The National Youth Hockey Promoters look back on a very successful World Hockey Festival – 2nd part

Patrick, Uganda:
I am the happiest person because of the many things I learnt from Australia, which include among others drafting a development plan for hockey. I was in the marketing group and I’m going to do my best to market hockey in Uganda and the world as well if all my plans go well. In Australia, I met new friends from many nations and had a lot of fun. I saw the sea for the first time, saw the Cadbury chocolate factory, played on turf for the 1st time. I also admire the urge that my friends had for the development and promotion of hockey worldwide, which has often been a dream to see youth enjoying them with it.
Lastly thanks to the DUTCH HOCKEY FEDERATION who sponsored my air tickets and I learnt a lot from David & Nienke. I believe that hockey will gain from us. Thank you!

Mario, Mexico:
The World Hockey Festival had a huge impact on me and it definitely changed my life. I had the lucky opportunity to meet 30+ people that share with me the love for hockey. It was a unique chance to get to know and understand how hockey youth around the world think about hockey and how it affects them and their countries. It was a great chance to build brotherhoods that will last for eternity. Since the beginning, it was a great experience for me because I had never been overseas, and I had never watched such an important tournament as the Junior Men’s World Cup, but the best experience of all was to meet such an amazing group of young people that are full of new and fresh ideas on how to improve the sport that we love so much. The staff of the YotY and the Festival has to take big part of the credit of the success of this event. Without that group of people that had always had the desire of promoting youth hockey, this year-long event would’ve never taken place. I want to thank everyone at the Festival just for being awesome people, and remember to keep the flame burning, ‘cause as long as it burns hockey worldwide will have a great successful future.

David, Netherlands:
I was sent together with Nienke Belgraver as ambassador for our country to Hobart, Australia. It was a trip that changed my life because it was something great. Not only it because it was a great experience, but also because we had a lot of fun with the group. The best days for me were the Wednesday and the Saturday. On Wednesday we went sightseeing and we had a lot of fun because we saw a beautiful country and we became a great close group. Saturday was the big day for all of us and the night was great. We went bowling and after that we went to my host family for a little party. To conclude I want to thank all the people who made this possible for us.

I think that the World Hockey Festival in Tasmania could not have been a better end to the Year of the Youth celebrations. The way people came together regardless of their background or colour or race was amazing. One could sense the passion and enthusiasm that these youngsters had in their veins – and that passion was the will to be involved with hockey. It is difficult to find a group of people to make friends within a week. The participants in Hobart made friends for a lifetime! I was touched to see that. Thanks YotY.

Nienke, Netherlands:
My highlight of the week was meeting all these new friends and contacts all over the world! I received in 2 weeks more than 80 emails from all the people, and I chat almost every day with them!

Nicole, Australia:
Well I would have to say that the whole festival was a highlight for me but things that made it very memorable were the different and unique activities which we participated in each day. I found them exciting and enjoyed learning about the different countries cultures. The Oceania day was a very moving day especially when you saw Patrick walk on sand and in the water for the first time. I would have to say that I came way with a wealth of knowledge and with all this information I am now in the process of writing a proposal to start a Junior Hockey board for Tasmania to develop and hopefully increase the players in state teams. I would like to thank all the staff that were there, they were all very caring and supportive and all round a great bunch people. I would also like to thank all the youths, they were all fantastic and I am very grateful that I could be a part of a worldwide experience. These people have become some of my close and dearest friends who I hold very close to my heart and share some very fond memories.

Penny, Australia:
On the flight to Hobart I was quite nervy because I had no idea what to expect from the youth festival I was going to. The other scary factor was that I had to speak in front of people from around the world, this being a person who has trouble speaking to her English class seemed to be impossible. I was later surprised at how I managed to make the finals. The work done in the working groups was great and opened my eyes as to how much work really goes into the putting together of a tournament. Being in the marketing group was great because we got to observe the marketing in action with the junior men’s world cup on just over from where we were based. In the workshop I thought it was quite interesting, the ideas we all came up with and, that people in other countries all over the world have some of the same ideas to better hockey as me. The most memorable part of my experience in Hobart was meeting such awesome people from all corners of the globe that share or even have more passion for their hockey as I do. This group of youths is amongst the best people I have ever met.

Jesper, Australia:
What I have experienced through the course of the week was amazing. I have met so many friends that showed me what hockey was about in their own countries and what they have done in hockey for their country. I was very glad I could go and witness this and the brilliant hockey that the Junior Men’s World Cup produced. Thank you.

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,