Firstly I contacted Paul Smith, our England Hockey Relationship Manager, to ask about the programme that I’d found in the UK. He told me about it and that they’d based it on Rush hockey, and England Hockey developed equivalent to five a side football.
This gave me a starting point. I couldn’t get a decent translation of the Dutch project and there wasn’t much about the one from Australia.
My next step was to canvass those players coming to Back To Hockey to see if it appealed to them which it did. Several of them said it would be very beneficial to keep them in the sport. I asked other players in our club and they could see the benefits too.
The next stage was to think about who the project would appeal to. The ideas we came up with were:
Former players who had given up through age and/or injury, people who had played before many years ago who might be attracted to something new in a sport they liked, older people looking for a walking sport, people with New Year resolutions involving fitness, weight loss etc., people who had never played before who might want to try something new and to connect with other people, people looking for a gentle sport to help with recovery from illness or injury and so on. As you will read later these markets were spot on.
Having completed this analysis the potential was good enough for me to commit to driving the Walking Hockey project forward.