A number of sports across the United Kingdom have seen player numbers decrease such as cricket, football…are all that have seen the number of teenage players watching in pastime and competing for a drop-in in recent years. However, field hockey is continuing to grow due to many reasons such as having top competitions in the Olympics which created interest to watch as well as play.
In 2011-12, field hockey hit its highest point in adult participation in the sport with 168,000 people took part in the game at least once a week, ever since, the figure continue to declined then increases back and forth several times.
In 2016, England’s female field hockey team won the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and over 142,000 people were reported to play the sport on a weekly basis by the year’s end.
The number of children playing field hockey is increasing although it may not be quite as promising as adults. In 2017-18, a share of 9.8% of children aged 11 to 15 participated in field hockey over a four-week period compared to 17.7% of children aged 11 to 15 who played in 2011-12.
Increase in hockey club size
In 2017, England Hockey stated the size of the average field hockey club in England had grown 54% with the increasing number of under-16s playing field hockey. As many sports in the UK is facing the defection of teenagers, field hockey will too be affected at some point. That’s why the England Hockey has been actively in training and building the next generation of hockey players. In 2018, the Women’s Hockey World Cup took place in England where Hockey England ran workshops and “trained over 100 coaches” to deliver quality training sessions to players.
Hockey England also offered other ways to participate in field hockey, including walking hockey, which was inspired by walking football.