League plan hopes to be class apart!
North Shields Hockey Club are hoping to set up a free minileague competition this year between schools in the North Shields and Whitley Bay areas.
Geared to seven to 11-year-olds, the league would consist of a number of weekly arranged training events combined with formal matches.
The initiative has the backing of North Tyneside Council and England Hockey and the club are applying for cash through the Norwich Union Community Sports Fund to finance the idea.
Club spokesman and player David Yellowly said: "We believe in encouraging affordable sport to an inner-city community in which it has no real tradition.
"This league will not only ensure the participation of people in this age group in the sport, but will hopefully benefit our club in the longer term.
"We need to do more for the seven-11 age group where there are no or limited opportunities at present.
"This is because our current funding is only sufficient for the 11-15 age group in terms of weekly coaching and 16-18 age group in terms of providing suitable competitive matches."
Meanwhile, North Shields' First XI lost 3-1 to Newcastle University's Fourth XI in North East Hockey League Division Four.
Captain Kieran Conway said: "When we are good, our natural flair and skill carries us through games.
"However, our lack of training makes us fragile, particularly against the stronger teams, whom we have failed to deliver against on too many occasions this season.
"Next season our first and second XI will train together with an experienced coach and I expect significant improvements."
NOT HAPPY: Kieran Conway