Grove Menzieshill does its utmost to encourage hockey in local schools – and so it is terrific that the European Hockey Federation has named the Dundee-based club the European Small Club of the Year for 2016.
It is a massive achievement for the club as it continues to progress and create more opportunities for Scots to play hockey.
Grove Menzieshill has strong ties to the community, and the appointment of a youth development officer three years ago was instrumental in delivering new development initiatives.
The creation of a youth ambassador programme is a key component in their success, and three secondary schools – Grove Academy, Braeview Academy and Monifieth High – plus the cluster primaries are all beneficiaries.
Gavin Byers, a former international player, is the club’s development officer and he works closely with Active Schools in the Angus and Dundee area.
Harry Byers – Gavin’s dad – is also involved in promoting the junior game. “We run weekly outdoor sessions from March to November and then indoors in the winter,” he explained.
“Lots of the pupils then join the club and we currently have a thriving 150-strong youth section. The youngsters come from all around Tayside.
“The youngest members of the club are just five years old – we have 20 at the moment and their skills are amazing.”
Grove Menzieshill is a recipient of sportscotland’s Direct Club Investment and the hard work has earned its reward. This summer, the club’s under-16 boys and girls have both qualified for the European Cup – the first ever for a Scottish outfit.
For Scottish Hockey, the award represents back-to-back success. Uddingston won the trophy last year.