and everyone is disappointed that we will not be able to make this opportunity happen.

“At this point in our build up to Europeans and the Olympics, the health and wellbeing of our staff and players is paramount. Weighing up the potential performance benefit of heat and humidity versus the uncertainties we live with at this time globally, particularly with travel and quarantine periods, has been incredibly difficult.

“I am confident we can control our build up well in Ireland to put the team in the best position to compete this summer.”

Keep Walking Keep Well club funding

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Ireland Women Squad travel to Malaysia for Match Opportunities in Tokyo-like Conditions

The Irish Women’s squad will travel to Malaysia tomorrow as part of their preparation for the conditions they will face in Tokyo this summer. A twenty strong squad will travel on the 9th of April and return on the 28th, basing themselves out of Malaysia National Hockey Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur while there.

Also travelling will be recent opponents Great Britain, similarly, hoping to use the trip as an opportunity to prepare for conditions expected at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Irish women are scheduled to play Great Britain at least four times throughout the period, while also taking on hosts Malaysia. These matches will all be uncapped.

The squad travelling is as follows:

CAREY, Michelle                                 Leinster                 Midfielder             Uncapped

CARROLL, Naomi                                Munster               Striker                     111

COLVIN, Elizabeth                              Ulster                    Midfielder             196

DALY, Nicola                                        Leinster                Midfielder             189

DUKE, Deirdre                                     Leinster                Midfielder             141

EVANS, Nicola                                     Leinster                Striker                     198

HAWKSHAW, Sarah                           Leinster                Midfielder             33

MALSEED, Zara                                   Ulster                    Striker                   Uncapped

MATTHEWS, Hannah                        Leinster                Defender               147

McAULEY, Sarah                                 Leinster                Defender               Uncapped

McCAY, Shirley                                    Ulster                    Defender                306

McLOUGHLIN, Hannah                     Leinster                Defender               14

MULLAN, Kathryn (C)                       Ulster                    Midfielder             193

MURPHY, Elizabeth                           Leinster                Goalkeeper          13

O’FLANAGAN, Anna                           Leinster                Striker                    207

O’FLANAGAN, Grace                          Leinster                Goalkeeper          36

TICE, Elena                                           Leinster                Defender                109

TORRANS, Sarah                                 Leinster                Striker                     26

UPTON, Roisin                                     Munster               Defender                 76

WATKINS, Chloe                                 Leinster                Midfielder              226

Notable absences from the squad include Ayeisha McFerran who remains on duty with Dutch Hoofdklasse club SV Kampong.

Speaking on the trip announcement, Performance Director Adam Grainger said, “This is a great opportunity for this squad ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer. We had hoped all along to be able organise a warm weather training camp or arrange for matches to take place in a climate similar to what the team will experience in Tokyo.

It’s been a challenging process with so many moving parts; the changing restrictions and ensuring we are minimising the risk of COVID to our athletes and their families while also providing them with the best opportunity to perform at the Olympics this summer.

With the work that has gone into the organisation of this trip, and with Great Britain also travelling to Malaysia during this time frame, we’re confident that we’re providing the squad with the best chance to play in those humid conditions as well as athlete safety being paramount.”

 

Match dates and times:

Remain TBC.

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Watkins Perspective on GB Win and Big Summer Ahead

Chloe Watkins says Ireland’s recent victory over reigning Olympic gold medalists Great Britain is both hugely important and unimportant at the same time as the Green Army mount up for a big summer ahead.

She played a starring role in central midfield as Ireland beat GB for the first time ever, landing a 2-1 success in an overall drawn three-game series, scoring the equalising goal in that tie.

But she is wary of getting too far ahead of herself with a European Championships in June – which doubles as a World Cup qualifier – and the Olympics following six weeks later.

“It was a big scalp for us so that was obviously a huge positive,” she said this week in her role as an FBD ambassador, one of Team Ireland’s (the Olympic Federation of Ireland) sponsors.

“But, at the same time, we are aware it was a friendly series and we are still a couple of months out.

“We are not looking to peak yet and there’s a lot of work and preparation to go. It was a good temperature check after a long period of training to say things are going in the right direction. It’s nice to see things gelling in matches which you have been working on in training. All in all, a positive experience for us.”

Indeed, after precious few international fixtures, it was a relief that things were on track. In a normal year, Ireland’s women could expect to play between 30 and 40 capped fixtures; Watkins has in excess of 200 caps.

As such, with just a January series against Spain under their belt in the past year, there was no idea of what to expect.

“I was apprehensive going into the GB series. I didn’t know where we would stand and often a March series is a tough one because you come off the back of a long training period and there is fatigue.

“You are not necessarily peaking for a tournament so sometimes it can go wrong. It was great to get good results, good performances most importantly and feeling like we controlled things in a way we hadn’t done before against them. We can take that confidence into the next few months.”

