Dear Shropshire Hockey clubs,
We’ve seen a change in hockey over the last few years, triggered by Covid and everyone’s lives being affected, and the “new normal” has set in. What this means for several clubs, it seems, is that there isn’t the same make-up within memberships as we’ve been used to: numbers in the 20-35 age range specifically seem to be down on previous years/decades. People stopped everything during the pandemic, and seemingly have found new pastimes and hobbies that don’t necessarily include participating in organised sport in the same way as they used to.
This is also not restricted to hockey – other sports like rugby have seen the same change, so it’s a wider problem than any single club or sport. However, there may be more nuance to it than just the prevalence of Netflix, and we don’t want to base any changes on presumption or guesswork. To that end, we’ve created a Google Form to try to capture some accurate data on what is happening.
This form, which can be filled out anonymously, aims to capture information which will let SHA build up an idea of what the common problems are, with a view to trying to find common solutions. This is so that we, as a county and organisation, can look to find ways to bring people back to sport – and hockey specifically – in a way that doesn’t require each club to fight the problem alone.
We would really appreciate it if you would share this with your club membership – committee members, players, parents, supporters and anyone else who may have input on the situation. It’s very easy for us as club committee members to assume we know the problems, but we could be wide of the mark on several things and be working from false premises. This is an attempt to get accurate information on where the problems may lie. Some of the questions are aimed more at committees, but most are relevant to everyone from the U16s to the veterans, players, parents and committee members alike.
The sooner we can get this shared, the sooner we can get the results (and possibly suggestions for changes) back out to the clubs to help us all try to keep hockey as a sport of choice within Shropshire.