EHF Continental Development Officer visited Portugal last week to support the first small steps of the Portuguese Hockey Federation into the delivery of Disability Hockey.
PHF had linked with the Portuguese Federation for Disability Sport to deliver hockey to a group of Visually Impaired players (players with less than 20% sight)
Whilst a team of local coaches delivered a set of skills drills to the group the CDO together with Director of Sports Lisbon Mr Jorge de Carvalho, President of the Federation for Disability Sports Mr Jose Pavoeiro and Mrs Joana Goncalves discussed the way forward for disability hockey in Portugal.
Good partnership between Portuguese HF and the Federation for Disability Sport was agreed as crucial alongside the training of coaches to deliver to the groups. Amendments to equipment and rules were also debated.
CDO then rolled his sleeves up and helped the coaches train the visually impaired group.
All this was staged at the National High Performance Centre in Lisbon and just as our session was due to end another group of Intellectually Disabled people walked apst the pitch. Their leaders approached the coaches and asked if they could try hockey!!
1 hour later the first Hockey4All group coached in Portugal had doubled in size!
These are very early stages but the signs are very encouraging that PHF can welcome Disability players into the hockey family of Portugal. The CDO plans to link nations at an early stage in this work together so that they can share ideas and experiences. Belgium, Portugal,England and Ireland are all just starting programmes to improve their deliver of Hockey 4 All.
Together we are stronger.
CDO Ends 7 June 2013