Once again Northern Ireland’s television and radio sports departments have snubbed hockey.
Not one station or channel mentioned hockey’s Kirk Cup ‘Super Sunday’ and the lack of television coverage was obvious by its absence.
So, why is hockey not on their radar, as every other sport seems to be? On Monday morning’s sports report, on a certain radio station, apart from the sports that always get a mention; archery, cycling, rowing and everything else but hockey was mentioned.
I found myself shouting at the radio as I drove to work, nothing new in that, “Where’s the hockey coverage!”
Yes I am passionate about the game and I will criticise hockey’s hierarchy when it is needed. As they well know.
But here are some facts:
1. Hockey is the second largest team sport in the world played in over 100 countries.
2. At the 2012 London Olympic Games, hockey was the third most spectated sport.
3. Over 5 million people play hockey world-wide.
4. Hockey has the fastest swing speed out of any sport, even golf or baseball, at 103mph.
5. It is one of the oldest team sports in the world dating back 4,000 years.
Ulster has approximately 15,000 players, 63 clubs, and 300 primary schools all playing hockey. But, yet there still seems to be this attitude to overlook hockey.
In Europe, hockey’s European Hockey League receives massive media coverage from TV and radio. What has hockey to do to raise its profile here in Northern Ireland?
Yes it is an amateur sport, run and organised by dedicated people. But in today’s world of equality, hockey is not getting its fair share of coverage by certain parts of the media.
I certainly don’t expect it to be on every sport bulletin, carrying every hockey result. But when there are weekends such as the Kirk Cup ‘Super Sunday’, with approximately 500 spectators, surely it deserves a mention - fairs fair after all!