Access Sport is delighted to announce the launch of our new ‘Flyerz’ inclusive hockey project funded by Spirit of 2012. The project launches during the Vitality Women's World Cup, where we are delighted to host the annual Flyerz Festival on Sunday 29th July. Our new Flyerz hockey project will target young disabled people in England and Wales who face the additional challenge of growing up in poverty, providing them with inclusive hockey activity. Over three years, the project will develop 50 new inclusive Flyerz sections across England and Wales. The project is supported by England Hockey, Hockey Wales, the European Hockey Federation and World Hockey Federation.

Flyerz Hockey was first introduced in 2011 through a partnership between Access Sport and Waltham Forest Hockey Club. Access Sport provided expertise, funding and created local partnerships to develop the first inclusive hockey club, now known as ‘Forest Flyerz’. Within a year the club had engaged with over 700 young disabled people, gained the attention and support of Team GB hockey, in particular Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh and had inspired other clubs across the country. Hockey is brilliantly adaptable to cater for young people with a range of abilities. Since 2011, Access Sport has supported 15 new hockey clubs across England to establish new inclusive Flyerz sections.

Olympic gold medallists Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh, said:

Thanks to Access Sport, England Hockey and so many brilliant clubs up and down the country, Flyerz Hockey in the UK is going from strength to strength. It is important that we celebrate the Flyerz project and some of the wonderful players and coaches at the Vitality Women's Hockey World Cup. We got involved with Access Sport and the Flyerz because we both feel very strongly that hockey should be accessible and open to everyone. In many parts of the country this still is not the case and that is why this programme launch is so vital. We want to give every coach and volunteer the tools to make their clubs as inclusive as possible. 

Research has shown that disabled people are twice as likely to be inactive as non-disabled people. However, Activity Alliance’s research has shown that there is significant unmet demand with seven in ten disabled people want to be more active. 

Access Sport is delighted to launch this new project during the Vitality Women’s World Cup 2018 thanks to England Hockey’s continued support to engage more disabled people into hockey. On Sunday 29th July the National Flyerz Festival will take place with clubs and volunteers attending from clubs and organisations across England Wales.

Clubs will take part in a tournament at the home of Waltham Forest Hockey Club between 11am – 3pm. In the afternoon, Flyerz players, volunteers and families will be VIP guests in the World Cup Spectator Village from 4pm. There will be a Q & A on the stage, a showcase match and reigning European ParaHockey gold medallists, Midland Mencap Flyerz, will take to the main pitch at half-time to show their trophy to the crowds!

Spirit of 2012’s CEO Debbie Lye, said:

Flyerz will put disability hockey on the map, giving hundreds more young people a chance to try out the game. We know it is harder for disabled people, who are often socially isolated, to find welcoming and safe places to play sport, and so we’re hugely excited about Flyerz, which offers inclusive hockey as a route to both fitness and new friendships.

Mark Hardie, Chief Executive for Access Sport, said:

This ground-breaking project will take the growing Flyerz hockey movement to a truly national level. Our vision is to help all sport clubs to be confident and equipped to welcome disabled people on level terms so we are delighted that hockey is leading the way on inclusion.

England Hockey’s CEO Sally Munday, said:

England Hockey are delighted that the Spirit of 2012 have made this award to support the development of more Flyerz clubs. The interest in hockey in growing at an incredible rate and this project will enable the sport to become more accessible to people who have not had previously had easy opportunities to play.  We are delighted to be working Access Sport and I really am excited about how we can scale this project, as numbers grow it will give other  hockey clubs the confidence to create their own flyerz sections – I really believe we can create a movement here.

We are keen to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in this project as an individual or a club/organisation. Please contact [email protected] or call 020 7993 9883.

For more information on Access Sport please visit our website

Follow @FlyerzHockey on Twitter for regular updates on Flyerz Hockey!