June Smith Schoolgirls Championship:
The June Smith Schoolgirls Championship was first played in 2019 with the competition inaugurated for Under-14 girls schools teams. Mount Anville Secondary School, Leinster were the first winners and current holders, as the tournament was not played in 2020 or 2021.
The competition is named in honour of June Smith who is from Galway and one of the first female umpires to be awarded her FIH Crown. She was a driving force along with her husband Mike in Galway Hockey Club and they are responsible for where the club is today. Between them, June and Mike ran the Galway Hockey Club Mixed Festival Annual Tournament for over 25 years, bringing up to 36 teams from all over Ireland and the British Isles. She set up the Connacht Umpires Association and was an active member, along with Mike, in facilitating many rules nights and coaching existing and upcoming umpires.
June taught at Salerno Secondary School for over 40 years where she was head coach of the hockey teams. Salerno hockey is still going strong today, as was seen recently at the 2022 Kate Russell All Ireland Tournament. June is very deserving Honorary Life Member of the Connacht Branch and of Hockey Ireland. The Connacht Branch describe June as “hockey royalty”.
The June Smith Championship is played on an annual basis and consists of the following five teams:
- Winner from each provincial schools minor cup
- There will be a squad of 20 players for each team
- Connacht team – players must be U15
- Leinster, Ulster, Muster teams – players must be U15 with up to 4 U15 players permitted
– 4 points for a win
– 2 points for a draw
– 1 point for a no score draw
Games are 30 minutes long (15 minutes a half, no half time)