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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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Hockey Ireland Launch 2021-2024 Strategic Plan

Ambitious goals… Building on success… Supporting the clubs… These are some of the key themes underpinning the development of our new Strategic Plan.  Hockey Ireland are very happy to launch their strategic plan for the 2021 – 2024 period, a roadmap that will drive the sport of Hockey in Ireland forward.

The plan details five strategic goals:

  • Secure the future
  • Grow the Hockey Community
  • Win on the World Stage
  • Lead Our Sport
  • Engage Positively with our Stakeholders

With the success achieved by our national teams in recent years, we have seen a clear uptake and increased interest in the sport and the clubs are reporting a continued growth in membership.

Speaking on the Plan, CEO Jerome Pels, said “I am very happy to see this strategy launched. This strategy encompasses all areas of our sport from grassroots to high performance. We have seen the popularity and profile of our sport grow throughout the past numbers of years; with the Men qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games, and the Women winning a World Cup silver medal as well as qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in front of a record breaking crowd.

This strategy will be a key document for the organisation as we continue the growth of Hockey across the island of Ireland. Hockey is going through unprecedented growth at grassroots levels and our ambition is to provide leadership in education and member services to drive growth in coaching, umpiring, infrastructure, clubs, and participation. In turn, this will allow us to develop higher standards of play at all levels, increasing chances of success at international level which again will inspire more people to take up the sport and increase the talent pool.

This document will ensure we lead and govern our sport as effectively as possible. The strategic goals outlined for the organisation complement each other throughout; success in one area enables us to achieve a greater amount across all our goals. This is an exciting time for our sport, this strategy is ambitious, focused and structured in order to reach the goals we have identified.”

You can read the full strategy here:

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Ireland to take on Great Britain in SoftCo Series

Green Army to take on Great Britain in SoftCo Series

2 March 2021

Hockey Ireland is excited to announce the SoftCo Series which will take place in Queen’s University Belfast, with the Irish Women taking on Great Britain on Saturday the 13th, Sunday the 14th and Tuesday the 16th of March. The uncapped series matches against Great Britain are the first international matches for the team on home soil since the Olympic Qualifier in December 2019.

Hockey Ireland are delighted to announce that all the matches will be available to view via streaming or broadcast. BBC Sport NI will be streaming all three matches on their website as well as the BBC iPlayer, while RTÉ will broadcast Sunday evening’s match live on RTÉ 2 with coverage starting from 16:30. Nigel Ringland will present BBC Sport NI’s coverage of the three matches and will be joined on commentary by former Ireland international Alex Speers; while Evanne Ní Chuillin will present RTÉ’s coverage, joined by Cliodhna Sargent and Gillian Pinder in studio, with match commentary from George Hamilton and Sarah Scott.

The announcement comes today on the 125th anniversary of the first ever women’s international field hockey match. A year after the establishment of the Irish Ladies Hockey Association, the match took place on the 2nd of March 1896 at Alexandra College, with the Irish Women recording a 2 – 0 victory over England, with goals from Johnson and Merton sealing the win.

The matches will provide the Green Army with the opportunity to play high quality international matches ahead of an intense international summer. With the EuroHockey Championships now an integral aspect of the World Cup qualification process, the 2018 silver medallists will be keen to ensure they maximise every opportunity to allow them to perform this summer in Amstelveen not only as a warmup for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games but also to secure their spot in the 2022 World Cup.

Speaking on the announcement, Captain Katie Mullan said: “Given the past 12 months we are really excited to play these international matches at home. The squad has been training hard throughout which showed in our recent matches against Spain. They are a strong team and we recorded two wins and two draws out of the five friendlies, putting us in a confident position going into our next block of training.

These matches against GB will be great preparation for the EuroHockey Championships this summer ahead of travelling to Tokyo. As current Olympic gold medallists GB are an experienced and strong team, so this is a really good opportunity for us to put all the training into practice ahead of this summer.”

Match dates, times and where to watch:
Match 1: Saturday March 13th @ 2pm. BBC Sport NI website, BBC iPlayer. RTE Player TBC.
Match 2: Sunday March 14th @ 5pm. BBC Sport NI website, BBC iPlayer, RTE 2
Match 3: Tuesday March 16th @ 3pm. BBC Sport NI website, BBC iPlayer. RTE Player TBC.

First International Women’s Hockey Match:

The match took place on the 2nd of March 1896 at Alexandra College, with the Irish Women recording a 2 – 0 victory over England, with goals from Johnson and Merton sealing the win.
Picture below is the team who recorded this historic match and victory.

L Martin, Alex College; GK Capt E. Sealey, Dundrum; I Shaw, Donnybrook; A. Boyd, Merton; E. Obre, Merton; J. Boyd, Merton; F. Henshaw, Alex College; D. Johnson, Alex College (1); M. Obre, Merton (1); F. Martin, Alex College; A. Bell, Donnybrook.

