In June this year I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to explore the hockey environments in England, Belgium and the Netherlands. I was able to meet and spend some quality time with some senior figures within our global sport that are seriously talented in their respective roles.
From a high-level perspective, Belgium Hockey gave me a great insight into their commercial, high performance objectives and participation strategies, the Dutch are exceptional at event management and inclusiveness, while England hockey are streets ahead of anyone else in all areas including, commercial, high performance & participation.
Another key observation that shone through was that every one of these countries played a significant and direct role in grassroots hockey at club level, which may well be the reason they have very strong participation numbers, England even doubling theirs since 2012.
Some key finding and recommendations we will be addressing in the coming months ahead:
• Develop initiatives/structures to build greater capacity within the clubs, we need a healthier state-wide club system. Hockey Tasmania will take the lead and support greater alignment to grassroots hockey, particularly through the clubs, we have to continue to find ways to engage and support at a deeper level;
• Explore the option of Junior academies that are delivered in each region of our state, aligned to club’s development strategies. I would like our sport to take a holistic approach in the development of athletes, coaches and officials (England have a highly successful model, that is predominantly run by volunteers and directly aligned to clubs). The exploration phase has commenced through the newly formed participation working group;
• Volunteers – develop better support framework/ structure;
• Women in sport new initiatives –aligned to the 2030 strategic plan;
• Commercially do not undersell our sport, build strong business cases for major events.
All of the above fit within our current strategic plan and touch on participation, development and pathways, promotion and communication, governance and financial capability and volunteers.
I look forward in the coming months ahead to working with you all on these new initiatives/strategies and to continue to support and create a position where our sport is the leader and the sport of choice in Tasmania!
Chief Executive Officer