SCORES of schoolchildren from around Hounslow got their first taste of hockey in a tournament on Tuesday.

Hosted by the Indian Gymkhana club in Osterley, the Quick Sticks event featured 16 teams from nine primary schools around the borough.

Those taking part were Spring Grove, Beavers, St Paul's, St Mary's Chiswick, Chatsworth, Marlborough, Wellington, Our Lady & St John and Green Dragon.

The teams divided into four groups of four and played a round-robin tournament, with no overall winners, but each player getting a certificate of participation.

The event was organised jointly by Indian Gymkhana's youth development section and the Isleworth & Syon School Sports Partnership, with help from the Access Sport charity.

Gymkhana's Jenny Wile said: "With many of the children altogether new to the game, we wanted to keep the emphasis on taking part rather than winning. Not only did all the children have a good time learning a new game, but their parents commented afterwards that they did too.

"Before the games, the children received two hours of coaching, going round eight different coaching stations and learning a different aspect of the game."

The inaugural tournament was such a success that the organisers are thinking of now holding it twice a year. It came about as part of Indian Gymkhana's focus on youth development and getting more Hounslow youngsters involved in the sport.

As well as linking up with the Isleworth & Syon partnership and lending their facilities free of use to local primary schools, they are hosting a series of taster sessions for youngsters keen to give hockey a try.

They take place at Indian Gymkhana every Sunday from 10-11.30am for four to 18 year olds, and every Thursday, during school term time, from 4.10-5.20pm for eight to 18 year olds. For more information, contact 07890 701 339.