DURHAM University students will run hockey coaching sessions for local youngsters from later this month.

Students from the university’s successful Hockey Club will lead Hockey Heroes – a six-week coaching programme for children aged five to eight.

A partnership with England Hockey, the sport’s national governing body, Hockey Heroes offers hockey coaching alongside helping children develop teamwork, communication and other life skills.

No previous experience of hockey is required. Children of all abilities are welcome.

The sessions will begin on Sunday October 20 and run for six consecutive Sundays, from 10am to 11am. The cost of the course is £32 per child, which includes two hockey sticks, a personalised T-shirt, a ball and stickers.

Children taking part will benefit from the new and improved facilities at Durham University Sports and Wellbeing Park, including two new hockey pitches.

Mark Brian, head of sport and physical activity at Durham University, said: “We have one of the most vibrant student sport communities of any university in the UK and it’s great that so many of our athletes are passionate about sharing their skills with local children.

“We hope that they’ll not only be able to share hockey techniques, but be role models, offering advice on balancing study and sport, health and exercise, and also being a listening friend.

“We’re pleased to be working with England Hockey on the Hockey Heroes initiative and excited to be using our new and improved hockey facilities. We can’t wait to get started and hope many children will join in.”

Durham University also hosts Durham Hockey Juniors in partnership with Durham City Hockey Club, providing administrative and coaching expertise and free use of the facilities at its Sports and Wellbeing Park.

It is hoped some children who enjoy the Hockey Heroes programme will join the Juniors team.

Junior coaching sessions are held each Sunday, from 10am to 11am for children aged six to nine, and from 10.30am to 12pm for children aged ten to 16. The cost is £4 per session, £50 per term, or £120 per year. For more information or to get involved, please email: junior.hockey@durham.ac.uk

Harriet Tebbs, England Hockey relationship manager and a Durham University graduate, said: “We’re really excited to see Durham Juniors partnering up with England Hockey to be one of the first Hockey Heroes clubs in the country.

“It’s great for five- to eight-year-olds in the local area to have the opportunity to develop their skills, be inspired by student athlete coaches whilst having access to world class facilities and unleash their inner Hockey Hero.”

Numbers are limited and pre-registration is required. Contact: junior.hockey@durham.ac.uk.