23rd August 2017: The Finals of the Euro ParaHockey Championships took place in the Wagener Stadium this morning. England, The Netherlands 2 and Portugal stood on the podium, but the winners were the 200 athletes, 9 countries and 12 teams that participated in an incredible festival of inclusivity in Pinoke HC and then in the Wagener Stadium.
All the hockey players in the ParaHockey Championships have an intellectual disability but the 2 days in Pinoke and the finals today were a display of how able our players are to play hockey to the best of their ability as well as making new friends around Europe. The shared languages were respect, joy, love and passion for hockey.
In the final games today, England won the Challenge beating Spain in the tight game 1-2. The Challenge Division is for beginners and has been introduced for the first time here in Amsterdam. Belgium 2 took bronze with a win over a very young Irish side 1-0.
In the Trophy Division another incredibly tight game saw The Netherlands 2 beat Germany 1-2. France had a great game against Belgium and took the bronze.
In the Championship division, with incredible skill Portugal narrowly pushed Italy into 2nd place with a 3-2 win and in the bronze game Spain just pipped The Netherlands in a 9 goal thriller 5-4.
Speaking about the event first timer at the ParaHockey Championships French Captain Pierrick said “I have appreciated it was the first time it was with people that I don’t know. It was a great experience, it was superb”
Ross Faville, England Captain added “I think it has been great for everyone involved and loved the organisation of the event and play a sport I am passionate about at this level is amazing for everyone”
Marijke Fleuren, President of the EHF thanked sincerely the volunteers of the HC Pinoke, the KNHB, the umpires and especially the youth leaders from the EHF Youth Panel to put together this incredible festival of hockey and was delighted that the ParaHockey Championships continues to grow and grow. She is looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the Championships in 2019 in Antwerp where the EHF hopes to have 12 countries represented.
EHF Youth Panel, Chair, Leen (BEL), Roberta (CRO), Yoshi (FRA), Cederic (BEL), Harri (WAL), Chloe (WAL), Kostas (GRE), Aggelis (GRE) and supported by Pani (ENG)