While Field Hockey has been an organized sport for hundreds of years, its inclusion in the 1908 Summer Olympics increased its popularity in the U.S. Today, over 250 American colleges and universities recognize it as a sport, with Division I and II scholarships available for men and women.
Due to its popularity, the Glen Ellyn Park District offers Field Hockey programs throughout the year, with Fall, Winter, and Spring 7-week sessions available for boys in grades 1-6 and for girls in grades 1-8. A 2-week summer camp at Glenbard West lets kids continue to improve their skills. Programs are also available for high school players during their off-season, including a competitive Indoor Field Hockey team that competed nationally in 2016.
“Our Fall season begins September 7,” said Mary Beth Bletsas, Field Hockey Co-Chair. “For all age groups we run Thursday evening practices that focus on skills and drills, and Sunday afternoon games so the kids can apply what they’ve learned. They’re divided by age and gender during practices and usually for games, but sometimes the girls like to scrimmage against the boys.”
Field Hockey builds great skills in young athletes, including eye-hand coordination and strategic thinking. “Field Hockey is played on a large field, so it requires a lot of running,” said Bletsas. “However, the younger kids play on a smaller field to match their skills and stamina.”
At the youngest ages, love for the sport and a desire to play with friends are the most important things. “It’s a joy to watch kids grow in this sport, not just athletically, but as people, gaining confidence in their bodies and their skills and making lasting friendships,” added Bletsas. “It’s definitely a team sport, so anyone who commits to it will learn cooperation, leadership, and teamwork, which are lifelong skills that will pay dividends for years afterward.” For more information or to register, contact:
Glen Ellyn Park District