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BDO NI’s Primary School Hockey Festival commences

L-R: Marc Scott, Chief Executive, Ulster Hockey, Laura Jackson, Partner at BDO Northern Ireland and Amanda Morton, Youth Development Officer at Ulster Hockey pictured at the launch of the Primary Schools Hockey Festival.
L-R: Marc Scott, Chief Executive, Ulster Hockey, Laura Jackson, Partner at BDO Northern Ireland and Amanda Morton, Youth Development Officer at Ulster Hockey pictured at the launch of the Primary Schools Hockey Festival.

Ulster Hockey’s Youth Division have launched their primary schools’ competition in partnership with BDO NI. It will include 22 regional events taking place at venues across Northern Ireland over the next six weeks culminating in two Finals Days where it is expected more than 200 primary schools will compete for the McCloy (Girls) and Pearson (Boys) Cups.

 

Local primary schools will come together at Ballymena Academy on Thursday 16th March for their regional qualifying event.

 


The competition, part of a partnership between Ulster Hockey and local business advisory firm BDO NI which is now in its fourth year, is a popular event in the sporting calendar and offers schools across the region the chance to compete against the very best in their age group.

 

Laura Jackson, Partner at BDO NI said,


“The first step in developing an interest in sport comes from participation in schools, young people learn more about themselves and what type of sport or other activity they enjoy. This develops into a longer-term commitment, and it is vital that sports are able to offer this opportunity to young people. Ulster Hockey has been working hard for many years to encourage participation at youth level to allow the sport to grow.

 


“Since partnering with Ulster Hockey we have seen first-hand the popularity of the sport grow throughout Northern Ireland. We recognise the importance that corporate sponsorships can have in facilitating the awareness and increased participation in sports and we are proud to continue our relationship with Ulster Hockey.”

 

The Pearson and McCloy cups are annual national Primary School hockey tournaments for boys and girls, with over 150 teams registered to attend this year’s regional blitz’s so far.

 

Marc Scott, Chief Executive of Ulster Hockey commented:


“Both the Pearson and McCloy Cups are fantastic examples of how local and nationwide schools can get involved with hockey. It is growing year on year, and it is great to see so many teams across the province get involved. In particular, seeing more teams, both girls and especially boys, from more rural areas get interested in hockey from such a young age is an inspiration.



"This year in particular saw the Foyle Blitz’s triple the number of teams from last year, 2022 saw 3 teams enter these Blitz’s and this year we had a total of 9 teams. This shows that hockey as a sport is growing in popularity across all communities and areas, and across all of Northern Ireland.

 

“It is a source of great pride that we have BDO Northern Ireland as partners for the Pearson and McCloy Cups which feed off these nationwide blitz’s. We have been delighted to partner with BDO NI for 4 years and at Ulster Hockey believe that the opportunity for these cups to grow year on year is significant.”

 

Ulster Hockey have 250 youth teams throughout Northern Ireland, with 200 affiliated primary schools and 80 affiliated secondary schools. The Pearson and McCloy competitions have been running more than 30 years and have grown in popularity, attracting more and more schools annually.



BDO Northern Ireland is an award-winning accountancy practice that employs more than 150 people in Northern Ireland and provides professional services to more than 1,000 local companies. The partnership with Ulster Hockey aims tofacilitate the growth of their primary schools’ competitions, attracting more kids and making it more accessible to schools across Northern Ireland.  It will also help improve facilities and allow them to hire more resources to support the growth in the sport.

 

The McCloy Cup Finals Day will take place on Wednesday 29th March with the Pearson Cup Finals played on Friday 31st March at Stormont’s Playball Pitches starting from 9.30am.

 

For more information on the tournaments contact Ulster Hockey Youth Development Officer, Amanda Morton -amanda.morton@ulsterhockey.com

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