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The Game is Growing in Michigan

By Erica Reilly, Michigan State Chapter Board Member | Oct. 22, 2020, 9 a.m. (ET)

The Game is Growing in Michigan! More than 100 new players, boys and girls aged 5 to 17, picked up a stick for the first time during two Discover Field Hockey Clinics run by the Michigan State Chapter.


On Saturday, October 17, dozens of boys and girls from nearby communities participated in the Discover Field Hockey Clinic at the Hope Sports Complex in Lansing, Mich. The 90-minute clinic provided kids with a fun, active and learner-centered approach to the game.


“Lansing is a pivotal target market for us," Erica Reilly, Michigan State Chapter Board Member, who is in charge of middle school programming. "Lansing is centrally located in the state and is a key connector to middle and high school field hockey being played on the east and west side of the state. Currently, the only [field] hockey that exists in the Lansing area is in the Big Ten played at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. We were very pleased with the turn-out and really hope to activate youth programming in that region.”


The Discover Field Hockey Clinic in Lansing will be followed up with two additional play-days on Saturday, October 24 and Saturday, November 7, which will be played on the turf at the Hope Sports Complex. Many participants leaving the facility last weekend were excited about the chance to play more field hockey.


In addition to the Discover Field Hockey Clinic hosted in Lansing, the Michigan State Chapter has set its sights on the Commerce Township area, a western suburb of Metro-Detroit. Nearby high schools of Clarkston and Gran Blanc have recently added the sport at the high school level.


“There is no question that all high school coaches want feeder programs,” said Jessie Veith Rouleau, Michigan State Chapter Board Member, who is in charge of youth programming. “The chapter has provided new coaches with marketing material to help open discussions with their local decision makers about launching middle school and community based programs.”


In early August, the Michigan State Chapter hosted a Discover Field Hockey Clinic at Oakland Yard Athletics in Waterford Township, Mich. to test the waters. It was wildly successful with more than 60 participants and a waiting list of 35. 


“Not only was the clinic a huge success, but we’ve since held two play-days and we have a spring youth league in the works there,” added Reilly.


The Michigan State Chapter is proud to have recruited some of the top coaches in the state to volunteer at the clinics. The current crop of coaches include high school coaches with Level 2 certification and former Division I athletes and coaches. 


Next up for the Michigan State Chapter is to host a Discover Field Hockey Clinic in Grand Rapids, Mich., located on the west side of the state. Grand Rapids contains 13 public high schools and represents a huge growth area for the sport. This fall season, Rockford High School, located north of Grand Rapids, entered the statewide field hockey league. Rockford is an athletic powerhouse, with girls lacrosse winning the state championship the last seven consecutive years. It is one of three high schools that play field hockey in that region.


“After Saturday’s clinic, a dad came up to me and said that his daughter loved our clinic and that we should host another clinic closer to his home in Grand Rapids,” said Reilly. “I told him that we are coming his way next!”


More information regarding the Discover Field Hockey Clinic in Grand Rapids, Mich. will be made available once a date and location are confirmed.