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Fundamentals of Umpiring Module 1 Q&A session 10th March 2021

We are pleased to announce the first online Q&A session as part of the Fundamentals of Umpiring Module 1 will take place on Wednesday 10th March 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 8th March.

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Saba Continue Support for Irish Women’s Hockey Team

The Saba Restaurant Group has announced renewal of their official partnership with Hockey Ireland.

Award winning Saba Restaurants and Saba To Go have announced that they will continue their Official Partnership with the Irish Women’s Hockey Team.

Saba will continue to fuel the teams training sessions and games as they prepare for the Tokyo Olympics 2021. For the last two years, the Saba team has worked closely with the team nutritionist and management to provide meals and nutrition for the players. At this level every detail matters.

Saba’s owner Paul Cadden has said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Hockey Ireland at this exciting time. We have got to know this inspiring group really well and we are thrilled to be part of their journey fueling the Green Army towards the Tokyo Olympics 2021.”

Hockey Ireland’s CEO Jerome Pels has said: “It is fantastic to have the continued support of Saba Restaurants and Saba To Go as an Official Partner. The Saba team have worked with our team Nutritionist to ensure that the meals provided to the team are ideal for their training and recovery as they prepare for a very demanding summer of international hockey in 2021. With the European Championships and the Olympics to prepare for, we are delighted to continue this partnership knowing that high quality nutritious meals are being provided to help the team prepare.”

SoftCo, Park Developments & Saba Restaurants Host International Women’s Day Lunch To Celebrate The Irish Senior Women’s Hockey Team 6/3/2020. Pictured is Chloe Watkins, Katie Mullan and Deirdre Duke
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Rest In Peace Vivienne Clarke

It is with great regret that we announce the passing of our dear friend and colleague Vivienne Clarke. An extraordinary individual, Viv has been a central figure within Hockey Ireland for more than a decade and we will always remember her fondly. Her strength, optimism, hard work and brilliant sense of humour were a privilege to share over the years.

A beacon of knowledge and a delightful presence within the Hockey community, Viv’s passing is a great loss to the sport as a whole. We know she will be deeply missed by everyone within the hockey community.  

Our hearts go out to Viv’s family and friends at this difficult time. May she rest in peace.  

Pictured above, Vivienne Clarke far right of image in attendance at Áras an Uachtaráin for International Women’s Day with President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina with other members of Hockey Ireland staff.
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Interpro Competitions Cancelled

Following a meeting of the Inter-Pro working group with representatives from the Provinces, Competitions and High Performance on the 9th of February, Hockey Ireland has declared this year’s U16 & U18 inter-provincial competitions as cancelled due to the on-going restrictions related to COVID-19.

Hockey Ireland High Performance will continue to lead out on the junior age player development programmes at both National and Provincial level to ensure the provincial players remain on a development pathway – where possible scheduling challenge games between the provinces and subject to Government restrictions in late spring / early summer.

Hockey Ireland is in regular communication with Government authorities and international hockey bodies and is monitoring Government advice and restrictions on an ongoing basis.

The Inter-Provincial programmes will return in the 2021-22 season in a revised year-round competition format for the various junior age groups.

Hockey Ireland would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time and appreciates the efforts many of the players who are training while at home.

Please keep safe. For further information on Covid-19: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

If you have any further queries, please email info@hockey.ie

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President’s Newsletter February 2021

It is just over two months since the postponed 2020 Hockey Ireland Annual General Meeting which took place on 26th November 2020 and  I officially took over the honour of being President of Hockey Ireland. This was the first time in the history of Hockey Ireland that an AGM was held as a teleconference and it had a record number of over ninety voting and non-voting online attendees. New Board Directors, Aisling Keogh, Rosita Wolfe, Iain Kelly, Billy Pollock and Edward Simpson were appointed and welcomed and the retiring Directors, Imelda Brennan, Fiona Hanaphy, Frank Byrne, Peter Conway and Stuart MacDonald were thanked for their hard work and service over the years. Pamela Bastable was also welcomed as the new Secretary to the Board.

At this meeting two new Honorary Life Members of Hockey Ireland were announced and we congratulate Joan Morgan and Arlene Boyles for this accolade in acknowledgement of their exceptional, long-service and outstanding contributions to Hockey Ireland, especially at national level.

Our thanks go to Martin Canniffe for his dedication, service and enthusiasm in his 4 and a half years in office – 2 as Vice-President and 2 and a half years as President. Surely he will go down on record as being the longest serving Hockey Ireland President? Personally I have appreciated the help and advice he has given me and I have thoroughly enjoyed supporting him as Vice President. Martin was the Irish Hockey Association/Hockey Ireland’s 10th President since 2000, following Joan McCloy, John Smyth, Grace Redmond, Dixon Rose, Doreen Howe, the late Herbie Sharman, Daphne Hall, Richard Kendrick and Ivy Dennis. To follow on from Martin and these hockey legends is daunting but is a huge privilege. I look forward to my role and to John Dennis’s expertise and support as Vice President.

