FIH News recently published an enlightening yet ‘sobering’ story, ‘The hockey family showcasing the sport’s greatest attribute’ (December 29, 2015). Why enlightening? Because it highlights the importance of hockey as a family sport. Why then ‘sobering’? When will hockey administrators from FIH down as part of the Hockey Revolution’s goals and key initiatives include in its identified goals and initiatives the marketing of hockey as the true family sport and actionize this as it strives to increase hockey participation and follower numbers worldwide?
The FIH news article showcased how 14 members of the Carter family took on 15 members of the Lankfer family (all pictured above) for a one-off Christmas special at the Pelicon Hockey Club, Norfolk, England. Generations from both families were represented and included International representative players that have come out of the families’ participation in hockey.
What are further supportive of the need for hockey powers to ‘marry hockey and family’ more closely together were both the comments of the writer and the interviewed family members. i.e.,
FIH NEWS WRITER COMMENTS
- “It was a match that contained everything that hockey enthusiasts hold dear.
- It’s a scene that is repeated across the hockey-playing world as hockey shows again and again the power that sport has for bringing people together.”
HOCKEY FAMILY COMMENTS
- “It is occasions like this that remind you just what a great game hockey is, it just brings people together in the most magical way.”
In past Go Hockey News articles it has been highlighted that when a marketing/action plan to promote hockey as a family sport and in doing so attracting not only new junior players to the sport but also their parents as new players there is both immediate and long term gains for the sport.
Therefore let us hope that FIH can develop, market and actionize ‘families unite in hockey’ and that it finds an established place as part of the ambition of hockey as recognised in the Hockey Revolution plan, i.e., ‘A global game that inspires the next generation’. Generations of hockey players like the Carter and Lankfer families are the assurance needed for this to happen. It is a criteria that falls directly within the FIH goal of building a ‘recognised image for hockey’ and then flows then over to initiatives.
Where now for 2016? As hockey clubs strive to increase much needed hockey participation numbers in 2016 through hockey programs worldwide geared to attract children to playing hockey may they have a plan also to attract the parents/carers of the children also. The message could be “mums, dads, carers, brothers, sisters, etc., – COME AND TRY THE BEST IF NOT THE ONLY FAMILY SPORT IN THE WORLD. It does not matter if you are 5 years old or 50 years old hockey as a sport can cater for you as a player. The benefits are many”.
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To read the FIH news article CLICK HERE