HOCKEY is one sport which has been part of the Northern Areas since the area was establishment over 50 years ago.
And the Eastern Province Hockey Federation is ensuring that the sport’s heritage is not lost in the area through the Eastern Province Hockey Federation mini hockey programme at the Gelvandale Astro-turf every Saturday.
According to Helma Boggenpoel, develpoment officer for EP hockey, the programme has grown in leaps and bounds and caters for more than 200 children between the ages of two and 13 from all over the Northern Areas.
“Since we started I can confidently say that we have seen an increase in the number of players by approximately 80%.”
Despite the rapid growth of the sport among the youth there are certain challenges the programme is struggling to overcome.
“Despite the donations from various organisations and EP hockey in particular, we still do not have enough hockey sticks for all the children.
“Some of them don’t even have shoes to play in. And our ratio of coaches to children is bad, currently one to 30.”
But the 11 members behind the hockey programme are not standing idle waiting for change to occur. Instead they are embarking on a level 0 coaching and umpiring course, for teachers in the area.
Boggenpoel also urged players from around the metro to donate any old hockey equipment to the initiative.
To assist contact Helma Boggenpoel on 083-275-1214.