At Bristol & West Hockey Club, we are all about providing fun, safe and engaging hockey sessions for our juniors.
The junior section of Bristol & West provides training on a Monday evening to boys and girls aged 8 to 16. Training sessions roughly follow the school calendar (although we continue over half-terms and to the end of April) and they are due to start again on Monday 2nd September 2019. They will take place between 6:30 – 7:30 each Monday night at The Ridings, Winterbourne International Academy. This year we then have an additional 30 minutes “pure game time” option for those year 8 and above with more energy to burn off!
All training is led by qualified hockey coaches with parent helpers and concentrates on both skills and most importantly, fun. We also have a dedicated goalkeeper coach.
We follow the England Hockey coaching ethos of “the pitch being the classroom and the game being the teacher”. In simple terms what this means is that we keep drills to a minimum and play lots and lots of hockey!
School year 5 and 7
This age group are introduced to the basic skills of hockey in a fun way by dedicated coaching staff. We try to get them playing a form of the game as quickly as possible, possibly by using a softer or larger ball, if necessary. We enter the Avon under 12’s hockey festivals and tournament (date to be confirmed) which gives these juniors the opportunity to compete against other local clubs in the local area.
School year 8 and 9
This age group still concentrate on the basics (there are a lot of them in hockey!), but increasingly they put these skills into larger game scenarios. We have an extra 30minutes this year where this age group can have pure game time.
In June we also hold our Badgers’ tournament event. Several local Clubs participate and it is supported by our sponsor, Danco. In 2019 it was on 23 June and it was a huge success.
School year 10 and above (over 14 to 16)
Training for the over 14s (and those more advanced in lower age groups) is aimed at stretching individual skill levels as well as coaching team drills in support of competitive matches. However, we also cater for complete beginners at any age. Our year 10s and above play in the Badgers team (generally ages 14 to 16) who play in the Bristol Badgers League most Sundays (see separate website page). For those that wish to, there is also the opportunity for some Badgers to step up into the Men’s teams to hone their skills and gain further experience (England Hockey minimum age 13).
This is an absolutely vital part of what we do and please see our safeguarding page for more details. Our Welfare and Safeguarding officer is Blanche Freda-Duffy.
The Club subsidises the juniors but we ask that all juniors pay a training and membership fee. For those who wish to pay weekly we ask for £2.00 per session (payable on the night). Alternatively we also have the option of paying a one off membership fee of £40 which will pay for all coaching sessions for the year (about 25 in total). All juniors that come to training are expected to wear hockey shin pads and bring the appropriate clothing for cold and wet nights. Gum shields are also required – we recommend that you speak to you dentist about the best option (the own –moulded guards can be tricky and uncomfortable). Juniors should also bring a bottle of water. We have a collection of hockey sticks for those new to the game to borrow and we can also give advice about how to buy the most suitable stick.