With the World Cup in full swing, Harrod Sport, who partner with GB and England Hockey, spoke to Tom Sorsby about what needs to be done to get more people playing the sport.
1. How did you get into playing hockey?
Sorsby: I come from a hockey playing family. Both parents met at my local hockey club and I have plenty of family on each side who were big into it.
2. A Harrod Sport survey revealed that 78% would be encouraged to play a specific sport if they saw it achieve national success. Did this have any influence on your decision to play hockey?
This didn’t have any influence on me as I came from a smaller club up in Yorkshire. There was a very tight knit hockey social community, although today I feel as though hockey has more exposure and greater international success would influence people.
3. What excites you about hockey right now?
It’s a very progressive, fast-paced and developing sport. There are plenty of exciting international competitions that need greater exposure. The game is professionalizing, and while it’s not there yet I feel as though it’s on a good path. I feel as though hockey needs to jump on the back of the desire for variety in the viewership – it’s a sport that could capitalize on its niches.
4. What do you think could be done to encourage more people to get involved in hockey?
There needs to be a greater social/TV and media presence. It will need to feature more on mainstream television, the national leagues need to feature more currently in some kind of media. There needs to be more information about how and where people can pick it up.
5. How important to you is it for minority sports (those outside of the big 5; football, rugby, cricket, badminton and basketball) to be televised in order to increase uptake?
It’s imperative – the single most important thing that needs to happen.
6. Do you think social media is having a positive impact on sport, especially in ensuring the popularity of hockey, and encouraging more people to take part?
Without a doubt social media is having a positive impact. Hockey needs to make sure it continues to be progressive socially in order to help increase popularity.
7. How important do you think it is for children to get a chance to try a wider range of different sports at school? Please include reasons for your answer.
Not only from a mental and physical health perspective, but also just for variety, kids need to be able to try a wide range of sports. There are many great sports outside of the mainstream ones, and kids should not be shoehorned into playing football for example.
8. What has been a particular highlight for you, in your career so far?
My first cap, I was able to receive it in London and as it was back in 2019 I was able to have a lot of close family there to witness it.