Beeston and NTU Sport introduce joint professionalised hockey programme

Beeston Hockey Club and Nottingham Trent University have formally announced a new partnership which aims to professionalise the training environment for their elite players.

The relationship between Beeston and NTU has developed significantly over the last two  years, with the organisations working in collaboration on an EU funded Erasmus Sport+ venture, the STICK Project, to enhance the Erasmus exchange programme for the benefit of student-athletes.  This collaboration has led to the formation of a joint performance committee to manage the programme and its athletes.

The coaching staff will work across both institutions; training and strength and conditioning programmes have been designed, similar to those in Netherlands where clubs train up 4 times per week together, to complement the demands of BUCS and National League hockey.

The Beeston ladies’ and men’s national league squads now feature over thirty NTU athletes, led by  Colin Clarke (the NTU Head of Hockey and Beeston Ladies’ Head Coach) and Mark Wadsley (the NTU Women’s Head Coach and Beeston Men’s Joint Head Coach), respectively.

The facilities at both the club and NTU are exceptional, and the partnership will allow the NTU athletes to train with Beeston at Nottingham Hockey Centre whilst Beeston will also utilise the indoor training facility at the Lee Westwood Sports Centre. This will provide both Beeston’s elite and junior teams the opportunity to train in an established England Hockey indoor national league facility in preparation for the indoor seasons.

NTU will increase the level of scholarship support to improve the opportunities available to talented hockey players. This will include bursaries and fee reduction opportunities, as well as academic flexibility support and performance lifestyle guidance for exceptional student-athletes part of the joint programme.

Graham Griffiths, Chairman and Men’s first team manager at Beeston commented, “I have witnessed NTU build an extremely strong reputation for hockey in my time at Beeston. The number of quality athletes studying at the University and playing Premier League hockey at Beeston speaks volumes for both the coaching teams and facilities that we share with each other. With Beeston stalwart and NTU alumni, Adam Dixon named as Great Britain captain last year, I’m sure this partnership will inspire more players like Adam to reach their full potential.”

Chris Campbell, Performance Sport Manager at NTU added, “We are delighted to be working with Beeston Hockey Club equally across the Men’s and Women’s programmes to provide our student-athletes the opportunity to be playing high level hockey at weekends alongside our high performing teams who compete in the Wednesday BUCS Competition. The foundation of all of our successful programmes at NTU Sport have always been partnerships with organisations who share our vision for inspiring potential in student-athletes. By signing this agreement with Beeston, it allows us to ensure that our athletes programmes are being appropriately managed to allow them to achieve excellence on the field of play. We are particularly excited to be working much closer on student recruitment, opening new pools of players to both organisations and helping to ensure the transition of athletes into new environments is as seamless as possible.”

n