I’ve been an avid hockey hater since school. I wasn’t bad at it or anything, I just didn’t want to play and I’ve carried that dislike around with me ever since.
I do however have several friends who love hockey, so I thought it would be good to see why this game has such a following. I’ve therefore roped in BBC sports reporter, English teacher, freelance writer and editor of Scoop Hockey magazine Ffion Davies to tell us why she is so passionate about the game, with the hope of inspiring some of you to get involved.
I really want to encourage as many of you as possible to try something new. Everyone is different and I’m a believer that finding a sport or activity that YOU enjoy is the best way to keep you active, happy and healthy.
So, Ffion, why do you love hockey?
That is a huge question. I think it’s because I like what the sport offers. There’s technical, physical and mental skill that’s always being put to the test in hockey. The sport itself helps you build strength in so many ways. Also, it’s fast paced and always entertaining!
However, what hockey offers that no other sport does is that sense of inclusion and acceptance. There is such a general ‘welcoming’ feeling within the hockey community. If you play in tournaments or meet people at events that share the same passion as you they’re always incredibly forthcoming – it’s a very inspiring community to be a part of.
Outside the sport itself what does the sport offer?
I’ve touched upon it already I think, but that feeling of being a ‘part’ of something. Due to the fact you like the same sport you usually share the same types of qualities as these hockey players too. Some of my best friends are girls I’ve played hockey with and the socials we’ve had have been unreal. Everyone knows that hockey players are probably the most social out there, and that is a big attraction to me as we do things as a group of friends outside of hockey as well as just train and play.
Why do you think people should give hockey a go?
It’ll be the best things you’ve ever done! Haha, but all joking aside; it’s a well-recognised, fast-paced, entertaining and fun game to play. You really do develop as a person and being part of a club gives you that sense of belonging that you can’t get anywhere else.
I understand other sport offers some form of bonding too, because I’ve played many different sports over the years. However, nothing comes close to hockey.
How can people get involved?
Find a club that’s near you by visiting the Hockey Wales website (or whatever the hockey governing body in your country) and search what’s available to you locally. There are many different options at a range of abilities.
Getting people ‘Back2Hockey’ is a huge drive in hockey in Great Britain at the moment so the support out there is outstanding. I know that some people have had pants experience at school due to weather conditions, rubbish effort by PE teachers who don’t enjoy the game or maybe the utter chaos on gravel pitches, but the game is a million miles away from that now.
Go on, take a risk – the best things in life are at the end of your comfort zone.
Joe Bloggs has taken the plunge and decided to go try a club – what key terms / rules should they learn so not to feel like a wally?
Wow, where to begin?
I suppose the D is the half circle that the attackers need to be in, in order to score – so that’s pretty vital.
5 – means you need to be 5 meters away from the ball when a free hit is taken. One of the umpires’ favourite one to shout during a game.
Slap – means hitting the ball, not hitting a team mate.
Maybe three is enough for now? Honestly, so much chat gets said on the pitch it’s hard to keep up. But don’t worry it’s all positive and motivational… unless your quipping about the other team!
Diolch yn fawr iawn Ffion!
For more hockey gossip, you can find Scoop Hockey and Ffion for that matter on Twitter: @scoophockey