Press Release – Go USA Hockey Showcases 2016
Voorburg, The Netherlands (May 23. 2016). The annual Go USA Hockey Showcase has grown considerably since its inception in 2012. After the significant success of the 2015 showcases it was decided once again to organize two showcases this year: one for first national players and one for players of all other levels. Organized by UStudy Sports, the showcases take place during the Pentecost weekend and held at VMHC Cartouche, close to The Hague.
According to UStudy Director Marina Meijer, “There is a growing demand from American universities for Dutch hockey players. The Go USA Field Hockey Showcases therefore offers hockey players in secondary and higher education in the Netherlands (and Belgium) an accessible platform on which to demonstrate their talent to American coaches. What’s more coaches have an opportunity to scout for talented players early for their varsity teams.”
This year 47 hockey players aged between 15 and 18 years attended the showcases in making their first step toward college hockey in America. The showcases were led by American coach Kerry de Vries. Kerry studied at the University of Iowa from 1988 to 1992, where she played both softball and field hockey. She worked as an assistant coach for Wake Forest University and then as the head coach for Kent State University. After the showcase each player is provided access to the video material and receives written feedback from Coach de Vries about their level of hockey. UStudy also ensures that they are informed about which hockey coaches are interested in them and would like to make further contact.
One of the participants was Sanne Cox (from HC AthenA). She and her mother traveled from Amsterdam to attend this event. “I think it’s great to be able to combine playing hockey and studying in America. I like that in America everyone is very involved with their sport,” says Sanne.
Hockey clinics, competitions and presentations were all included in the day’s schedule. UStudy Sports provided a lot of information about the level of hockey and academics in the US, and presented a step-by-step plan for gaining a placement in the US. One of the presentations was specifically designed for the parents and was led by Caroline Muller – professional parent coach and an experienced hockey mom. She shared her personal experiences as a mother of a daughter who has been playing hockey in the US for 3 years, and offered valuable tips and an insight to parents of players headed to the US in the future. As Caroline stated at the beginning of her presentation “It’s not so much about letting go, but rather about grasping on to something new”. In the meantime Caroline and Marina Meijer have started a Facebook group called “Ouders van Amerika-gangers” (Parents of American-bound (players)).
The following universities attended the showcases: Harvard University, Pennsylvania State University, Temple University, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, Hendrix College, Stonehill College and Earlham College. Previous showcase participants gained placements at top universities including Columbia University, Boston College, University of Virginia, and University of Maryland. Most of them were also offered full hockey scholarships. UStudy is organizing another series of showcases in 2017.