A new field hockey club recently launched for youth in Squamish, but there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved.
The group has more space for youth to participate and opportunities for community members who want to serve on its board.
The Squamish Youth Field Hockey Club just held its first practice for kids between seven and 16 on May 6 at the Brennan Park all-weather field from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. One of the club's founding members, Katherine Atkinson, said the first session was a success.
“It went really well. We were really excited,” Atkinson said. “It was really exciting to just work with a completely fresh slate of athletes who were keen to try the sport.”
Atkinson, who has both played and coached field hockey on various levels, said they had three coaches teach the basics to about 19 kids at the first practice.
While learning the sport is undoubtedly an aspect of the club, having fun is just as important.
“Our three objectives are for them to learn the skills and the rules of the game and have fun and then just want to play again,” said Atkinson.
According to Atkinson, the club began after another local and parent, Paul Buck, reached out to her and asked if she would be interested in bringing a club to Squamish.
She was happy to help.
After a number of responses from local parents who believed their children would be interested in trying, Buck and Atkinson opened the club, and Tamsyn Jenkins also came aboard to help.
This year, the club is focused on holding weekly practices in May, June and hopefully another couple of months in the fall and next spring as well. They hope to field a competitive team that could join a regional league in the next couple of years.
But for now, Atkinson said they were primarily focused on growing the interest locally.
“It's a lot of getting some confidence and learning the rules,” she said of the practices.
For those interested in trying, Atkinson said to bring shin pads, a mouthguard, and cleats or sneakers. The group provides the sticks and other necessary gear.