Antrim puts focus on rising stars

THE Antrim Hockey Mini Programme for children in P1-P3 was set up by Jonathan McMeekin in March 2014 to cater for both boys and girls.

The purpose of the programme is to teach children the basics of hockey and develop coordination through play - with a focus on having fun!

This was the first programme of its kind in Ulster and it has grown year on year and remains the entry point into hockey in Antrim.

It has also helped provide a platform for younger members to get involved in coaching and gain experience and qualifications along the way.

“I took over the running of the Primary 4-7 programme in 2015,” added Jonathan.

“This programme has also grown year on year, as our young players have filtered through our player development system.

“The first ever Antrim Boys and Girls U9 teams were created in 2015.

“In 2017 the first ever Antrim U11 Girls team took to the field in Ulster Hockey monthly tournaments. This season we are now currently fielding three U11 Girls teams.

“There’s been a great increase in boys numbers as well this season, which is very positive for the long term future of the club, as we enter our 125th Anniversary year.

“One of the most important things we have done as a club in recent years, is develop our workforce in terms of coaching and umpiring. We have a very good team of coaches, who do a great job week in, week out.

“I’ve also been lucky to have a group of coaches in Alan Mullan, Darryl Fulton, Jonathan Wray and Tommy Monahan, who work with me and shown a lot of loyalty over the past six years.

“The plan is to keep things moving forward. We will introduce U13 girls hockey next season and also aim to increase the number of boys teams.”

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