General highlights and updates
It has been a hectic but very rewarding season and seeing so many Juniors starting and progressing their hockey journey has been fantastic. We have some incredible team spirit on and off the pitch and we hope everyone has enjoyed their season and is looking forward to next! A few highlights are below, some of which you may have seen on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter profiles over the last year.
- Minis (Rec to Year 3): introduction of 6 week block sessions to offer chance to try without full season commitment
- Bears (Years 4-6): continued twice weekly sessions (only local club to offer 2x sessions/wk for this age group)
- Beavers and Badgers (years 7-10) sessions twice weekly with around 80 players: strong volunteer parent support running teams so up to 60 players/week (all available) could play fixtures
- Hosting Alex Danson Masterclass for NW England in summer 2021
- Most junior teams entered into EH Cup and NW leagues of any NW club
- Friendlies for U8s, U11s and U13s
- Juniors and parent volunteer development: EH online Level 1 coaching and umpiring qualifications encouraged
- Investment in new goals, balls, pitch dividers, masks, matchday bags and First Aid Kits
- Junior Goalkeeping– at least one GK per year group/gender encouraged and focused session run on Mondays
- Introduction of more efficient DD fees collection to reduce volunteer time and improve reliability of income
- Reintroduction of match teas on Saturdays to build team spirit
- Introduction of waiting lists to most age groups to ensure consistent quality of experience and opportunity to play for boys/girls of all ages and manage flow of players throughout teams
- Enhanced Safeguarding/Welfare team, processes and resources
There have been challenges – we have had to adapt and embrace more change than ever before due to the cumulative effects of COVID, England Hockey changes and increased player numbers. We faced difficulties with new professional coach recruitment (as have many other clubs), but our volunteer team stepped up incredibly and did an amazing job. A huge THANK YOU to all parents who have helped in any way – coaching, team management, co-ordination, umpiring, admin and more as we would not have so many players enjoying their hockey without you.
Gameplay and Competitions
Greater Manchester Junior Hockey Leagues
Over 100 players aged 7-11 had the opportunity to play in monthly tournaments
- Around 30 year 3/4 boys and girls played in four U8 teams
- Around 30 year 4/5 boys and girls played in three U10 teams
- Nearly 50 year 6/7 girls and boys played in four U12 teams
- U12 Girls A team won their league and the U12 boys A team were runners-up. Both B teams finished mid-league and these achievements are all the more impressive when we had different players playing in each tournament.
England Hockey IN2 Cup: U12s and U10s
- One boys and one girls team in U10s
- U10 boys reached NW regional final, finishing runners-up
- U10 girls reached the semi-finals of the Greater Manchester tournament
- Two girls and two boys U12 teams
- U12 girls and boys A teams reached semi-finals of Greater Manchester tournament
EH Cup – 8 teams playing U14 – U18
- Girls U18 T1 lost to Alderley Edge in quarter-final
- Boys U18 T1 conceded in quarter-final
- Girls and Boys U16 and Girls U14 T1 lost in semi-finals
- Boys U14 T1 reached semi-finals of plate, losing to ultimate champions
- Boys U16 T2 and Girls U14 T2 performed well and gained development opportunity
New Junior Supra League
- Girls U14 T1 North Champions and became national bronze medallists after reaching finals at Lee Valley
- U16 Girls & Boys and U14 Girls and Boys Tier 1 teams were all NW finalists
- North West League Tier 2 gave opportunity for younger cohorts of players to develop in U16 Boys and U14 Girls where we had larger numbers
- Girls U18 T1 won regional finals and lost in tough group in national finals
- Boys U18 T1 lost in regional finals
Representation and contribution
Congratulations to our Juniors who achieved national representation this year:
Jess Parkinson and Ava Dempsey (U21 Wales)
Cole Pidcock, Ted Graves (U18 England Boys), Ericka Morris Adams (U18 England Girls)
Will Grant (U16 Boys), Katie Alexander (U16 Girls).
Performance Centre: around ten players were selected into the U17 and U15 squads
Junior Academy Centre: Bowdon juniors have participated in County teams across every age group, with some still taking part in regional tournaments Following participation in the U13 Tensworth (North West) squad, three players: Jack McAuliffe, Francesca Barnes and Anna Walker were also selected for UK Lions.
The valued commitment and contribution of many players off the pitch has also been very impressive. THANK YOU to all Juniors who have helped with the Monday Flyerz sessions, at midweek coaching, on Sundays and supporting junior teams at weekends with coaching and umpiring. Well done also to those who have provided support as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Programme volunteering scheme.