In January, Wales men’s field hockey team will compete in the 2023 FIH Hockey World Cup for the first time in their sporting history, with the backing of lead sponsor Study in Wales. After securing their place on home-turf in Wales at the October 2021 World Cup Qualifiers, the team will be competing in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, India.

Wales will join top hockey nations from around the world, including India, Germany, England, the Netherlands, and Australia in the competition, which runs from January 13-19, 2023.

Bringing education and sport together is something Welsh universities care about, almost every university in Wales has both a Men’s and a Women’s field hockey team. From FIH approved pitches to social sessions, our universities have so much to offer to those interested in hockey.

Welsh universities have welcomed more and more students from India since the introduction of the Graduate Immigration Route in 2019, which allows students completing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree to apply to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK for two years.

And for those particularly interested in hockey and other sports, either as a study option for a professional career, or just for fun and leisure, Wales has plenty to offer its international students. From state-of-the-art pitches and equipment to social sessions and university tournaments, there are endless opportunities to pursue sport.

The Study in Wales and Hockey Wales partnership is driven by the shared desire to inspire change, and both organisations fully support promoting Wales as a country that has a strong focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Professor Ben Calvert, Chair of Global Wales, said “International students play an invaluable role in diversifying and internationalising Welsh university campuses and communities at a time when retaining an international outlook is more important than ever.

“This partnership is another welcome step for Study in Wales, sports diplomacy and the ongoing development of our relationship with India. It is a positive initiative for Welsh universities, enabling the sector to reach international audiences through hockey on the world stage.

“Our involvement in the hockey world cup creates even more opportunity to promote Wales as a study destination and encourage students from India to take advantage of the unique opportunities on offer at Welsh universities to develop the skills and abilities that today’s employers are looking for.”

The relationship between Hockey Wales and Study in Wales is also strengthened by relationships with the players themselves. Several members of both the men’s and women’s squad studied at Welsh universities, and men’s team captain Luke Hawker is employed as a senior lecturer in Sport Coaching at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Luke said: “Welsh universities are continuously developing the sport at both an elite and fun level, creating an inspiring and inclusive community of field hockey athletes across the country. State-of-the-art facilities and overwhelming support from faculty both hugely contribute towards Wales’ sporting success.

“We also know first-hand the lengths that our universities go to, to provide a foundation for future success in people’s personal and professional lives, as well as on the sporting field.”

Wales will face home nation rivals England in their first match of the World Cup on Friday 13 January, followed by Spain on Sunday 15 January and India on Thursday 19 January.

To find out more about studying in Wales and the thousands of courses across Wales’ eight universities, click here.

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