In November 2021, Hockey Ireland, the national governing body for the sport of field hockey in Ireland, enlisted GameDay to facilitate a major digital transformation project.
The partnership covered many different areas of Hockey Ireland’s online operations, all of which were designed to support the growth and modernisation of the sport.
GameDay provided a number of different services:
- Implementation of an all-in-one membership and competition management system (specifically for Hockey Ireland’s national competitions), including the migration of existing data from Hockey Ireland’s previous provider
- The ability for a hierarchical structure to be put in place for Hockey Ireland and its four primary provinces
- Implementation of a registration platform, allowing Hockey Ireland direct access to members and furthering the communication between the two parties
Hockey Ireland’s digital transformation is already well underway, but as safeguarding, inclusion & diversity manager Dwyne Hill explains, there is still so much more that can be done.
‘It ticked all the boxes’
Initially, GameDay approached Hockey Ireland over the potential of working together.
Now over a year into the relationship between the two organisations, it seems to be a move which has paid off.
“In the early days when we first signed up with GameDay, it was really really good,” Hill said.
“We had regular meetings with the team, and the migration, the setting up of the platform and the training was absolutely excellent.
“From a National Governing Body (NGB) point of view, I think GameDay is a brilliant product. It had everything, and it ticked all the boxes for Hockey Ireland.
“It had membership, it had the competitions results management, it had the Schedula module. We wanted a one-stop system that did everything.
“Now, we had to go out to tender. We had three companies tender and GameDay was our preferred supplier. We had a panel and they scored the highest.”
A one-stop shop for users
Previously, Hockey Ireland users were forced to work across separate systems – something which reduced the efficiency of day-to-day operations.
Now though, GameDay has helped bring their membership and competition systems under one roof, which in both the short and long term will reduce the workload for all involved.
“Previously, people having to log in, our end users, would have to log into two or maybe three different systems to do the stuff that we wanted them to do,” Hill added.
“When you’ve got one system, it’s just one login and off they go. They can do everything through the portal.”
Willingness to adapt
Hockey Ireland operates a devolved structure, with four primary provinces (Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster) operating semi-autonomously below them.
Often, organisations can be unreceptive when it comes to adopting new technologies, for a range of reasons.
But on the whole in the case of Hockey Ireland, there was a willingness to embrace change for the good of the sport’s participants.
“Our Ulster Branch were already using GameDay for their competitions, so they were like a pilot for us,” Hill said.
“We knew what we were getting ourselves into because they were already using it. Two of our other branches were very happy for GameDay to come onboard.
“Our biggest branch, Leinster, has over 17,000 members. They haven’t decided to take on GameDay fully but I think because of the way that they’re set up, with existing infrastructure, API and processes already in place, they’re keen to stick to what they’re using for now, which is fine.”
“We weren’t pushing it down anybody’s throat, but it’s good to see that three of the four provinces have bought into GameDay.”
Looking to the future
So, where do Hockey Ireland go from here?
Moving forward, there are plans in place for them to begin using Schedula, GameDay’s match official allocation tool.
In addition, GameDay View, the organisation’s analytics and business intelligence tool, will also be adopted, and there is the potential for new website and eCommerce advancements to be made.
So many positives from their digital transformation can already be seen, but the willingness to adopt new ideas and thinking suggest there is much more still to come for Hockey Ireland.
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Photos courtesy of Hockey Ireland.