World class clubs are delivering sporting opportunities for communities across Scotland. Here we celebrate a hockey club punching above its weight.
Dundee-based Grove Menzieshill Hockey Club was announced earlier this week as Small Club of the Year by the European Hockey Federation (EHF).
This accolade made it two wins in a row for clubs in Scotland (Uddingston took home the prize in 2015), demonstrating the growing strength of hockey in the country.
Grove Menzieshill is a recipient of sportscotland’s Direct Club Investment (DCI) funding stream, which supports the development of world class club sport.
For ten years the club has taken immense pride in its ties to the local community and to the families that come to enjoy hockey there. Their commitment to, and investment in, the people at the club made it stand out to the EHF judges.
Young people are at the heart of Grove Menzieshill HC, with two young coaches supported by the club and appointed through the DCI funding stream to support coach Gavin Byers, Scotland international player. The club also has its own Young Ambassadors programme to actively engage the next generation in hockey and grow club membership.
The work the club has done in education and development of officials and umpires has borne great fruit, with local girl Carly Edwards (19) now an international umpire.
The club and local schools have been working to develop strong links, with coaches from the club providing successful lunchtime and after-school hockey sessions, and supporting school sport competitions in the area for U18, U16 and U13 teams.
Gavin Byers said: "Grove Menzieshill Hockey Club is a club that prides itself on having close ties to the local community. The club regularly deals with local schools and businesses as well as enjoying involvement with community activities.
"Winning this accolade will enable us to work with local partners and the community to building facilities to continue to develop the sport in Dundee.
"A huge thank you must go to sportscotland and Leisure & Culture Dundee, but especially to all of our volunteers and members, it is their efforts that continue to make Grove Menzieshill Hockey Club a great club to be part of.”
Where National Lottery funding plays its part
In 2013, sportscotland announced that a £10 million funding stream would be made available to clubs across Scotland looking to develop and meet expanding capacity.
Using National Lottery funding, DCI is designed to support large-scale club development projects over a two to four-year period, with a focus on either growing club membership or enhancing club environments to allow the development of participants to athlete level, with some clubs focusing on both aspects.
Direct club investment is unique as it offers investment to support club development over a period of 2-4 years, giving the club time to embed significant developmental change.
Alongside providing DCI investment, sportscotland created regional development posts to directly support local sport clubs. This joined-up approach is reaping rewards four years into the programme, improving the quality of school to club to performance pathways and enabling Scottish Governing Bodies of sport to work more closely with their member clubs, and with local partners, to improve the opportunities for clubs to flourish.
The club is part of the Forthill Community Sport Hub, a flagship sportscotland programme using National Lottery money to bring together sport clubs and local partners to provide more opportunities for sport in local areas across Scotland.
Find out more
Learn more about sportscotland's work with clubs at the website.