An old sport is gaining new athletes across the Midwest. One community in Naperville, Illinois is introducing middle school and high school students to the sport of field hockey - as featured in a Chicago Tribune article.
Thanks to an introductory clinic in 2015, the Naperville Park District has grown enough interest in the sport to support a youth field hockey team. Although field hockey is an NCAA sanctioned sport and popular on the east coast, participation in the Midwest is scarce.
Field hockey is a good compliment to athletes competing in lacrosse and ice hockey providing them with an alternative sport that demands a similar skill set. Getting young athletes involved in a variety of sports, instead of specializing in a single sport, is a central ideology of the Naperville Parks District and one that many communities are making a push towards.
The Naperville Park District, with the support of the USA Field Hockey Futures Program, has worked to grow the sport amongst youth since to the adoption of a field hockey club at Naperville North High School in 2013. The club is now up to 30 athletes, most of whom began playing the sport in middle school through the park’s field hockey program, and the growth of the program does not appear to be slowing.
As participation in field hockey continues to grow in communities such as Naperville, finding a place to play has never been easier with the assistance of GymDandy. Facility listings allow renters to pinpoint the exact field, surface type, and amenities to find the perfect place to play.