Today, on 20 November, as the international community celebrates the World Children’s Day, UNICEF’s annual day of action for children, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is thrilled to contribute to the celebrations with the launch of the ‘Start Hockey Challenge,’ which aims to encourage, and make it easier for children around the world to play hockey and cultivate a healthier lifestyle.
The Start Hockey Challenge builds upon the ‘Start Hockey Programme’, which was launched on the World Children’s Day in 2022, for communities, clubs, schools and individuals, to support initiation and fundamental development of hockey skills, in particular among young people with little or no hockey knowledge or background. The programme was launched as part of the FIH strategy to grow the game globally in partnership with its member nations and Continental Federations and is managed by the FIH Academy.
Reflecting on the success of the ‘Start Hockey’ programme from last year and inspired by the countless stories of young players embracing the sport, the FIH Academy is launching the ‘Start Hockey Challenge’ with the aim of providing further encouragement to the 30 million+ hockey players around the world, especially the youth!
About the Start Hockey Challenge:
The Start Hockey Challenge encompasses five activities, each focusing on fundamental "with the ball" actions in hockey: Dribbling, Passing, Shooting, Eliminating, and Receiving. The aim of the challenge is not just to make hockey drills accessible to everyone, but also to give an opportunity to the athletes to improve their skills and share it with the world!
Each challenge offers three levels of difficulty, ensuring that participants, regardless of their proficiency, can find enjoyment in the activities. The challenge can be taken up by players of all backgrounds, whether they are looking for a lighthearted experience, a bit of friendly competition, or to improve different aspects of their game.
The beauty of the Start Hockey Challenge lies in its simplicity. Players can set up and complete the challenges on their own, with minimal equipment; while also allowing schools, clubs, and academies to organize the challenge on a broader scale as a group activity. It's not about fancy setups; it's about the joy of playing and getting creative with the equipment you have.
Players can also record a video of themselves undertaking the challenge, upload the video, get their scores and claim a badge! Take up the Start Hockey Challenge today, by clicking here.
Speaking on World Children’s Day 2023, FIH President Tayyab Ikram said: “Today, FIH celebrates that more than 75% of all registered hockey players around the world are aged under 18. On such an important date as World Children’s Day, we are proud to highlight that FIH as hockey's global governing body is determined to contribute to children and youth around the world, from all communities and backgrounds, being able to take up sport and have access to regular sporting activity.
We believe being involved in sports is crucial to the individual and social development of today's younger generations, and we are committed to reaching the generation of tomorrow and providing the facilities and services that facilitate effective avenues into sport for young people with all the attached benefits - developing important qualities such as a resilient mindset, a good work ethic or strong teamwork and leadership skills.”