For this Friday’s focus feature, we are proud to announce the 2016 EHF Club of the Year Winners

Large Club of the Year 2016: SG Rotation Prenzlauer Berg, Germany

SG Rotation has maintainted a systematic and determined approach to growth over the last 15 years, focusing on their junior sections while underscoring that hockey can be both fun and competitive. Welcoming all who want to play hockey means creating a space where those who play hockey at a high competitive level are on par with those who play for fun. They have managed to do all of this when faced with great challenges of infrastructure and adapting to the circumstances around them and engaging with the local community, all while maintaining  the value of gender balance.

Heike Deutschmann, Head of SG Rotation Prenzlauer Berg was very happy to get the news for her club. She tells us, “Putting together the application  for the EHF Hockey Club of the Year 2016 award already brought back strong memories. Collecting material and writing down our club’s history meant recalling some very intense years and a lot of work invested in rebuilding a club that had been founded in the former GDR in the early 1950s and went through tough times. 2016 was the most successful year in the club’s history and we are simply overwhelmed by being awarded this prestigious title. We will surely celebrate this with our numerous volunteers, members and supporters immediately after returning from the Easter break.”

 

Maren Boyé, the Director for Sports Development at the Deutscher Hockey-bud said: “We are very proud that one of our German Clubs won the EHF Club of the Year award and congratulate the Hockey club SG Rotation Prenzlauer Berg for its exemplary work for hockey.

The fact that SG Rotation Prenzlauer Berg won this European award because of its good work shows us that our Hockey clubs are going into the right direction and that development based on systematic action on a long-term basis ensures growth in numbers but also success for the club as a whole. SG Rotation Prenzlauer Berg has changed in the past 15 years from a small club to a large and innovative one with school cooperations, many licensed Hockey coaches, junior and senior umpires, offering many good opportunities to enjoy Hockey and the free time in the club.

SG Rotation Prenzlauer Berg can be seen as a best practice example for other clubs with the aim of achieving development and we wish all members including the executive boards of Rotation all the best for the future.”

 

Small Club of the Year 2016: Grove Menzieshill HC, Scotland

For the second year in a row, Scotland shows us that small clubs can make a difference. Grove Menzieshill HC is a small but proud family hockey club, with strong ties to its community. In 2014, the appointment of a Youth Development Officer was instrumental in delivering new development initiatives for the club. The creation fo a Youth Ambassador programme is a key component in their success, as they are actively engaging the next generation to promote hockey and grow club membership. Grove Menzieshill HC has also made it a priority to educate and develop their officials and umpires.

David Sweetman, CEO of Scottish Hockey, said: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to Grove Menzieshill on this success, it’s great to see the club recognised for the hard work it has done. Strong clubs are vital to the strength and growth of the sport; we want them to be strong, vibrant organisations in order to attract and retain members. We hope this award will inspire all our member clubs across Scotland.”

Club President Kyle Moir said: “Grove Menzieshill Hockey Club is a club that prides itself on having close ties to the local community. The club regularly deals with local schools and businesses as well as enjoying involvement with community activities. To be recognised in this way by two different governing bodies is fantastic, showing that not only are we the top club locally, but our efforts are being noticed at a European level too.  This award demonstrates that the club is going in the right direction. As a member of Forthill Community Sports Hub we are actively pursuing this community involvement.  The next step for the club is to develop our own facilities and we will be seeking partners to support this project. It is only through investment in the sport that we can offer hockey opportunities to all players, coaches and officials at all ages and levels. Our targets are to have all our teams playing at the highest level possible, to continue to grow our community programmes, to produce talented players for recognition at district and Scottish level, and maintain our successful in-schools programme. We have a core group of volunteers who have bought into a strong club vision and have been committed to achieving our ambitions. The club is delighted to receive this award, as it recognises the value of those volunteers’ work, time and efforts to generate success. A huge thank you must go to Sport Scotland and Leisure & Culture Dundee, but especially to all of our volunteers and members, it is their efforts that continue to make Grove Menzieshill Hockey Club a great club to be part of.

 

EHF President Marijke Fleuren said of the winners: “It is a joy to see the achievements and great initiatives from clubs, both big and small. Both their applications were filled with marks of dedication, creativity and ingenuity. I would like to congratulate both SG Rogation Prenzlauer Berg and Grove Menzieshill HC for their win. Well done!”