Each year Berkshire Hockey Association runs Development Centres (DC) for boys and for girls year groups from Under 13 to Under 17 at venues across the county. DC’s for the U13 and U14 age groups take place during the summer term, starting in May and those for the U15 – U17 age groups take place in the autumn term, starting in September. In 2016 over 600 young people from over 100 different schools and 22 different Hockey Clubs attended these Centres.
Outfield participants must bring their own stick and must wear shinpads and gum shields. All outfield players are provided with a coloured and numbered t-shirt which must be worn over other clothing. All players will be required to wear sports clothing suitable for the conditions and astro shoes, which are preferable to trainers.
Goalkeepers are required to bring their own kit which must include the following:
- Leg guards
- Abdominal guard/pelvic protector
- Padded shorts
- Chest protector body armour
- Throat / neck protector
- Hand deflectors
It is preferred that Goalkeepers wear arm protectors but BHA will allow this as an optional item on receipt of a signed letter of authorisation from a parent.
The sessions are physically demanding so all young players must bring plenty to drink and should also bring suitable snacks.
Cancellations and Non-attendance
In the event that it is necessary to cancel a session, we will endeavour to give as much notice as possible. Sessions are rarely cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.
If your child cannot attend a session, please inform the Team Manager at the earliest possible opportunity. Whilst we understand that on occasions it may not be possible to attend a session, the players are assessed throughout the programme, and low attendance may be detrimental to selection to the next phase in the process - Academy Centre (AC).
For the Players
We’ll keep the player information nice and short:
- Listen to the coaches – they will explain the sessions and are looking for opportunities for you to show what you can do.
- Be a team player – we are looking for players who work hard and know when to pass the ball.
- Try new skills – remember it’s a Development Centre.
- Have fun!
As a reminder to parents about the "fun" part, please take a moment to watch this video:
Berkshire U13 / U14 DC Summer 2017
Berkshire Hockey Association is now accepting nominations for its DC Programme 2017 which will take place during the summer term. Development Centres are the first step towards representing Berkshire. During the course of the sessions participants are assessed against England Hockey criteria, and those who show the requisite levels of attitude and ability will be selected to attend the Academy Centre programme in early 2018. Matches for Academy Centre squads take place in March and April. The county programme is the next step, after representing schools or clubs, for a career in international hockey. Players do not need to attend a school or club or live in the county to participate in the Berkshire programme.
We are inviting players born in the following years to summer DC (please note England Hockey works on a calendar year basis, not school year):
- birth years 2005 and 2006 to U13s
- birth year 2004 to U14s
The programme will comprise of seven training sessions run on Friday evenings as follows:
- May 12, 19, 26
- June 9, 16, 23, 30
These sessions are designed to improve core hockey skills at an individual level and all exercises are delivered in game play situations. The sessions normally last for 90 minutes and can be physically demanding, but no more than would be expected at a competitive school or club match level. The 7 sessions will be followed by an invitation only final selection session on Friday 8th September 2017.
The training sessions will take place at Reading and Sonning Hockey Clubs. They have the same address as the pitches are alongside each other, but there are separate car parks for ease of access.
The address is: Sonning Lane, RG4 6ST
- U13s 6:30 – 8:00 pm
- U14s 8:00 – 9:30pm
The cost of the Development Centre programme is £75 per player. This is non-refundable except in the case of proven long term injury. Please pay by bank transfer:
Account Name: Berkshire Hockey Association
Account Number: 51602314
Sort Code: 40-47-09
Reference: Player’s initial, surname and year of birth
We have limited places at these sessions, and places will be allocated as forms and payment are received. Anyone applying after the places have been filled will be placed on a waiting list. If we are unable to find a space for a player, payments will be returned. If we have sufficient players on a waiting list, we will run additional sessions on Thursday evenings (the day before the Friday dates given above). If your son/daughter would prefer to attend the Thursday session (if available), please indicate when returning the form, although we cannot guarantee that the courses will run on that day.