Inclusion in sport was at the heart of a recent coaching initiative for children with learning difficulties undertaken by Northern Ireland Civil Service Hockey Club.
The club delivered its free six-week coaching programme at Stormont which proved to be a huge hit with participants aged 11 to 15.
It was the first time NICS Hockey Club has delivered the programme, and it is to become an annual event.
The objective of the programme – made possible with the support of Ulster Hockey and Playball – was to promote fitness, team work and communication in addition to building self-confidence.
Participants developed individual hockey skills, made friends and had a lot of fun.
The club is delighted to have received positive feedback from parents of participants and hope to increase participant numbers in the future. Next year it hopes to make the coaching programme more accessible by extending the age range.
Anyone wishing to receive information and updates about this programme can register interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The club thanked Alan Crooks from the Irish Football Association who provided invaluable advice in respect of coaching disability sports and sponsors Fujitsu.
The programme is just one initiative being undertaken by NICS Hockey Club to increase participation in hockey, engage with the community and make the sport accessible for everyone.
Earlier this year the club delivered ‘Tricks for Sticks’ coaching sessions in Brooklands Primary School funded by Hockey Ireland and the Irish Sports Council’s Women in Sport Programme.