In 2004 and 2005 the FIH Development and Coaching Committee put a strong focus on Club & Association Development, bringing out the Club Development manual and facilitating Club & Association Development workshops. As with all projects a follow up is needed, to make sure that the provided information is used, implemented and adapted according to the countries' situation and needs.
Lately the FIH Continental Development Officer for Europe, Norman Hughes, facilitated a follow up workshop for the European Mediterranean zone and, a month later, the Balkan/South-Central European zone.
The EHF Hockey Planning Forum led by CDO Norman Hughes and FIH Development Manager Gabrielle van Doorn and EHF Zonal Hockey Co-ordinator Denis Jelacic took place from 3rd-5th August 2007. Representatives from 7 nations from right across the South Central and Balkan Zone met in Albena, Bulgaria for the second South Central/Balkan Hockey Forum.
The Bulgarian Hockey Federation proved to be the most wonderful hosts as Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Romania, Serbia and Croatia all came to share ideas and work as partners to improve and grow hockey in the region. FYR Macedonia a potential new member, attended by special invitation and Hungary supported the event by sending full presentations and ideas.
The Forum began with the CDO and the Bulgarian Hockey Federation asking all the delegates to share openly their plans and ideas and in particular to look at the ways of revitalizing the Balkan Hockey Championships.
CDO Norman Hughes and FIH Development Manager Gabrielle van Doorn then presented the FIH/EHF Development Strategy 2006-8 and stated that this Forum provided a huge opportunity for all nations to input into the next 2/4 year planning cycle.
Norman presented the FIH/EHF Survey template with best practice examples from Poland and Norway.
Gabrielle then explained the FIH grant funding process for the period 2008/9.
National presentations from all the delegates followed before topics such as Club Development, Umpire Development, Coach Development and Youth Development were debated in full.
The National presentations were very impressive showing a commitment and energy to overcome all obstacles in order to grow hockey in the region.
Zvonimir Kaić explains the Croatian Hockey Federation targets 2007-2010
On day 2 the Zonal Coach and Umpire calendar was agreed and decisions taken about venues and dates for the Balkan Championships 2008.
The group brainstormed tasks such as
• “How can we give more and improved support to our Clubs?”
• “What areas can be better delivered working across borders”
Thanks once more to the team from the Bulgarian Hockey Federation especially Antonio Antonov, who worked so hard to ensure the event ran very smoothly.
Thanks also to EHF/FIH for working in partnership and allocating funds to support this event.
Mr Kralev – President of BHF hosted a wonderful evening for the group 2007
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