The Germany Special Hockey team has won an incredible prize of €25,000 in a competition sponsored by GENERALI Deutschland
We spoke to Linda van Overmeire-Sandkaulen and Sonja Ricken who are the leaders of Special Hockey (ParaHockey ID) in Germany.
Sonia explained GENERALI Deutschland had a competition and they had asked for „Partnerstories“ on Instagram. So we entered with our story about our wonderful ParaHockey players in Germany. “We were really thrilled to be selected as one of the 3 winners! Not only did we win €25,000 but they are also producing a video about our team which will be so great to promote Special hockey players in Germany.”
We asked what real impact does this funding have on the team, Linda was delighted to tell us that “For the German team it will mean that we can organise four preparation training camps before the Euro ParaHockey Championships and that we don’t need to worry about financing the championships and search for funding, which is such a relief for us.”
And what can they recommend to other countries about applying for funding? Sonia said that over the years they have had many foundations that have helped the team in the past. She recommends that these foundations might exist in other countries, also “Sometimes there are raffles or marketing event of companies that help can help with winning the prizes as we did. I highly recommend doing some research in other nations to see what funding is out there.” Linda agreed “Oh you really have to search around for every agency that might be able to help you! It’s really worthwhile to take the time to do this.”
At the moment ParaHockey players have been severely impacted by the COVID19 pandemic. Sonia noted that “COVID19 still has a huge impact on our athletes. During the lockdown, most of them were not allowed to go to work or leave their homes. Some have lost their jobs or are on short-time work. In General, those uncertain times have caused some oft hem health issues as well. For sport matters, Covid19 meant that we were not able to rain, some of the clubs are still not back in training and some oft he players are still not allowed to come to practice. There are teams in Germany that are not allowed to take part in tournaments until the end of the year.” Linda added “Yea the impacts have been the same as for everyone, with the added things that Sonia has already mentioned. ”
“The win of €25,000 euros will probably not help overcoming the challenges that we faced but it absolutely will help us to have a really well prepared team for the 2021 Euro ParaHockey Championships (to be held in June 2021)”
The EHF would like to congratulate Sonia and Linda for their fabulous dedication to Special Hockey in Germany and thanks for the advice for other countries!