Ulster Hockey

Maintaining and increasing women and girls participation

Ulster Hockey is one of four Provinces that together form the Irish Hockey Association (IHA) – the principal body responsible for the development of hockey at all levels across the island. In its relationship with the Irish Hockey Association, Ulster Hockey has responsibility for the administration, development and delivery of hockey within Ulster.

Whilst Ulster Hockey are fortunate to have many girls and women playing their sport they were aware that many more could be involved and that there’s drop out at particular stages. They wanted to take part in Engage Her 2018/19 to gain insight on how to plan and deliver hockey to ensure that more women and girls become and stay involved, either as players or as coaches, umpires and administrators. They hoped that the knowledge gained as a governing body, together with the involvement of three of their clubs on the project, will help them to share ideas with others and influence future planning and delivery of the sport.


Engage Her helped Ulster Hockey to identify the areas they could focus on:
• Consultation
• Programming
• Communications

As a result of their learning through Engage Her, staff are now consulting with the Ulster Squad to better understand the players’ needs. They have a greater awareness around marketing, and recognise that they need different images to speak to the different values and motivations of why women and girls might want to get involved in Hockey. And understanding the values driving female participation has helped them better understand which values they are appealing to through their marketing.


Ulster Hockey intend to incorporate elements of Engage Her learning into their new strategy and consultation is being incorporated into areas of the governing body’s work. To help disseminate their learning to clubs, Ulster Hockey is planning a Club Development day in June 2019 which will see the clubs that took part in the Engage Her share their learning with other clubs. They also plan to put case studies about the clubs that took part in Engage Her on the website so that the insight and learning is shared.