EHF: Scottish Hockey Aspire tournament success supported by EuroHockey Solidarity Grant

Scotland’s first ever National Junior Aspire Tournament took place at Aberdeen’s Countesswells Sports Field with over 200 young players taking part in the event backed by EuroHockey Solidarity Funding.

This event follows a series of regional Junior Aspire Tournaments around the country for pupils predominantly from state schools.

This brand-new event in the Scottish Hockey calendar is aimed at predominantly state schools to encourage wider participation in our sport. The 20 teams played 8-a-side, half-pitch matches using the ‘Eights’ rules.

George Thornton, Scottish Hockey’s Junior Competitions and Events Manager, said: “We’re delighted that so many schools signed up for our inaugural National Junior Aspire Tournament.

“Hundreds of young hockey players from around the country enjoyed our regional events, which were a huge success. The Solidarity grant from the European Hockey Federation has allowed us to waive all entry fees and subsidise travel to the regional events.”

Tournament organiser Jocelyn Low was delighted with the great atmosphere at Countesswells: “It was fantastic to see so many children enjoying playing hockey against schools from around the country.

“Results didn’t seem to matter – they were all just having fun!  Thank you to all the coaches, umpires, players and parents for creating such a friendly, fun environment. We hope to make this an annual event.”

The appearance of Scottish Hockey’s mascot, Hamish the Hippo, proved very popular. Many selfies were taken.

Scottish Hockey also appreciated the support of Robert Gordon’s College in being such excellent hosts; Lorna Clyne for being their technical official; and to all the other volunteers who helped to make the day run so efficiently.

The girls had two competitions, based on performances in regional tournaments. Both events produced great excitement with a total of 104 goals being scored in the 30 matches.

In a thrilling final, Cults Academy beat Boroughmuir High School 8-4 in a 12-goal classic!  It took three late goals for the Deeside team to seal the win against their talented Edinburgh opponents. Aberdeen Grammar School 1 were third ahead of Banchory Academy and Dingwall Academy 1.

In the ‘challenge’ event, McLaren High School only conceded one goal all day as they topped the table ahead of Albyn School, who won 4 of their 5 matches. Cults Academy 2 were third, ahead of Aberdeen Grammar 2, Mearns Academy and Dingwall 2.

The eight boys’ teams were split into two groups. Just like the girls, the crowd were treated to high-quality hockey, with 87 goals being scored in the 16 matches.

The two group winners met in the final, with an invincible Dingwall Academy team beating Grove Academy 5-1. Aberdeen Grammar School won the 3rd place play-off against Boroughmuir. Cults won a five-goal thriller against Albyn 3-2 to finish fifth; and Banchory beat Mearns to finish seventh.

** You can find out more out EuroHockey Institute Solidarity funding here

by European Hockey Federation

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