When Steve Faragher was asked to take a register while watching his kids train, he didn't know where that would take him. With coaching experience in junior rugby and a background in hockey, Steve went on to combine his passions and today coaches three junior teams, including the North Wales Regional Boys.
Steve's can-do attitude towards volunteering in sport has meant more hockey opportunities for youngsters in the region. He share's his story with us:
I wanted to encourage my children to play hockey because I had played in the past. They joined our local hockey club, Wrexham Glyndwr HC, and I was only too happy to pass on my hockey experience to help the club develop future talented players.
Having coached my eldest at grass roots rugby for a number of years, I started to coach mini hockey on a Saturday morning. After helping the under 13's boy squad qualify for Welsh finals, I was asked if I would like to coach the North Wales Regional Boys. I’ve now done this for a number of years.
When my kids moved to Neston South Wirral HC, I offered to help coach junior hockey on a Sunday morning which then escalated to helping the under 16's boys squad.
This year has been quite busy being involved in coaching three junior teams; Neston SW Under 12 Girls and under 16 Boys, who both qualified for National Finals and North Wales Under 16's who are looking forward to their annual tour to Northern Ireland in August.
At the National Finals I got an opportunity to meet Andy Halliday, the GB Team Manager, and assist a coaching session on the Olympic pitch at Lee Valley which was a brilliant experience!
I feel volunteers bring a new perspective to the development of a particular sport. Their experience can bring in new ideas to help encourage new players to start playing and develop existing ones.Volunteers also promote the sport and are vital to a clubs existence, particularly those that cannot afford to pay professional coaches.
I get a personal sense of achievement when you explain a drill to a young player. It’s a great feeling when they understand and enjoy it, and then put into practice during a game.
For others considering volunteering, don't feel daunted, just get involved in whatever capacity you can. Helping young players develop into talented individuals is great to see and their appreciation that you played a small part in their development is very rewarding.
Coaches are the cornerstone of talent development, and they play an invaluable role in inspiring and developing more, better, happier players. To help support coaches, Hockey Wales, in partnership with Great Britain Hockey, have developed the online resource site, Hockey Hub. Find out more about it and how to register, here.
As part of Volunteers Week, Sport Wales in collaboration with Hockey Wales have launched Club Solutions, a new information hub for sport clubs and #Volunteers in Wales to help you grow your club. Click here to visit the Club Solutions website.