First the new water-filled pitch was reserved for the kids and their parents.
About 30 people (kids ages 1+6 -> 10), who had never played hockey followed a hockeyroute with different hockeytricks (e.g. dribbling, goal-scoring, tarket competitions, ball-bouncing). After that there was a friendly match between Finland’s U21 Men and an English Men’s team (Reigate Priory?). After the match hockeypitch was again open for all to come and try some hockeytricks. In the end every child got a hockey T-shirt or a pencil-set as a gift. This event lasted for 4 hours and children were very excited about this ‘new sport’.
Krisse’s Hockey school, 18-20.6.2001, in Helsinki
For the first time FHA arranged a hockeyschool (free of charge) for all children. For three days (3 h/day) 10 children, boys and girls aged 6 to 12, learnt the basics of hockey. Most of them had never seen fieldhockey actually played before (nor held a hockeystick in their hand!), but it didn’t prevent them of having fun. We did different hockeyskills: dribbling, passing&receiving, goal-scoring, tarket competitions, and of course, every boy and girl tried what was it like to be a goalie with real equipment on!
We had unexpected media success as fieldhockey is quite rare and exotic in Finland. On the first day, a radioreporter came and interviewed kids about hockey (they did not know anything, “we are here ‘cause our mother told us to come”!). And, on the last day suddenly a newspaperman with his fotografer (from the biggest newspaper in Finland!) came to make a story about kids playing hockey. It was very good publicity for us, although he wrote that “kids didn’t want to be goalies because their equipment stink!”.
After three days of hockey, kids got a YotY-diploma and a foto of them as goalkeepers. We all had fun and hope that we can do this again next summer!
Hockeygreetings from: Aatu, Antti, Jussi, Martin, Henrik, Elina, Anu, Markus, Tuure, Iiro, Sari(goalie) & Krisse.
International YotY Youth Camp, 25.6 – 2.7 in Siauliai &Bubiai, Lithuania
This camp was part of the Finnish YotY-program. Unfortunately, only one youngster could get holiday from summerjob and take part in this camp. So, there were two participants from Finland: Sari, a 18-year-old goalie-girl and me, Kristiina as a coach. The Lithuanians had really put an effort for this camp, and we enjoyed every moment of it! It was really worth of travelling 20 hours by ferry&bus to the camp. Although the Lithuanian kids didn’t speak English a lot, Sari got on well with them. We both hope to get on a camp like that soon again. Thank you – Inga, Jolanda, Kristina, Angela, Svetlana, Vilija and of course, Stijn!
YotY Kids’ Hockey Day, 18.8, in Helsinki
We had a 2-hour-open-session for kids and their parents at the best hockeypitch in Finland! There were 10 kids, ages 6 to 11, and their parents. Some of the kids were familiar with hockey, as they were in the hockeyschool, some were new ones. We trained the basic hockeyskills (dribbling, passing&receiving, bouncing the ball etc.), tried goalie-equipment in action and played ‘kids against parents’. The kids really made their parents sweat!
YotY School Demos in the Metropolitan area (= Helsinki, Espoo & Vantaa), in spring and autumn 2001
We have given about 45 demos in PE lessons at schools. So, at least 500 pupils, aged 12 to 21, have learnt the basics of hockey. It is so hard for the Finns to understand all the finesses of hockey. For instance, they don’t understand why hockey is played only with a right-handed stick, not with a lefty one as most of the Finns play ICE-hockey (or floorball). We hope that more children would find their way someday to the fieldhockeypitch.
Demos at Sports camps in Helsinki, 4-8.6 and 11-15.6.
There were 2 week-long sports camps for children 7 to 13 years old. Every group of 15 children had one hockey lesson per week. That means, during these two weeks at least 600 kids had an hour full of hockeyfun. This was the second time we gave these hockey lessons at this camp. Some of the kids remembered this ‘exotic teamsport’ from last year’s camp and were really exceited to try again! It was really nice to see how good they were at the end of the lesson.
And the joy on their faces, when they had made their own record in bouncing the ball with the stick!
YotY-Indoorhockey-Day in Helsinki, 28.10.
For the first time we had a Family-Indoorhockey-event, where everybody could try different indoortricks, e.g. shooting to a goal with/or without a goalie, trying to make a goal using side-boards and games. The kids (7-12 yrs) also wanted to put goalkeepers equipment on and try to stop the balls. Seems like we won’t have any shortage of goalies in the future, because they were all so good and excited about it.