An afternoon of hockey fun for the Ng children
By Koh Yizhe/Red Sports
For Raidon, Kaidon and Ixchel, Saturday signals an afternoon of fun.
The three Ng siblings, aged 10, 8 and 7 respectively, are part of the My First Hockey Club, a satellite training programme organized by Knight Rider Sports and the Singapore Hockey Federation.
“I really enjoy playing hockey,” said 10-year-old Raidon, who has been playing hockey since he picked it up as a CCA when he joined St. Hilda’s Primary School.
“Last year, there was a competition, but I was not good enough to get into the school team. I want to train hard to get into the school team this year.”
When My First Hockey Club programme was set up last year, Raidon’s mother, Mrs Cherlin Ng, saw it as a good opportunity to expose her other two children, who are also students at St. Hilda’s Primary, to the sport.
“The elder is taking hockey as a CCA in school and when their coach encouraged them to join this programme, I sent the second one to it as well. The younger girl wanted in too and that’s how they all got involved!” shared Mrs Ng.
“I wanted to send them for a sport that involves teamwork and they’re definitely enjoying it so far. The coaches are very encouraging and it gives them more exposure to the sport outside of school. I hope there will be a bigger team so more kids can play and get involved with the sport,” added Mrs Ng, who used to play inline hockey.
Kaidon, the middle child, enjoys the competitive nature of the sport.
“I like to play in matches,” said the primary two student.
“I like to win and don’t like to be the piggy that has to get the ball from the other players.”
For former football player, Dani Zulastir, 13, he thought hockey would be a challenging change to his usual sport.
“I wanted to have harder trainings,” explained the secondary one student.
“Hockey is more challenging as it is played with a smaller ball. I’ve only picked it up this year and my coach told me if I come for this training I’ll improve. So far, I think hockey is better than football.”
My First Hockey Club caters to youth between 6 to 16 years old. Not more than 10 students are assigned to one coach and the programme is catered for different skill levels.
This was what caught the eye of Mike McCabe, who sends his daughter, Kristy, for the programme.
“The coaching is fantastic,” said Mr McCabe, who comes from the United Kingdom.
“What surprised me was the number of coaches and the background and experience they have. Their approach with the children is great. It is only the second week that Kristy is in the programme and they already know her by name.”
“The coaches seem to know kids very well and relate to them very well. The nature of the coaching is more encouraging,” added Mr McCabe.
The programme is run by Fred Martens, who played hockey for the Singapore national team between 1977 and 1982
“Unlike school training where there are 20 kids to one coach, there is a lot of attention for the kids in this training. That’s what we’re proud of. They seem to get a bit better than those at school. It is just like enrichment for hockey,” said Mr Martens, who coaches at St. Hilda’s Primary and Victoria School.
“Most of the students are from the school team and sometimes, they come here instead of school training! I think it’s the attention that they get. They seem to look forward to training. Those who are raw are also welcome for a free try out and equipment is provided for,” added Mr Martens.
My First Hockey Club Satellite Centre
Time: Every Saturday 3.30 to 5pm and 5pm to 6.30pm
Venue: St Hilda’s School at Tampines Avenue 4. (Entry through gate D.)
Ages: 6 to 16 years old
Contact Person: Fred Martens
Tel: 9816 6140
Email: [email protected]
For more information, go to: Singapore Hockey Federation website