6th April 2017: On this International Day of Sport for Development and Peace the EHF is delighted to highlight our Twinning Programme. 

In conjunction with the Dutch Hockey Federation (KNHB) the EHF is delivering real developmental change in countries throughout Europe. The project, launched one year ago by the EHF President, Marijke Fleuren who said at the time that “this twinning project is a kind of a dream achieved’ and the KNHB President Erik Cornelissen who added that “we want to contribute to hockey as a world sport by sharing knowledge.”

Strong words from two Presidents who have been the frontline supporters of the ambitious Twinning Project that is seeing 9 European Hockey Member Associations linked with 8 Dutch Clubs. 

The concept of this twinning project delivers the possibility of social change to athletes and volunteers.

Established Dutch clubs are reaching out with their expertise and resources to countries all over Europe, some of whom have known a tough recent history. In return the Dutch volunteers are learning respect for that recent history, what the real needs of hockey players in developing hockey nations are and both are learning each others cultures and traditions. These small acts are building strong friendships across the borders of Europe. 

The EHF President, Marijke Fleuren said “Hockey as an Olympic Sport fully supports this International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The EHF Board often discusses and debates how hockey can deliver community development. We believe that when we build friendships through sport we also build mutual respect for different cultures and a better understanding of each other. Clubs are the core of European Hockey, so when we see our Dutch clubs reaching across Europe, across borders, we know that European hockey is working in the right direction. In our small way we hope that these projects help with building a long-lasting peaceful Europe. 

We are very proud of our volunteers in Push HC, Venlo, Oosterbeek, DOG, Athena, Kampong SV, Orange Rod and the professional staff in the KHNB who are working with their neighbours in Belarus, Lithuania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland, Austria and Turkey. One year since launch and the projects are thriving. At our General Assembly in August we will have the outcomes of the projects, but we believe that lifelong friendships will have been formed and the outcomes will last for years. 

To find out more click here