Scottish Hockey statement on supporting hockey in Renfrewshire
At a time when equality, diversity and inclusion in sport is more important than ever, it is essential that a diverse range of opportunities is created for people from all backgrounds, and parts of our community, to take part in physical activity and sport.
Unfortunately, across Scotland, this objective to create diverse opportunities is not being realised.
Resources are continuously directed to the same core sports and activities. By doing this, not only is it excluding people who do not want to take up these sports, it is exposing sports with rich history to a significant risk of losing their prominent place in our society.
Diversity of opportunity is not achieved by denying sports such as hockey the offer of an alternative opportunity to other core sports, in fact the opposite is accomplished, and exclusion is achieved.
Repeatedly we are seeing facilities in sports like hockey lost without any real consideration of the implications this has, not only to our sport, but to our communities in general. In comparison to other core sports, hockey does not receive, in any way, comparable facility investment, which is to the detriment of social and sporting inclusion.
Hockey has several unique facets that other sports do not have. Hockey, as an example, has a better gender balance than any other team sports in Scotland and is primely placed to address gender inequality in sport and in our community. Hockey also has opportunities suitable for every age group, addressing societal issues of loneliness and other mental health problems, while keeping people active later in life.
Inclusion and diversity of opportunity is not just about volume of participation, it’s about creating an environment in our communities so that those who do not currently partake in sport have enough choice.
Without choice there is a reduction in the opportunities for people to partake in sport. Growth cannot happen without facilities and resources. We are seeing growth in our sport in other parts of the country, where the opportunity to play is created.
There is a need for more hockey pitches in Renfrewshire. How can hockey contribute to the health and well-being of the community in Renfrewshire if it only has two hockey pitches; ON-X and Park Mains High School?
There has been a historical absence of funding into the sport in the Renfrewshire area. One public pitch is simply not enough to accommodate clubs such as Kelburne, Anchor and Ferguslie. As such we support the CAT submission by Kelburne Hockey Club in Ralston. For more information on this go to the Renfrewshire Council website.
It is essential for the sustainability of Kelburne that one of Scotland’s most successful hockey clubs has a home. Asset owning is a way of achieving that. Kelburne has the infrastructure to contribute to the well-being of the community, not only by delivering hockey activity, but by securing a site that will offer an array of activities on a long-term basis for the community.
We also support the need to protect and invest in the site at ON-X. To meet the demand for hockey in the area, and to protect the homes of Anchor and Ferguslie hockey clubs, who also have a rich history and important standing in the community.
It is essential that ON-X and the community asset transfer at Ralston are in place, invested in and protected. This will help address issues in equality and inclusion in sport and see the growth and opportunity accelerate in our game.
We ask the hockey clubs of Scotland to stand united and write to Renfrewshire Council and reiterate the importance of investing in hockey in the community to the following email by the 1st of July 2022.
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