#FridayFocus – Bulgarian Hockey Federation celebrates 25 years!

10th June 2016

Bulgarian Hockey Federation is celebrating its 25th Anniversary!

While Hockey has been part of Bulgaria since the end of the 19th century, there was a lull in the sport until the 1990s, when a reinvigorated group of hockey enthusiasts got together to officially form the Bulgarian Hockey Federation (BHF). BHF was officially formed June 6th, 1991 when three sports clubs DFS Hebros, Harmanli, DFS Druzhba, and Novi Iskar CHF Academic Sofia came together with players to begin developing hockey in Bulgaria.

The first BHF President was the then-Secretary General of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee, Dimitur Haralampiev who served until 1995. Its current Executive Director, Assoc. Prof. Antonio Antonov is also a member of the EHF Development Projects Committee.

In 1991, shortly after its creation, the first National Indoor Men’s Championship is held, and in 1992 Bulgaria joins the FIH as its first National Outdoor Men’s Championship takes place. In 1993, BHF joins the European family by becoming a member of the European Hockey Federation.

A key driving force in the Balkan area, Bulgaria initiated the first Balkan Forum for the development of hockey in 1994, which was attended by representatives from Greece, Romania and then-Yugoslavia. Over ten year of cooperation later, in 2005, the first Balkan Hockey Championship (Men) was held in Sofia, cementing the hockey relationships of the region.

In its 25 years, Bulgarian Hockey has supported the creation of 57 hockey clubs, today, 33 of them are still active participants in the Federation and its activities. Bulgaria holds competitions in all age groups: U12, U14 boys and girls, U16 boys and girls, U18 boys and girls and Senior men and women.

Furthermore, BHF has pushed to establish Hockey as a university discipline in the National Sports Academy Vasil Levski, which trains specialised hockey coaches.

EHF President Marijke Fleuren and EHF Education and Development Manager Norman Hughes travelled to Bulgaria this week to take in the festivities and attend a meeting with the Bulgarian Minister of Sport, to continue working together and securing a prosperous future for Bulgarian Hockey.

Source: EHF/Bulgarian Hockey Federation

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