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IHA announces major commitment to club hockey development
12 Jan 2006 09:45

The Irish Hockey Association has announced a new initiative to develop hockey at grass root level in its club infrastructure over the next four years.

Under the new initiative, IHA will invest in the region of €250k in branch-led development plans between 2007 and 2022. The Association’s marketing and other development resources will also be channelled into supporting local, grass root level projects that will be built into regional development plans, to be submitted annually by the Branches for support.

The initiative was announced by IHA Chief Executive Paul Varian at the Association’s inaugural annual conference last weekend in Dublin, which brought together a sold-out audience of close to two hundred of the sport’s coaching and club management personnel.

“This programme puts the Branches of Irish hockey and their club affiliates firmly in the box seat in terms of developing the sport of hockey in Ireland,” Varian said on Saturday, in a presentation that also announced the IHA’s intent to introduce a sport-wide membership management database system for its affiliates.

“The IHA can develop plans and strategies to develop hockey in Ireland, but it simply can’t implement these plans on its own.

“We want to empower our clubs and branches, who have the expertise and development know-how at local community level, to develop their own plans which we will support based on how well they match IHA development policy. This way, we are taking a ‘bottom-up’ approach to implementing development, whilst steering overall policy at a higher level strategic level.”

The IHA plans to outline its development policies in its forthcoming National Development Plan, which it is aiming to be in place by March following the hiring a fulltime National Development Officer.

Branches will then be invited to submit development plans that are made up of club-led development projects by September 2006, for assessment and allocation of support for 2007.

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