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Hockey: The revival of hockey in Gibraltar is providing the results needed for the continued success of the sport in Gibraltar

Youth Hockey Development – The Story so far

The sport that we all love has continually graced Gibraltar with prestige, international exposure and many triumphs. Many are the European exploits that have resulted in medals of the highest ‘calibre’ being brought back to Gibraltar. Unfortunately, and probably due to the continuous efforts by clubs to conquer their respective European Cup’s, we have all been blinded by this success and have all ‘sinned’ by ignoring the future and the youngster’s hockey scene locally. (click on image to enlarge)

For the last decade junior hockey has been either non-existent or has depended on the half-hearted efforts of one or two individuals. At the start of the season 2002/2003 a gentleman by the name of Peter Pizarro, now the National Team Manager, decided it was time for change. In conjunction with several colleagues, he devised a five year plan with the sole aim of setting up junior hockey leagues in Gibraltar once again. He commenced by recruiting a bunch of approximately thirty youngsters, boys and girls, and started weekly training sessions for them all. His efforts were rewarded immediately with a steady rise in numbers of children participating and senior players helping out with the coaching. In fact in the third year of Youth Hockey in Gibraltar Peter helped to get me appointed as the Youth Development Officer. Within this period he also secured the services of Karl Stagno as the National Team Coach. Therefore, and for the first time ever, young players now had a structure within which they could develop as hockey players and then even aspire to represent Gibraltar at the various international levels available.

Now, well into the 5th year of the five year plan, the GHA can boast of a very healthy Youth League structure with training and competitions being held throughout the season at Under 12 & Under 16 and regular professional training being given to the Under 12, Under 16 and Under 21 national sides by Karl Stagno on his frequent visits to Gibraltar. Regular visits are now practically ‘must-do’ yearly events for some UK schools which also afford our youngsters with opportunities to measure against foreign opposition.

This year, not only are we holding the under 12 and under 16 outdoor leagues, we are also introducing an outdoor mini hockey league for under 9’s and two one day competitions for under sixes. The under 9 league will be made up of six teams of youngsters (both boys and girls).

The future looks bright once again for hockey.

Mr. Stephen Valarino

Youth Development Officer

GHA Youth Training days and times

Under 6’s

Trainings Mondays & Wednesdays 5.00 to 6.30 pm

Two one day competitions to be held at the end of season (May 2007)

Under 9’s

League competition on Mondays 5.00 to 6.30 pm

Trainings on Wednesdays 5.00 to 6.30 pm

Under 12’s

League competition on Mondays 5.00 to 6.30 pm

Trainings on Wednesdays 5.00 to 6.30 pm

Under 16’s

League competition on Mondays 5.00 to 6.30 pm

Trainings on Wednesdays 5.00 to 6.30 pm

Once boys/girls reach age of twelve/thirteen they are drafted into one of the local sides

Best of the Under 16 players also play as a team in the local women’s league.

Youth Coaches / Helpers

Stephen Valarino, Kevin Mclaren, Peter Pizarro, Morris Durante, Nathan Stagno, Charles Linares, Eric Abudarham, Diana Soussi-Avellano, Brian Buckley, Lianne Parral, Conrad Mcintosh

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