A growing amount of children is dealing with obesity. One of the causes is that children participate less in physical play. A solution was presented by Marc Lammers, former hockey coach of the Dutch Olympic Women’s Hockey team and initiatior of this project: get children engaged in field hockey at an early age. However, currently it is hard for younger children (age 4-7) to play field hockey in teams, because a lot of teams don’t train children of this age. Also, their motoric skills have not developed fully yet. Therefore, they also have problems using the current solutions, which are basically resized field-hockey sticks.
After researching the target group the conclusion was that the focus for the project had to be teaching children the skills needed in field hockey step-by-step. This way, they can be trained at the level they are comfortable with and keep them in the flow of playing. Too much challenge creates frustration and causes them to quit playing. Too little challenge will leave the children bored, with the same results.
This resulted in the “Switch” field hockey stick concept. Adaptation, modification and customization are the main factors in this design. The concept consists of different toes and shafts, which can be combined to create a hockey stick for a specific training exercise or for safe, free play.