Youth Development is a key focus of the Development Projects Committee.

The main support we give to Youth Hockey comes from:

EHF Youth Panel: we develop our young leaders by engaging them in EHF Youth events
EuroHockey Youth Competitions: we offer both EuroHockey Championships and Regional Championships tournaments to offer U16 and U18 players International experience
EuroHockey Youth Festivals: we support several Youth Festivals every year to show young players that hockey is more than just playing
EuroHockey Skills Challenge: we produce resources to allow all young players across Europe to measure their skills against the best

Some National Associations choose to work with Youth Panels creating a platform for young people to take part in the organisation of hockey in their country and often in the area of development.
In Sweden we use another method; instead of creating a platform for young people to take part, we use young people in the platforms that already exist in our organisation. Over the last three years we have been working with what I call age integration. Today the Swedish Executive Board consists of people from 19 years of age to 64, with a majority under the age of 35. We try to always combine long experience with short experience to allow a flow and movement in the organisation. Experience is however not always age related.

Over the last few years we have been working closely with the Youth Panel, giving some of our young volunteers an international platform to widen their knowledge and experience in hockey, and then asking them to share it with the rest of the Swedish Hockey Association. We see that being a part of the Youth Panel gives young people tools for becoming better leaders by working with people from other countries, meeting younger players from all over Europe. Sweden is one of the smallest hockey nations in Europe but the Youth Panel is the platform where our committed young leaders have a chance to meet other young leaders from other bigger and smaller hockey nations and to be a part of the hockey family, sharing the same passion for hockey for life.

Sara Stigzelius
Swedish Hockey Association