The National Youth Hockey Promoters look back on a very successful World Hockey Festival

Siobhan, Wales:
To be given the chance to go over to Hobart was a once in a lifetime chance, and it turned out to be the best experience of my life. The people we met and worked on the World development plans with were brilliant. Well there’s Penny OZ who was the life and soul, Malcolm (kiwi)…well what can I say but sweet! Of course there was Bethan the Welsh wonder! We’ve made friends for life and I’m so grateful for being given this opportunity. We gained ideas from everyone of how to promote hockey in our countries… let’s just hope it works!!

Bethan, Wales:
I found out about the competition during June from the Swansea junior Coach (my club), although first I was a bit relucatant about doing more work after just finishing my GCSE Exams. But I thought I would give it a go – after having got an extended deadline because of a hockey trip to Germany. I handed my project in during July not expecting much to come of it. All my ideas came from the experiences of myself and those around me, as I have been involved in all levels of youth hockey in Wales – enjoying hockey to the fullest. My most enjoyable time in Hobart has to be the making of the World Plan – I was able to give my ideas and know people were listening to what I had to say. Meeting people from all over the world has to be a highlight, too – I have made life long friends. Hearing what other people had to say was brilliant, it made me grateful for what I have but also presented me with lots for ideas that I can now promote in Wales. Winning the award was the icing on cake – all the work had been done but it made me really believe that my ideas counted and that all the work I had done could make a difference. Now people from all around the world know who I am, I can make what I won worthwhile. The World Youth Hockey Promoter can really make a difference.

Kimberly, Ireland:
I had the most exciting and enjoyable trip I’ve ever been on while I was at the World Hockey Festival. I met some amazing people who have the same love for hockey as I do and its good to know that there are lots of like-minded people out there. I did a lot of work and saw some terrific hockey during my stay. I am grateful for every moment I had during the festival and for all the great people I met. I started missing it the moment I stepped on the plane!! I think the staff deserve a massive thank you for all their hard work because without them the whole festival wouldn’t have been possible. I know we’re all very grateful. Thank you.

Pablo, Argentina:
To begin with, I would like to confess how lucky I feel for having been part of the Year of the Youth Festival held in Hobart on last month. There were 30 different promoters from at least 20 different countries all sharing ideas, all sharing points of view and cultures. The experience that we lived in those unforgettable days is going to be something that is useful for the rest of our lives. But one of our main aims is to make this more than just a «memor. What we are really looking forward to is to make the YotY Festival a beginning; we would like to encourage youngsters to start playing hockey, to start loving the sport and to start making it grow in popularity. But what do we need to do this? We need active people; we need new ideas, but most of all, we need to be listened to. The first day of the Festival, we were told by the coordinators that they were expecting us to be the Future of Hockey and we assumed this role. Now we want to play it the most that we can. To sum up, I am asking to keep on giving us that chance because we have a lot of energy and new ideas to share and to put them to work. I know now that I speak in the name of all the YotY Promoters, when I say that we are fully to the service of Hockey Promotion any time that the FIH asks or need us. And we hope that they need us very often because we would love to serve the sport.

Siyabonga and Maggy, Namibia:
First of all I would like to thank the FIH and our local associations for giving us the opportunity to go to Hobart, Tasmania – an unforgettable experience. It was also very nice to meet the youth staff and I will use this opportunity to thank them for a wonderful week!!! If I may say so my group {15-18 target group} had the tallest and most wonderful leader Alan. Sandra was our computer genius, David the group clown, Nicole the lady with the golden voice, Kathleen our own soccer star and Suzi the reporter of week. If I had a million dollars I would call for a reunion. Thank you for everything HOCKEY!!!

Suziana, Singapore:
The World Hockey Festival was the most unforgettable event of my life as well as a good learning experience for me. I never knew that I could meet many wonderful and friendly people from around the world. I have learnt about the different problems that the unprivileged countries face and this had urged me to reach out my hand to help out these unprivileged countries. The most memorable highlight of the program was the Grand Finale. I felt satisfied and with all the hard work that we have put in while doing our projects. Lastly, not to forget, the special friendship that has developed between each and one of us could be felt as we swayed together hand in hand. It is definitely has been a successful and the most enjoyable event in the Year of the Youth.

Global Hockey Day, 12.5.2001 in Helsinki


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.

With hockeygreetings,