EHF Education and Development Manager Norman Hughes visited Czech Republic last weekend to meet and talk to the action team delivering the award winning “We Come to You” project.
Below, he sends us a report of all the work that is being done to increase youth numbers in the Czech Republic.
A series of meetings took place with the full team who drive the programme:
• Gino Schilders – President
• Jakub Mejzlik – General Secretary
• Tomas Babicky and Petr Bodnar the coaches who head up the programme on the ground
• Markéta Křikavová – National player who acted as translator
On Saturday we visited several of the key hockey centres in Prague and spent most of the time supporting a U10 Youth Indoor Festival staged at Bohemians Indoor hall. Informal chats took place with coaches, parents and the young players as well as the organisers of the festival
After an excellent dinner at Family Schilders the whole of Sunday was focused on supporting the Czech Hockey Schools Indoor Festival (U8s)
24 schools took part in this fabulous event. They played 4 v 4 on a fully boarded pitch so the ball was in play all the time. The Czech Hockey Federation stage 4 events each year for their hockey schools and have seen the entries grow from 16 to 24 this year.
The hall was divided into 2 small pitches and the final third was given over to fun drills for the kids to try whilst they had “rest” from matches. A real festival of hockey fun!
All the players received certificates for attending and each team received a trophy. The emphasis was on fun and healthy living through hockey.
Over lunch Tomas and Petr gave a presentation of their work to date and their plans for 2015-16. They stressed the importance of the “Club Motors” and active school contacts in making the project a success. Tomas,Petr and their team are doing a great job for hockey. The “Hockey Club Motors” team are the enablers who use all channels possible to attract new young players to each club.
Step by step Czech Hockey is growing the number of youth players and this will for sure give good results in the coming years. Now the challenge is to train more trainers and find more pitch time for the growing number of youth players. But this is a nice problem to have and EHF is confident that the team in Czech Republic is motivated to continue this growth strategy.
CHF have opened a Facebook page for the project , which can be found here
EHF would like to congratulate Czech Republic on the success of its work , and we will continue to support this project in the coming years.
Source and photographs: EHF