The Youth Leader Programme is run in conjunction with the Irish Hockey Association with its aim being help younger members prepare for full participation in their Club as they progress to adult hockey.
Participants are taught the basic skills of coaching, umpiring and team management and then participate as leaders during our Junior Club sessions.
In Newbridge HC we always ensure a Youth Leader works with an adult coach but our aim is to give the young person guidance and encouragement so they can develop their own leadership personality.
Last season was the first time we ran this programme and we had 11 very enthusiastic participants who all progressed to the award stage and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to engage with younger players.
This season we have 12 participants who with the IHA's help have now progressed to team management at blitz events and running tournaments. We hope to progress the education end this season to include basic first aid and also have participants involved in improving our web page and media coverage through writing articles and match reports as well as fundraising events.
Youth Leaders are very valuable members of our club. Without them our 200 junior players (approx) would not get so much enjoyment, personal attention and help with their skills each Sunday. The Leaders also benefit through increased involvement in all aspects of their sport and gain self confidence and social skills through interaction with younger members.
~ Orla Stewart