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UEL Hockey Team Go Global

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UEL Hockey Team Go Global

UEL’s Hockey Club have embarked on a tour to South Africa, to develop local hockey programmes, as part of the University’s Going Global programme.

The scheme helps students develop as they participate in short overseas visits, intended to support studies and civic engagement projects.

The team, made up of players from both the male and female hockey squads, will be based in Langa, Cape Town and will be working with local schools to provide youth camps for around 80-100 children a day.

Tour co-ordinator Ciara Gormley said that personal development and the chance to make a difference was key in her decision to apply for the scheme.

“There’s no comparison with the experience you get from going on a trip like this. All the academic work is great but the personal development you get from going somewhere like this is life changing.”

“We wanted to do something a bit extra with the club and leave a legacy behind to attract more people in.”

Ciara, a Physiotherapy student at UEL, explained that her own previous experiences of South Africa made it an easy choice of location for her team to visit.

“We chose Langa as I’ve been there before and the charisma and the energy behind all the people there is fantastic.”

“It’s a township that has lots of community developments, hockey clubs and it’s just got a real excitement about it, so we wanted to be part of that.”

Not only are the club providing opportunities to youths during their time in South Africa, but they are also providing hockey clubs with equipment and a link to UK based teams to help further development.

“We’ve organised a project called Rep Your Club, where we’ve asked as many different hockey clubs from the UK, Ireland, Germany and Belgium to donate a playing jersey from each club”, Ciara explained, adding “On our last day we have a tournament where we’ll hand all these out as well as a lot of kit we’ve accumulated, which will hopefully link up the hockey community here with some home-based clubs.”

UEL’s International Sports Development Officer Arfan Akram sees the Going Global scheme as a key way in which students can progress while at UEL. 

“The partnership between Going Global and UEL Sports dates back to 2013 and it’s a very important and powerful link, as it has an incredible impact on our students. We see them develop as individuals and as a group, it can be a life defining trip.”

“We have a responsibility as an academic institute to ensure that we’re making our students ready for the real world and to say that you’ve been an ambassador for UEL overseas on a successful sports trip shows real character.”