As we all are fully aware there has been no competitive hockey in all the provinces for several months with the gloomy prospect of games not returning in the immediate future. At the time of writing this, the EY Hockey Leagues have been abandoned for this season, as have all Ireland Schools’ competitions. Hockey Ireland and the provinces will keep monitoring the situation and subject to government guidelines in the ROI and NI, may be able to offer some form of competitions, to give players the opportunity to play at a later date. It is encouraging to read on social media how clubs are keeping up fitness programmes for individuals with step and charity drives.

Our best wishes go to the Women’s and Men’s squads which are able to keep up their training schedules at elite level. The Women are back from their five match build up in Spain and the organisers of the Olympic Games are hopeful that the Games will go ahead in July. We are all behind the team, coaches and support staff in their preparations for Tokyo.

Sadly, I end this newsletter with the news of the death of John McDonough on 27th January 2021. John was a widely respected and great supporter of hockey in Ireland and was a former Director of Hockey Ireland. Our thoughts are with his wife Margaret, son Andrew, daughter Jenny and their families at this time.

I hope that I shall be able to record some hockey action in my next newsletter. We are all hoping that life and hockey will be able to return to normal, soon. Many families have been affected in some way by this dreadful pandemic and our thoughts are with you all.

Stay safe.

Ann Rosa

President, Hockey Ireland

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Safeguarding 2 Club Children’s Officer Course

Date: Monday 01/03/2021

Time: 6.30pm to 9.30pm

Venue: Zoom Online

Cost: €20

Recommendations from Sport Ireland are that every club involved with children and young people should appoint a Club Children’s Officer. This person should be child centred in focus and should have as their primary aim the establishment of a child centered ethos within the club. They are the link between the children and the adults in the club and also take responsibility for monitoring and reporting to the Club Management Committee on how club policy etc. impacts on children and their Sports Leaders.

The Club Children’s Officer should have the following functions:

  • To promote awareness of the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Ireland within the club and particularly among the children and their parents/guardians. This could be achieved by the production of information leaflets, the establishment of children’s/age-group specific notice boards and by regular information meetings for the children and their parents/guardians.
  • To influence policy and practice within the club in order to prioritise children’s needs.
  • To provide an accessible resource to children through the creation of forums.

It is essential that those who wish to attend the Safeguarding 2 Club Children’s Officer (CCO) Training have attended the Safeguarding 1 Awareness/Child Protection Training workshop.

It is recommended to have at least one Club Children’s Officer per club or if there is a large number of both boys and girls in the club, to have two Club Children’s Officers – one male and one female.

Cost:The cost for this course is €20 per person.

How to book: Please email nationalchildrensofficer@hockey..

*A laptop/ipad/smart phone along with a good internet connection is required for this course. 

As demand for places is high, please make every effort to give enough notice of cancellation. Please note that there are no refunds if you fail to attend on the night. 

 

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Hockey Ireland Statement on EYHL and Schools Competitions

Hockey Ireland EYHL & Schools Competitions Update 5th Feb 2021

Following a meeting of the Board on the 3rd of February, Hockey Ireland has declared this year’s EY Hockey Leagues abandoned, due to the on-going restrictions related to COVID-19.

Hockey Ireland Chair Eric Brady stated: “unfortunately this has become an inevitable decision as COVID-19 continues to impact on all of our lives. We know that this is very disappointing for all clubs and players, but we simply no longer have the time to complete this year’s leagues.  However, we are continuing to look at other avenues that may provide players and clubs with competitive hockey at some stage, should this become possible.”

Hockey Ireland and the four provinces will work with clubs to look at alternative competition formats which may provide players with an opportunity to play hockey later in the year, subject to Government restrictions.

Hockey Ireland is in regular communication with Government authorities and international hockey bodies and is monitoring Government advice and restrictions on an ongoing basis.

CEO of Hockey Ireland Jerome Pels said: “We are committed to bringing hockey back to our clubs and players and will be creative and flexible to provide some form of alternative competition should we be cleared to do so by the relevant authorities. Hopefully, hockey activity can resume at some point this season and players may return to the pitch as soon as we exit higher level restrictions”.

The EY Hockey Leagues will return next season in September 2021 inclusive of all teams as for season 2020/21.

In addition to the abandonment of the EY Hockey Leagues for the 2020/21 season, the following schools’ competitions have also been cancelled for 2020/21:

·         Kate Russell
·         John Waring
·         June Smith

·         All-Ireland Schoolboys

Hockey Ireland would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time and appreciates the efforts many of you are going to in order to continue training while at home.

Please keep safe. For further information on Covid-19: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If you have any further queries, please email info@hockey.ie

 

Statement re EYHL and Schools Competitions Feb21