A 2016 Hockey Foundation grant to Nelson Hockey has helped the Association to cope with significant community demand for their Small Sticks in-school programme for children in years 1 – 8, typically aged 5 - 12.
The grant was a result of a generous donation from Murray and Yvonne Loudon, which was partially tagged to Nelson Hockey, as well as Otago and Manawatu Hockey.
Craig Brett, the Regional Development Officer responsible for the delivery of Nelson Hockey’s Small Sticks programme, says “we are all extremely appreciative of the Hockey Foundation grant. With the funding, we’ve been able to begin to replace the in-school Small Sticks kits we use in our 16 Small Sticks schools”.
“Most of our schools have to run the programme on their tar-seal courts, so the sticks can get worn out pretty quickly. Having funding for new Small Sticks kits makes a big difference to our schools and children. Every kid loves getting out there and trying the sport, and ensuring we have the equipment to deliver the programme is obviously crucial”.
With over 3,400 children participating in the in-school programme, children in Nelson are certainly enjoying the opportunity to learn the sport. Nelson Hockey have recorded 22% growth in their Small Sticks programme since 2015!
Brett states that “we had over 1,000 Small Sticks children registering for our Small Sticks Summer Festival of Hockey, which meant for the first time we needed to run three separate tournaments for years 3 and 4, years 5 and 6, and years 7 and 8”.
“The growth of the Small Sticks in-school programme has been immense and we even see busloads of entire schools such as Motupipi Primary School from Golden Bay coming over for a day of hockey, which is great to see”.
Photos in the gallery below are from the Nelson Hockey Small Sticks Summer Festival.