With Auckland spending over 100 days in Lock Down in 2021 it took a huge tole on the physical, social, and mental health of our hockey community.
When Auckland moved to level three and outdoor exercise classes were allowed with 2 metre spacing between participants, North Harbour Hockey knew they had to do something to get their members back on site.
At the start of lockdown, they had several youth programmes running and were due to start their adult development classes. Their staff quickly redesigned all the programmes to become outdoor hockey exercise classes when level 3 allowed. They had groups of 8 participants and each participant had a portion of the turf and their equipment necessary to train.
Harbour delivered a mammoth 270 hours of hockey during the October school holidays and made 1,401 contacts with their hockey participants. They had to shape all sessions to meet covid protocols and were thrilled that so many of their community members put their faith in them and enjoyed the sessions.
As part of the outdoor exercise range, Harbour ran specialist skill sessions. Members of all ages loved these sessions as they felt that they got to spend time on their technical skill development, which you don’t always get in a team environment.
During this time, they were also able to start their Hockey Without Limits programme when the gathering limit expanded to 25. With carers’ support, they were able to run this new programme for participants with disabilities or intellectual impairments. They reached new community members who were grateful that sport was acknowledging the importance of activity and engagement on overall wellbeing.
Participants remarked that the positive impact it had on their mental health and social wellbeing after being stuck at home was lifesaving.
Their outdoor session plans were also shared with other associations that went into lockdown and were used to support their playing communities.