Over sixty young Jersey hockey players will have the opportunity to play the sport throughout the summer yet again this year thanks to the return of a specially created tournament.
The ‘Deutsche Bank Summer Hockey Sevens’, which was re-launched by the Jersey Hockey Association in 2009 as part of the Deutsche Bank Hockey Development Programme, has become so popular that it was oversubscribed this year.
Not only has the tournament expanded over the past three years to involve more young players, this year it is more mixed than ever with an equal number of girls and boys taking part.
The league enables boys and girls aged between 10 and 15 in the Island to build on the skills they have gained so far through the Development Programme. They will be split into six mixed seven-a-side teams – the Cobras, Dragons, Hawks, Scorpions, Sharks and Stingrays.
With the first matches having been played last week, the tournament will run every Tuesday until 12th July between 6.30pm and 8.30pm at Les Quennevais. The teams will play a combination of ‘round robin’ and ‘play-off’ games, with points being awarded each week and the team with the most tournament points at the end of the competition being crowned the overall winners.
A number of novice umpires are also assisting with the league, alongside experienced umpires, as part of the Umpire Development Programme. Mike Tait, organiser of the Deutsche Bank Summer Hockey Sevens, said:
‘This year’s oversubscription is a reflection of the growing popularity of hockey in Jersey and the enthusiasm young people have to play the sport. The Deutsche Bank Development Programme does a fantastic job in encouraging budding young players to develop new skills, giving them an opportunity to build on what they learn through competitive games and, most importantly, helping them to enjoy the sport. It’s also fantastic that so many parents of those taking part have volunteered to help out with the tournament and look after the teams.’