Inspired by GB Hockey? What are your Next Steps?

10 months ago By Stephen Tabb

Rather than just be told to Join your Local Club - this article will answer some of those questions you probably still have.

“Our aim is to provide hockey to all, no matter what their experience, age, or desire to progress. HockeyFest provides a great opportunity to be introduced to hockey in a fun and engaging way.” Stephen Tabb, Club Chairman

How to Get Into Hockey

So, you have just watched the GB Women win an historic Gold medal in Rio, and want to know a little bit more about how you can get involved. No problem at all, rather than just tell you to come along to our club, take a look at some of the Questions you may still be asking yourself - and our answers!

Hockey doesn't look like how I remember it - is that a problem?
Not at all - yes, hockey has changed, it is now a little quicker than it used to be, matches are played on Astroturf rather than grass, and a few new rules have been brought in (like moving where Corners are taken from etc.). However, the aim is still to put the ball in the back of the net, and the pitch is still the same size - so not that much has changed!

It always seemed dangerous at school, and the GB Girls seemed to get injured quite a lot - will I get hurt playing the game?
We cannot guarantee that you will not get the occasional knock - but most games at Club level are played at a much slower pace than the International stuff and there is much less contact. Also, if you play at a club, it will be much safer than any hockey every played at school - you are surrounded by people that know what they are doing, including players, umpires and coaches, and hence the chance of accidental injury is much lower.

I would like to give it a go, but not sure how much time I can commit right now?
No problem - we have plenty of flexible options to playing, and we do not expect anyone to be fully committed at the Social level of our club; you can also come and try the game for a few weeks without paying anything, so there are no commitments required in the short term at all.
Your best opportunity in the immediate term to come and try hockey is at our HockeyFest - our adult day is on the 10th September, though this is more family-focussed than anything, so please bring kids, partners, parents etc. along as we should have something for all. Check here for more information.
On 11th September, we kick off our Junior Training, running from 10.30-11.30 for U6, U8 and U10 age groups, and then 11.30 - 13.00 for U12 and U14s. Plenty of opportunity for all kids to come along and try.

We do also run other Come and Try sessions during the season, so do please Get in Touch if you would like to know about those (If you cannot make HockeyFest)

Who do you offer hockey for?
Pretty much anyone and everyone. We have one of the largest Junior set-ups in the Country, plus have Mens and Ladies teams, a Veterans team, a Mixed team, and also coach regularly in local schools. We run sessions on Sunday mornings for children as young as 3 years old, and our oldest Adult Member is aged 69! We also take the family-focus of the club very seriously, with developments being made all the time to enhance the family environment at the club - we have plans for a Creche/Tots Multi-sport session on Saturday afternoons, as well as planning for a children's play area on site within the next 12 months.

What equipment do I need?
Just suitable clothing for the weather, and a pair of trainers. U18s MUST wear shinpads, and we highly recommend gum-shields, but if you do not want to buy these upfront, just to try hockey, then no problem, we have spares we can provide for taster sessions. For Over 18s, it is up to you how much protection you want to wear (though again, we would suggest shinpads and gum-shields are very wise!) We can provide sticks to anyone coming along, so do not worry about those either.

I might want to play fairly regularly, but not every week - is that an issue?
No problem at all - we are not a club who insists on anyone playing every week. We also offer match opportunities at many different levels - and we know that most people (particularly the kids) want to play matches, but cannot always train every week. As long as you let us know when you CAN play, we will provide opportunities. We have a wide array of options when it comes to playing games, so we are pretty certain we cater for all needs. We have matches on Saturday, Sundays and Wednesdays - with several people only able to play mid-week as they spend the weekend with their families, so again, that is not a reason to not come and try!

Is it expensive?
Being honest - hockey is not a cheap sport to play. However, we have several options for paying, and also as a club, we are more than happy to offer discounts and/or financial support to people that would be put off playing because of the cost.

Maddie Hinch was amazing - can I give being a Goal-keeper a go?
Absolutely! We have several coaches for GKs at the club, and also have all the equipment for people to wear to make it safe, and enjoyable for people to try Goal-keeping. This can be tried at either of our HockeyFest dates (10th or 11th September) - just let us know that is what you would like to try when you come along. If you want to try outfield and in goal - no problem at all, we can accommodate that as well, though bear in mind it does take a few minutes to get GK on (and off!)

Why play at Old Silhillians Hockey Club?
There are a huge number of reasons why you may want to play at OSHC:

  • We have one of the best Sporting Facilities in the Midlands (The Silhillians Sports Club) at which to play sport, watch sport, and socialise before/after sport
  • OSHC was voted both European Hockey Club of the Year and English Club of the Year in the 2014/15 Season - being recognised for the number of different options we provide for playing hockey, our superb Junior setup, and our on-pitch and off-pitch successes (we were crowned National Mixed Plate Champions in 2014/15)
  • We have also been voted Warwickshire Community Sports Club of the Year twice in the last three years
  • We can provide you with a tailored hockey experience no matter what your age, experience, or desire to progress
  • We can provide all the kit you need to try hockey without having to make any major investments in kit
  • Our Club Chairman is also the County Chairman and Regional Chairman, as well as working for England Hockey - so you could not be in safer hands!
  • Our Coaching team includes award winning coaches, former and current Internationals, and a great range of young/old and male/female coaches.
  • We offer great opportunities for all, including non-playing ones, with an extensive Social Calendar, including one of the biggest Mixed Hockey Festivals in the Country (see here for more info).

What would be my next steps if I wanted to get involved?
You can do any of the following (or any combination of them):

  • Email or Call the Chairman for a further chat and to ask any questions - stephentabb@hotmail.com and 07900 884100
  • Simply Turn up to our HockeyFest events on 10th September (adults and families); or 11th September (Under 14s and younger) and we will get you involved
  • Keep an eye on the website for further Come and Try options
  • If you feel confident enough to simply come back to training, join us at the Club on Tuesday evenings 7-8pm from 13th September. We have matches lined up from 10th September onwards so can get you straight back into playing IF that is what you want to do.

If none of this appeals, most importantly of all - keep looking for more opportunities to watch hockey as there are LOADS of great spectator opportunities - www.englandhockey.co.uk will have details of all the big International tournaments and matches coming up.

If you would fancy getting involved in watching and supporting a local hockey club, then we would LOVE to hear from you. We always have opportunities for Volunteers, be that Administrative support, Marketing and Publicity officers, photographers or even Officials (the club has several qualified Umpires who would be more than happy to help develop and train any budding Umpires out there - remember you can get to the Olympics as an umpire as well as a player....)

Updated 11:40 - 20 Aug 2016 by Stephen Tabb

Where next?

Membership Options 2016-17 Details of how to pay your Membership Fees for the Year
Diary of a Busy Club If you thought the Summer was a quiet time, check out our diary of what the club has been up to in the last few weeks

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Fixtures
Tue 27 Jun
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Men's Summer League Olton Bears
Friendly 20:00
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Veterans Olton Muffins
Friendly 20:30
Sun 2 Jul
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Ladies' Summer League Kings Heath
League 20:30
Tue 4 Jul
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Men's Summer League Hampton
Friendly 20:00
Wed 5 Jul
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Veterans Bloss
Friendly 20:00

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