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.