Inverell is set to score a new regional coaching co-ordinator.
New Hockey NSW participation manager Blair Chalmers is working towards appointing a RCC to work on a part-time basis and cover the Northern Inland Association, which encompasses Inverell and Moree.
“I’ll be looking to engage a local in Moree and Inverell to do a few hours each week there,” Chalmers said as he prepares to start his new role later this month.
Presently the RCC for the Northern Inland, Chalmers will hand over to Greg Doolan after the annual Basil Sellers Regional Challenge.
Doolan is currently the RCC for Newcastle and will be looking after Tamworth, the New England and Upper Hunter.
Speaking about the challenges of his new role, Chalmers sees boosting participation as two-pronged.
Firstly they’ve got to recruit and secondly they’ve got to retain.
“Hockey NSW visited 187 schools last year and exposed upwards of 20,000 people to hockey.
“One of my challenges is converting those visits to registrations,” Chalmers said.
One of the ways of doing that is forging stronger links between the clubs and schools.
“One of our focus areas is obviously the schools,” he said.
“We’re looking to increase U12s registrations by 2020.”
The aim is by close to 80 per cent, recognising the flow on that will have through the other age groups.
“It’s more an aspirational goal for us, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to give it a go,” he said.
Another area they’re targetting is social hockey.
“We’ve found social hockey is what people want to do,” Chalmers said.
“There’s a few social hockey formats out there we’re looking at.”
“It’s a good way to introduce people that haven’t played hockey for a while and new people to hockey.”
Hockey NSW have also for this season mandated that all U11s play Kookaburra 8s.
The modified version of the game is played eight-a-side and on half a field, and encourages more touches, more running and more opportunities for development.
Tieing in with that they’ve launched a new ball. Joey ball is like a minkey ball but has a softer outer casing.