It was also the first time the Irish team were seen on the big screen since qualifying for Tokyo back in November 2019.

At the time, they were riding high on the crest of a wave with the 2018 World Cup silver medal also fresh in the mind.

The GB series was live-streamed on both RTE and BBC Northern Ireland with RTE2 carrying one of the games on a Sunday evening; helping to get the wheels back onto the bandwagon after a year training away mainly behind closed doors.

“Publicity is not too much at the front of our minds but we had a lot of momentum from the qualifiers coming into the Olympic run-in in 2020.

“Confidence, interest, excitement was high – all that stuff so getting some of that momentum and generating interest and excitement again in the team is always a good thing. Getting confidence up in the squad in good performances will always help.”

One element will be missing in Tokyo, however, this summer with confirmation no overseas fans can attend. It was such a strong feature of the 2018 World Cup when more than half of the 15,000 Lee Valley Stadium in London was bedecked in green.

“It is hard for them,” Watkins says as her family members have to scrap what plans they had in place.

“This was going to be a high point for them as well as us. From a squad’s perspective, we are happy to be able to go out there and compete. Obviously, [our fans] all wanted to be able to go out there but I have no doubt they will be loud and in full-green from head to toe, finding ways to celebrate at home.”

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COVID-19 Update March 31st

Hockey Ireland notes confirmation from ROI Government that underage hockey can return to non-contact training from April 26th, the first step on a phased return for hockey at all levels of the game.

The following changes have been made to the Hockey Ireland Covid-19 guidelines given the latest announcement on Covid-19 restrictions made by the Irish (ROI) Government:

  • From April 26th, socially distant non-contact training in pods of 15 (inclusive of the coach) is permitted at all players/teams under 18 in both clubs and schools.  The return of senior hockey training remains under review pending future Government announcements. The exemptions to this are Elite sports*.
  • Elite sports are permitted to continue behind closed doors. For Hockey this has been defined as the National Senior Men’s and Women’s Programmes. They are permitted to train and play behind closed doors.

*Please note: This category has been defined by the ‘Return to Sport Expert Group’ which has been established by the ROI government to provide guidance to Ireland’s sporting bodies to prepare for the phased return to sporting activity.

The following is to be noted in relation to Hockey in Northern Ireland:

From 1st April 2021 the regulations will change to permit 10 people from two households to undertake outdoor sporting activities as defined in the regulations. This allows sports such as golf and tennis to resume from this date in small groups of individuals from two households, however club houses and sport facilities including changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms must remain closed apart from essential toilet facilities.  Therefore, hockey training and competition at all levels (with the exemption of elite level training) will not be permitted.

The Executive also agreed an indicative date of 12th April 2021 for “Allowing for sports training to resume by sports clubs affiliated with recognised Governing Bodies, in small groups of up to 15 people but with all indoor spaces closed except for essential toilet facilities.”  These relaxations planned for April 12 will be subject to Executive ratification in the week after the Easter weekend.

Ulster Hockey awaits the publication of the regulations and will advise clubs of the requirements for a return to hockey – if permitted on the 12th of April – as soon as it is in a position to do so.

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Match Report. Ireland v Great Britain in Match 3 of SoftCo Series

16 March 2021

Ireland 1 (Upton), Great Britain 1 (Petters).

The third and final match of the SoftCo Series took place this afternoon in Queen’s University Belfast, seeing an even performance from both GB and Ireland. Both teams having a large number of close opportunities in the circle throughout the match.

GB’s Owlsey got the game off to a fast start, passing to Rayer in the Irish circle, but Ireland defended well and created an opportunity shortly. O’Flanagan had the first real opportunity for Ireland, with Hinch’s save rebounding just out of Zara Malseed’s reach. Both sides brought plenty of energy to the game, seemingly relevantly evenly matched in the opening quarter. Some nice skill from Michelle Carey brought the ball right up the pitch create chance for O’Flanagan, however Hinch prevented her from putting Ireland on the score board.

There was some strong play seen in the backline from Tice and McCay pushing the ball up the pitch, with McFerran quickly clearing it away some of the GB opportunities that got through the Ireland defence. Strong running by Malseed saw Ireland awarded the first penalty corner of the game but Tice’s deflection was defended by GB. A challenge on the Irish circle saw Upton coming through with strong interception, running it up to Carroll winning a penalty corner by pulling it into a GB foot. Tice took the shot again, this time resulting in another penalty corner being awarded, with the following penalty corner also being kept out.

Owsley’s challenge on the Irish circle provided a penalty corner opportunity for GB, with Pearne-Webb’s shot finding Mullan’s foot and awarding a second penalty corner opportunity. A similar play saw the ball kept out and the first quarter ended 0 – 0.

