Sunday, July 31, 2011

Field Hockey Camp

As if the children Elliot did not have enough sporting events to keep them busy, for the second summer in a row, Georgia and Josie gave Field Hockey a try.  Believe it or not, there is a dearth of sporting options for the female under-12 set in our town.  There's soccer (and trust me, we do like soccer) and there's softball (no one has any interest) and then there's the  always present ballet or gymnastics if you are so inclined, but the team sports that older girls get to play do not start until, well, until you are OLDER.

This is not the case for little boy sports in our town.  Now I know that my girls COULD play hockey with the boys, if they wanted to (they don't) and I suppose we could fight to let them play boys lacrosse, but boys lacrosse is a completely different game then girls lacrosse so playing for three years on the boys team seems a little futile.  Georgia and Josie would both love to be playing lacrosse for our town, but it's not offered for girls until late elementary school age.  The same thing applies to field hockey but our town doesn't offer field hockey until middle school.  The boys have baseball, basketball and football teams that they can join.  What about the girls, you ask?  Lucky them - they get to be on the Pop Warner Cheerleading squad and root for the boys.

Is this 1956?

Nope.

Neither Gordy nor I want our girls to be cheering for the boys - at least not in an organized manner with uniforms and everything.  We want them to be on the field, chasing after the balls and being cheered themselves.  If our town can't provide our girls with athletic teams and skills, then we decided to look elsewhere.  That's why Georgia played lacrosse on a neighboring town's team this spring.  And that's how we found this field hockey camp - run by the Women's Field Hockey coach at a nearby university.


This particular camp wasn't a long one - only an hour and a half for four days, but the girls managed to pick up the basics.  They learned to use their sticks and how to run while pushing the ball along in front of them.  And they got much-needed exercise and fresh air.

I'm not sure if the coach has little girls of her own, but she sure acted like she did.  On the first morning of camp, the girls arrived to find Goodie Bags with their names on them and child-sized hockey sticks in pinks, yellows and purples.

My girls already had their hockey sticks from when they attended this camp last summer, but you could tell that Josie wanted to trade her baby blue stick for one of those spiffy new sticks REALLY BADLY.

This picture below shows Josie, coveting her neighbor's green hockey stick.



I arrived early on the second day of camp, armed with my camera and telephoto lens, ready to take some pictures.

Unfortunately, the girls were practicing drills facing away from where I sat, so I ended up with a whole mess of pictures of their backs.


Some shots were at least better than others:








You get the idea.


Look at all those girls!  Granted, they aren't all from our town but the point is still there to be made:  These girls loved field hockey.  And they loved being part of a team and trying something new.  Maybe it's time for our town to rethink it's refusal to introduce sports to younger girls.  They seem ready, to me.

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