Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Hockey NSW Launches 'Retake The Field' Member Campaign

Published Tue 16 Mar 2021

With the 2021 hockey season about to get underway, Hockey NSW is excited to launch a new data-driven membership campaign with hopes that it will spearhead one of the biggest seasons for the sport in recent years.

Dubbed “Retake The Field”, the campaign is aimed at re-engaging thousands of identified participants who have previously played hockey but haven’t returned to the sport in recent years.

The basis for the campaign came from the results of the industry-leading analysis on Hockey NSW membership and survey data undertaken by the University of Sydney’s SPRINTER research group. Led by Dr. Lindsey Reece, the team analysed thousands of survey responses from Hockey NSW participants to develop a report that included some intriguing findings as to why participants leave the sport.

The report found that the top reasons players didn’t return to hockey in 2020 were COVID concerns, medical issues and age. Of those that reported COVID as their primary reason for not returning, 40% indicated health and safety was their main concern, as opposed to only 11% who indicated financial hardship was an issue.

Opposite to conventional thinking, a large percentage of players do not actually leave hockey dissatisfied, and remain fans or non-playing participants of the sport. Many also do return eventually after a short-hiatus away from the game.

Another interesting finding from the report was that players top three motivations for playing hockey were fun, to get fit/healthy and to socialise. The messaging within the ‘Retake The Field’ was informed from these insights, and features very heavily through all aspects of the campaign.

With findings in hand, Hockey NSW identified the opportunity to re-engage thousands of past players with the sport and encourage them to pick up a hockey stick or slip on the goalie pads once again in the 2021 season.

The campaign features several past and current hockey participants from the NSW community and was filmed with assistance of talented videographer Shaun Hepple, on location at Ryde Hunters Hill Hockey Club.

Stars of the "Retake The Field' campaign: (L-R) Sinead Simpkins, Carl McEvoy, Harrison Bishop, Kathleen Sales

Hockey NSW CEO David Thompson is excited to launch this first-of-a-kind campaign for hockey and hopes the investment will bring thousands of previous participants back to the sport this season.

“Our comprehensive and intricate membership data has allowed us narrow down the reasons why people don’t return to hockey from year-to-year. What we’ve found is that a large percentage of our players don’t leave the sport unhappy or having had a negative experience. A lot of players simply have lifestyle changes, injuries or commitments getting in the way,” said Thompson.

“COVID also caused a major impact to player numbers last year, with many of members citing health and safety concerns as a primary factor for not playing during 2020. Our hope is with the current environment in Australia, many of these players will once again pick up a stick this season.”

The campaign will be run primarily via social media and through targeted communications to identified members of the hockey community. NSW Clubs and Associations will also have access to the campaign and associated resources developed by Hockey NSW to assist promoting the sport in their local areas across the State.

For more information on how to get involved in hockey this season, visit our "Get Involved" page.