Dubai is soon to see the first youth hockey development coaching programme in the UAE in collaboration with Star International School in Dubai.
Star International School has teamed up with current Dubai Hockey Club Chairman, Paul Schwarz to offer the youth development programme to new and aspiring kids based in Dubai. The new hockey recruits will be learning skills in line with the England Hockey ‘In2Hockey’ programme, which aims to develop young talent aged between 7 and 13 into well-rounded competitive athletes, while promoting respect, sportsmanship and a love for the sport of hockey.
Schwarz is an accredited England Hockey and FIH coach and umpire, with over 18 years of coaching and playing experience, and feels although the UAE hockey community is small; those who play are very passionate about the game.
“If hockey in the UAE and the region is to develop and wants to be taken seriously on the international hockey stage, it must develop some youth coaching programmes, for both local and ex-patriot communities”.
“There is a wealth of potential talent in the Emirate with so many European, Australasian and Asian Sub-continent families who have made their home in Dubai and the other Emirates, all of whom have grown up with hockey playing such a large part in their lives. It seems only natural that it there would be youth and adult leagues and training programmes in place already”.
Dubai Hockey Club has been asked many times about youth hockey in the region, but have not been able to point to any existing programmes for families to engage with.
“DHC is taking the first step towards making it happen for players and their families in Dubai, in the hope that other groups and clubs will follow”, asserts Schwarz.
With the enthusiasm of Cathy Wilson, Star International Schools Extra Curriculum Coordinator, and the resources of the school, this will now be achievable in a safe and fun environment.
The programme will be offered to Star International School students only, initially, with plans to develop a wider programme to include any pupils from any school in the near future.