The summer of 2016 saw the creation of a promising partnership between St Johns College and Cardiff Metropolitan University. The partnership was founded on an interest in hockey, through the help of Hockey Wales CEO Dave Phenis, weekly hockey sessions began with curriculum delivery and an afterschool club.
The after-school club started with 8 attendees in the school hall, now they boast 20+ weekly attendance with sessions being held at the top class facilities at Cardiff Metropolitan University. This 60% rise has been overseen by current Cardiff Met students Ieuan Davies and Tom Wood, who has mentioned the great work ethic that participants bring to each session
“Their enthusiasm is what makes them really enjoyable to coach … their desire to learn and work hard makes me want to be a part of the coaching staff.”
This enthusiasm and increase in participation led to a first fixture against Rhymney comprehensive. Three fixtures were played with outstanding performances from both junior and senior squad players against a strong opposition. Lead coach Ieuan Davies who had recently been shortlisted for Sport Wales Young Coach of the Year mentioned the huge developments of the players
“It’s been astonishing! A lot of these boys and girls have had limited exposure to hockey before the start of our sessions here at Cardiff Met. To see them go out and perform in what for some was their first ever fixture was truly amazing to see!”
Looking ahead for the hockey programme, they are planning more fixtures with local schools and Cardiff & Met Hockey Club. Individually, they have seen interest from participants to continue to play hockey away from the school sessions at Cardiff & Met Hockey Club. A number of their boys have managed to represent Cardiff & Met before Christmas, in a fixture against Abergavenny HC.
Natalie Wood, Head of PE at St Johns College commented:
"The players have progressed at such a rate and depth in such short space of time, it's an exciting development for SJC. I've even witnessed the equivalent of footballs scorpion goal on the hockey pitch in a recent match! It has been an amazing partnership between SJC, Cardiff Met and Welsh Hockey".