DHC Hudito twinning with ParaHockey and Youth Hockey in Portugal

Posted On 17/04/2020

Many thanks to Hockey.nl for highlighting this great twinning partnership!

We are delighted to end the week with a message of hope and friednship as DHC Hudito outlines the start of their twinning programme with the Portuguese Hockey Federation.

The Twinning Project was set up by the European Hockey Federation EHF and the KNHB. “We heard at the National Hockey Congress at the end of January that the Twinning Project was going to start,” says Pil Wessel, President of DHC Hudito. “Clubs can sign up to help countries around Europe with their development. These are countries where hockey is played by only a few thousand men and women.”

The board of the Delft club felt called to help. “We at Hudito think hockey is the most important side issue in life. In the Netherlands it is all arranged very well, with associations, fields, clubhouses, trainers, teams, you name it.”

The hockey federations of Croatia, Slovenia and Malta, among others, who also participate in the Twinning Project, each had their own issues, but it was Portugal that spoke directly to Hudito’s board. “The Portuguese federation had two questions for help: how do you make a policy plan for youth hockey? And how do you grow ParaHockey?”

Experience expert in the field of ParaHockey

“At Hudito we have a large department of ParaHockey’, sounds Pil elated. ‘We have been facilitating this for more than twenty years and therefore have a strong connection with social projects. That’s really in our DNA, we get a lot of energy from that. So it didn’t take long to embrace this project.”

“ParaHockey in Portugal is still in its infancy, not comparable to here in the Netherlands. There is little competition, so we would really like to help with that.”

Youth Planning

Hudito will also work on the youth hockey policy plan. “There have been questions about tackling sponsorship, so we’re actually going to do it quite broadly. We hope to enthuse our Portuguese friends during the first exchange. The plan is that delegates from Portuguese Hockey will come to The Netherlands and we are very excited them to do the exchange when we can.”


Initially, the plan was to start the Twinning Project in the spring, but the coronavirus has thrown a spanner in the work. The official start of the cooperation has therefore been postponed to September (dependent on guidance from the 2 Governments). Despite this, Pil has already started the introductory process. He has already spoken to Hugo Santos, the technical director of the Portuguese federation, on the phone a number of times.

“Hugo is very enthusiastic about the cooperation”, says the chairman. “When Hugo heard of our 1,300 members, he felt like a kid in a candy store. The Board of the Portuguese federation is very keen to see what they can learn from us. This will also be the first phase of cooperation.”

Maybe we can expand the cooperation with a number of training camps. I am thinking, for example, of camps for the C, D and E youth Wessel Pil, President Hudito

The Twinning Project lasts two years, but Pil foresees a longer agreement. “The Portuguese also said, who knows, we might be able to expand the cooperation with a number of training camps. We hope that this is the beginning of very close collaboration.”

Initiatives of members

From the Delft club, Pieter Hafkamp and player of the first ladies team Daiva Ponsen have been appointed to help with the policy plan for youth hockey. Marie-Louise Boissevain will focus on ParaHockey, but according to Pil, Hudito’s help will not stay with just those. “I already have ParaHockey players who have come to me to give a demonstration to the Portuguese. A youth member sent me a message asking if he can connect his social internship to it. These are cool reactions, especially when the initiative comes from those kids themselves. I like to use the opportunities to get them involved in the project.”

Thanks from the EHF to DHC Hudito’s enthusatic start to their twinning with Portuguese Hockey Federation, we are all looking forward to following their joint journey over the coming 2 years!

Photo: Parahockey at Hudito archive image. (Marie-Louise Boissevain)

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