Hockey gets developmental support

The Ghana Hockey Association has received a massive boost in its developmental efforts after being selected by England Hockey and UK Sports to implement a hockey development project as part of England’s legacy project for hosting the 2018 World Cup for Women.

The female national hockey team was chosen by England Hockey from a list of African teams following their consistent performances over the last few years.

Ghana hockey

The hockey support and development programme for women, dubbed Hockey TAP West Africa, is a 4 year programme with the goal of helping develop hockey in the country.

The broad aims of the project includes but not restricted to supporting Ghana qualify for a major international competition, workforce development and organising competitions for the national hockey team.

To this end, officials from the International Hockey Federation, Africa Hockey Federation, England Hockey and UK Sports have completed a three day tour of the country to kick start the programme.

While in the country, the team met officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Authority, Ghana Hockey Association, players and other stakeholders, as well as inspecting hockey facilities in Kumasi and Accra.

The Vice President of the Ghana Hockey Association Amoo-Gottfried commented:” We feel proud to be selected among a number of possible federations. The Ghana team has done well in the recent past. The ladies have moved up second place in Africa and the good thing is that they are all young. Infact, the team is dominated by the under 21 team.”

“We feel the development programme we have done in the past years has paid off. We are glad for this developmental project because it means we can move to the next level.”

The 2018 Women’s World Cup will form part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series, which is investing £27million of National Lottery funding to bring up to 70 world-class events to Great Britain to help build a strong legacy from London 2012.

The Project Lead for England Hockey Lucy Rowe said:

“We have got a fantastic time here. We’ve met some great people here. We have met a lot of brilliant players.

“It is brilliant to see the way hockey is run in the country despite the limited resources.

“We have got a planning stage that will have the project done by October. My role will be linking the people in Ghana to the people in the UK. We will not have somebody down here to manage the project because we think the Ghana Hockey Federation is capable of doing that.

“At some stage, the Ghanaian ladies team might come to the UK for a training tour. Maybe send some coaches to Ghana, try to help the coaches and umpires on the ground in Ghana.

Dwelling on the expected benefits of the project, female hockey player and reigning Best African Junior player, Elizabeth Opoku said: “I’m really excited about this project because I have played hockey for about eight years and I have not seen anything like this before. I think it will really help us.

“Playing here all the time doesn’t improve our skills and ability to play at the international level. I think there will be enough international tours through this programme to boost our morale. We promise not to disappoint them.

“We will do our maximum best with the opportunities we will get through this programme.

The project which is projected to cost an estimated £30,000 per year will run for the next four years.