Introducing Zach Hickmore
The EFA’s new Research & Development Assistant, Zach Hickmore, talks about his new role as part of the FiveStar team.
What R&D will you be undertaking in this position?
In this role I will be conducting research to create a body of evidence to support the EFA and the FiveStar programme in their goal of promoting and growing Eton Fives, as well as exploring the issue of drop-out after education. I will be getting in touch with current and former Fives players, and working with schools and universities, to run research projects that support youth development, both physical and mental. The aim is to establish what role Eton Fives can play in an educational context and beyond, and how it measures up alongside more mainstream sports and activities.
You have a Masters in Sports Psychology but no previous experience of Eton Fives. What attracted you to this opportunity?
My goal in life has been to work in sport, and conducting research and seeing the difference that this research could make across an entire sport is an exciting prospect.
I have played, competed, trained, coached, taught, counselled, studied, researched and run a business in sport. My background and interests have led me to specialise in Sport Psychology, where my aim is to understand sports and the people that play them.
Being new to Eton Fives, I find most aspects of the sport fascinating – the court, the rules structures and the social/team element. I see so much potential in the sport, and the social, physical, educational and psychological benefits are going to be exciting to explore.
What are you focusing on first?
My first step is to understand what has already been done, what information has been gathered, and what others within the EF community are interested in. Coming into Eton Fives as a ‘newbie’, I want to learn from others in the sport what makes the game great in their eyes and where they see the sport going. Understanding where EF has come from and where the members see it going will help me to assess the initial opportunities and barriers that I will face.
What do you hope to achieve?
I set my goals high. I would like to create a body of evidence that will showcase the sport and provide objective support for its further development. Although research does not make assumptions, each project will explore an area of the game that is inarguably valuable, and which will allow it to be compared to other more widely-played sports.
How can EFA members help?