Photographer / Belinda Russell
Scott Spillman, executive director of S.P.O.R.T.S. (Southeastern Program of Recreational Team Sports), 12690 Promise Road, Fishers, says the new field hockey league for girls that started this fall is part of a partnership with the Crossroads Field Hockey Club.
“The club’s coaches were looking for a community where they could put down some roots and grow their field hockey program,” Spillman says. “Part of S.P.O.R.T.S.’ mission is to provide opportunities for children to participate in recreational team sports. Couple this new league with the fact that it gives young girls in our community a chance to learn a new sport, and it was a no-brainer to help facilitate this program.”
Spillman notes that the field hockey league is for all girls ages 7 to 18.
“The emphasis is on teaching the game to girls who have little to no experience with playing field hockey,” Spillman adds. “Because of that, it is recreational in nature, but the girls do scrimmage and will have opportunities to play in tournaments and against other teams down the road.”
S.P.O.R.T.S. has been serving the city of Fishers and the HSE Schools community since 1987.
“The field hockey league started this year, though the coaches who helped start the league have been leading the field hockey charge since 2017 through the Crossroads Field Hockey Club,” Spillman says.
Spillman adds that there has been a lot of community excitement for the field hockey league.
“Our hope is that this is the next step in making field hockey another sport for girls to participate in throughout their entire athletic career,” Spillman says. “The coaches from the Crossroads Field Hockey club are phenomenal. They all bring their passion for the sport and their experience from the collegiate level to our program.”
Spillman has been pleased with the number of participants in the league.
“We currently have 31 girls registered and participating in the field hockey league,” Spillman says. “We were impressed by the registration numbers because field hockey is not a common sport to see on a field in Indiana. We admire the girls in the league for their willingness to jump into a new sport, and we thank their parents for being supportive in the children’s decision to try something new.”
The season started August 6.
“The girls are having fun and learning a lot about the sport of field hockey,” Spillman says. “Through our partnership with the city of Fishers, the city’s Department of Public Works team has the fields beautifully manicured and trimmed to the proper field hockey length at Holland Park. We are excited to watch the girls grow in the sport throughout the fall.”
Spillman and the league’s coaches are excited about the possibilities that the future holds.
“We would love for field hockey to become a staple for young girls in our area, but we would also love to see the sport grow into other neighboring communities,” he says. “USA Field Hockey provides the opportunity for grants and certifications for leagues across the country.”
Spillman hopes Fishers becomes a big place for the sport. He also hopes it encourages more youth to get involved in sports.
“A recent study of youth sports by the Aspen Institute showed that 69% of girls are quitting youth sports at a young age,” Spillman says. “S.P.O.R.T.S. is committed to continuing our efforts of offering new opportunities to all of the children in our community. However, we want to continue to curtail the declining trend of participation in girls’ youth sports. Providing new opportunities like field hockey is a step forward as part of a multi-faceted approach to keeping young girls in youth sports.”
For more information. visit HSESPORTS.org.