Ulster Hockey in partnership with Netball NI and Ulster Rugby, are kicking off a new programme this month that aims to provide strength and conditioning sessions regionally for up and coming athletes from hockey, netball and rugby. This unique project, made possible through funding from the Department for Communities, allows talented athletes across all 3 sports to access quality movement and conditioning sessions designed to develop their physical capacity, complementing their ongoing skill development on the court and on the pitch.
Ulster Hockey Talent Coach Shirley McCay said: “Ulster Hockey are delighted to team up with Netball NI and Ulster Rugby to provide this excellent opportunity to some of our promising underage female athletes. It is vital to support these athletes off the pitch as well as on it and this programme will seek to improve their movement competency and physical conditioning to allow them to perform better on the pitch. It is also provides the unique opportunity to train alongside athletes from other sports. We hope that the athletes involved enjoy and benefit from the programme and it is something we will seek to continue in 2020.”
Netball NI’s Performance Pathway Officer Noleen Armstrong said: “We wanted to explore ways of improving the robustness of our upcoming netballers and increase their capacity to perform at an elite level. This project with Ulster Hockey and Ulster Rugby means that athletes can focus on the key movement patterns and techniques that benefits all sports and the athletes as they move through their respective pathways.”
Eliza Downey from Ulster Rugby also welcomed the initiative: “By bringing together a group of athletes across a number of team sports we hope to inspire, challenge and encourage these promising female athletes to reach their potential. This specific focus on movement patterns and conditioning aims to build confidence in our athletes so they are better equipped to transition through their performance pathway.”
A total of 41 female athletes aged 16-18 will take part in this project in venues in Lisburn, Belfast and Magherafelt over the coming months.