Thanks to funding from the Edinburgh-based charity Sporting Start, children at Gracemount Primary School are having their first experience of hockey coaching.
‘Hockey Start’ is a new programme run by George Watson’s College designed to spread the joy of sport, and in particular hockey, to more young people who may not otherwise get the opportunity to participate. 60 P5 pupils at Gracemount Primary School are now enjoying hockey sessions once a week delivered by Watson’s coaches, all who have played the sport at national or international level.
Sporting Start was founded in memory of our former pupil Martin Macari (Class of 1987), an inspirational and talented sportsman whose life was cut short two years ago by cancer. Martin’s passion for the power and joy of sport led his family and friends to set up the charity in 2018 to help young people overcome barriers to participating in sport.
Speaking about this latest project to widen access to sport, Sporting Start’s Lucy Macari said: “We are proud to be partnering with George Watson’s College on this new hockey outreach programme and delighted that our support will enable many children to experience a new sport in their school. We are very grateful to all our fundraisers who have made supporting Hockey Start possible and the Watson’s hockey coaches for their fantastic work in delivering the sessions.”
Principal of George Watson’s College, Melvyn Roffe said: “We are delighted to be able to provide opportunities for pupils in local schools to develop hockey skills working with Sporting Start and the Watsonian Hockey Club. The scheme is about hockey skills but it is also about young people having more choices to support their own health and wellbeing.”
The sessions will continue at Gracemount until mid-April and Gracemount Primary Headteacher Greg Dimeck can already see the benefits that the hockey sessions are having on his pupils, he said: “Our kids have loved working with the hockey players that have been visiting our school regularly. Not only are they fantastic athletes but their love for the game has enthused the Gracemount pupils. We love our link with Watson’s and it is really benefiting our pupils.”