The impact of elite development programmes upon the performance of female hockey players in Great Britain
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The focus of the study is an examination of the extent to which elite development programmes, in the form of academies and centres of excellence, have contributed to improvement in the performance of individual female hockey players in England, Scotland and Wales and of the respective national senior teams. In order to establish the degree of impact of elite programmes upon individual and team performance a combination of research methodologies was used. Mainly qualitative and some limited quantitative data were gathered from questionnaires distributed to a virtually selÊselecting group of players within the England, Scotland and Wales senior hockey squads. Qualitative data was also extrapolated from a series of interviews undertaken with key senior personnel within the English, Scottish and Welsh hockey establishments. Corroborative data also emanated from a focus group triangulation exercise undertaken to cross reference previously collated evidence and to veri$ hypotheses and conclusions reached. Material and documentation derived from academic literary sources, from publications produced by national government, by the respective hockey governing bodies and by hockey-related media outlets, and from the sports national press informed discussion of the topic. It is evident that, when evaluated against recognised frameworks for the establishment and maintenance of elite development provision and against key performance indicators set by the governing bodies themselves, England's elite programme is delivering on a broad front, Scotland is making reasonable strides in pursuing its elite goals and Wales is working hard to bring its elite players to a point where the programme can make a real difference. The main discriminating factor in this respect is the amount of funding received by each national governing body for its elite programmes, although there is evidence of a discernible difference in the attitude and approach adopted by elite players in each ofthe countries.
BSc (Hons) Sport, P.E. and Recreation
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