Junior hockey breaks 10 year drought on NSW South Coast
A new junior hockey competition in New South Wales points to the success of introducing sport to Australian kids through the Australian Government’s Active After-school Communities (AASC) program.
South Coast’s Eurobodalla Coast Hockey Association has enough players for a junior competition for the first time in nearly 10 years thanks to the AASC program.
The AASC program provides Australian primary school children access to free sport and other physical activity programs after school from 3.30pm to 5pm.
The Australian Sports Commission manages the AASC program through local regional coordinators, who help schools and after hours school care centres facilitate the program by recruiting and training community coaches and working with local sporting clubs and organisations to increase junior membership.
The AASC program operates at approximately 3 270 Australian schools and after school hours care centres, providing children the chance to try up to 70 different sport and 20 physical activities.
Schools in Batehaven, Moruya, Broulee and Batemans Bay jumped on board to work with local hockey clubs to provide hockey through the AASC program.
This has substantially boosted the number of children playing hockey in the South Coast region and caused a jump in players keen to join a junior competition.
NSW AASC State Manager, Cheryl Battaerd, said this was a great indication the AASC program was achieving its goals.
‘We aim to provide children with a positive introduction to sport and build the foundation needed for children to progress into local club sport,’ she said.
Eurobodalla Coast Hockey Association coach, Cheryl Sutherland, is pleased and excited about the development.
‘By delivering the AASC program in schools, our hockey association has been able to get a new junior hockey competition up and running,’ she said.
‘Through AASC program grants, we are able to supply sticks and shin pads to participants to minimise costs to parents.’