Hockey: Five clubs get $50,000 in youth development grant to nurture talent

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SINGAPORE – Youth hockey programs here will get a boost with five local clubs each receiving $10,000 under a new grant from the Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) youth development academy .

The five parties are the Old Rafflesians Association (ORA), the Jansenites, the Indian Association (IA), Hypernova and Vijayanti.

The grant, which was launched in partnership with local media agency The Little Red Eye – which donated $50,000 – was announced Saturday morning March 19 at a ceremony at One Farrer Hotel.

SHF Vice President and Head of the Youth Development Committee, Christabel Chan, said: “We greatly appreciate The Little Red Eye’s support of our youth development efforts which are aimed at ensuring the long-term viability of the hockey and the values, culture and community that go hand in hand with sport in Singapore.”

The grant aims to provide a much-needed boost to youth programs that have been hampered by the pandemic.

Large-scale hockey competitions have not been able to take place for two years and training was limited to groups of five or fewer before authorities relaxed safety management measures this week.

Benjamin Kee, Managing Director of The Little Red Eye, said: “The policies that have been put in place during this global pandemic have unfortunately had a negative impact on sport in our country. And as an active sportsman in my youth, it was clear to me that stakeholders must come together if we want our sporting culture to continue to shine.”

The grant was well received by members of the hockey fraternity.

Hypernova Chairman Joshua Tan said: “This grant is a great initiative that will help clubs like ours launch youth programs to ensure a steady flow of talent into our senior squads.

“We are all looking forward to competing again soon, and having such a program in place will at least breathe new life into the club scene which has been starving for excitement for the past two years.”

To ensure a broad and lasting impact on youth hockey here, the committee has established eligibility criteria that clubs must meet.

Some of them include the presence of youth teams in different age groups (U12, U14, U16, U19), a 75% retention of athletes and the organization of youth tournaments within the club.

“We are confident that with the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and requirements that we have in place before we even start assessing proposals from candidate clubs, alongside the SHF support that clubs will receive, we will be able to launch a sustainable youth development program which we hope will spur the growth of hockey across the various age groups,” added Chan.

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