An intense second quarter saw both teams challenging each other but neither being able to finish off the plays. Megan Frazer gave some strong passes down the line towards the forwards. Matthews managed to pass the ball to the top of the circle, allowing Daly to take it on the reverse, however it was a strong save from Hinch again. GB countered this with a fast-paced play, entering the Irish circle but McFerran slid under the ball and cleared it, while Frazer soared over her unable to slow her pace in her commitment to defend the goal. Ireland used the backline a lot opening up the game, but GB continued to try forcing them out left for most of the play. A McCay pass gave Watkins a long shot up the middle of the pitch towards a quite GB circle, however it was just out of reach of Naomi Carroll before going out of play. McCallin followed up with challenged on McFerran who calmly booted the ball out via the wing. Michelle Carey received the first green card of the game with some fumble tackles with 90 seconds left of the clock. Both teams continued to challenge each other throughout, with good approach play, however, strong defence denied the final touches for both sides. The half-time buzzer went, and the sides remained nil all.

GB got the second half underway with an aerial seeing the first free hit go to Ireland. After a bit of pressure on the Irish defence with GB pressing into the circle, Daly managed to enter the GB circle. Despite finding GB defence, it supplied Watkins with another opportunity on goal, but the ball just slipped past the post.

Frazer continued showing a strong front, reading the game well taking a bit of pressure off the defence as GB managed to take a couple of chances at getting into the circle. Torrans slipped the ball up to the GB circle where GB take back possession. An interception by Watkins sees a free to Ireland taken quickly by Daly who wins a penalty corner for Ireland. The ball is played into Tice tipping off a GB player awarding Ireland another penalty corner. Yet another penalty corner is awarded, with the final one deflected out wide and moves back down the pitch.

GB respond by pushing the ball back down the pitch, giving them control for a spell, with a few attempts at entering the circle but a strong defence saw Tice clearing the ball up towards Mullan in the GB circle, who dives to it but slides under the ball missing it slightly as it goes wide of the goal.

Ireland were awarded another penalty corner, with Upton with the drag flick, which is saved by Hinch bring it into one of her own players awarding Ireland another penalty corner. Upton again, this time Hinch controls it pushing it wide. GB putting the pressure back on McFerran again but McFerran swiping under and clearing the ball. Tice also showing a strong front not allowing GB in again pushing it out the wings. The last 30 sec see Ireland defending their goal with some nice passing between Tice and McCay.

After an intense penultimate quarter, both sides come back to the pitch fighting for a goal. The first penalty corner of the final quarter goes to Ireland. Daly interjecting, to Upton and Watkins at top shooting but the ball is saved again by Hinch. Frazer received a green card, but O’Flanagan finishing off the play by winning a PC. The shot comes in for McCay but is deflected wide.

While Ireland is down to ten players, GB’s Ansley continues to put the pressure on. Upton remains solid in defence, pushing GB away from the goal putting the ball up to Mullan, seeing Daly securing another penalty corner. The ball is fumbled at the top but taken under control, out to Upton, before another penalty corner is secured. The ball is stopped on the line under the body of Hinch after a scramble at the mouth of the goal looking like one of the Carey’s had gotten it across. A penalty stroke is awarded to Ireland and Upton steps up to secure the lead for Ireland, putting her third shot past Hinch in three games.

GB seemed to bring a renewed energy to the final few minutes to gain an equaliser. Robertson received a green card in the last five minutes putting GB down to ten players. Despite being a player down, Townsend presses on the circle, McCay takes back possession for Ireland in the home circle before being intercepted by Petters who steps up on the reverse stick beating McFerran, putting it into the corner giving GB the equalizer.

A yellow card for Watkins saw GB putting immense pressure on Ireland in the last few minutes. GB stretched the pitch rolling the ball around the back attempting one or two shots but remained denied another goal. Upton showing strong, keeping calm and controlling the ball denying GB any entry to the circle. A chance for Costello is shot across the circle and goes out wide. GB forced the ball into the circle in the last few seconds, but Ireland defends well seeing the game finish Ireland 1 – 1 GB.

Speaking after the match, Roisin Upton said “Immediate response is disappointment to the third game, the opportunity was there to win it by a couple. But in general, it’s been a fantastic four days, and we’ll take a lot of confidence into whatever comes next.

We’ve been training hard over the last eight months after we came out of lockdown in September, so it’s been great to have these games to get tested against the best. They’re the reigning Olympic Champions and we’ve got three fantastic games in the bag now that we can reflect on and look back on. There’ll be a lot of take away, it’s been a good four days.”

Ireland:  A McFerran, Z Malseed, R Upton, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, N Carroll, C Watkins, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan, S McAuley; M Carey, M Frazer, G O’Flanagan, N Daly, H Matthews, S Torrans, N Carey, D Duke.

Great Britain: S Robertson, I Petter, L Owsley, F Crackles, G Ansley, J Hunter, S Evans, E Rayer, S Townsend, S McCallin, L Unsworth, L Wilkinson, G Balsdon, H Pearne-Webb, A Costello, M Hinch, S Heesh, E Burge.