#FridayFocus – Sarah Campion’s testimonial from the 2019 EHF Youth Leadership Festival

Posted On 15/01/2021

Still not registered for the 2021 EHF Youth Leadership Festival, well we think that Sarah Campion’s testimonial might help persuade you…

Sarah, a TV and Multimedia Communications Graduate, was thrown in to the deep end in 2019 at the EHF Youth Leadership Festival as she represented Ireland in Antwerp.

“To be perfectly honest I knew very little about the EHF Festival, but was thrilled, as a hockey addict, to be selected to represent Ireland and showcase the work that I’m doing with Hockey Ireland (visual communications) and my club Dublin North.”

“It’s no exaggeration to say that I was blown away by the Festival experience in 2019. In Ireland, the hockey community is fairly tight, mostly with people coming from similar backgrounds, which is great as you can identify with them, but seeing people from all over Europe, with different cultures, backgrounds and circumstances all bound by the same goal to develop and grow hockey was awesome.

“I particularly loved that it was youth leaders who want, and are getting in many countries, the right to have their voices heard in their own countries so that they can have a say in the vision of hockey for the future, this really struck a cord.” “Indeed it prompted me to set up a Youth Panel in Ireland on my return to try and emulate what many countries are doing, to have the opinions of youth leaders heard and actioned on.”

“I didn’t expect that it would be such a mix of the brilliant speakers and workshops in addition to some partying, relaxing, and I know it sounds cheesy, but I’ve met people who I am proud to say are now my friends.

“My club, Dublin North, is maybe not typical, we don’t play in the top leagues, but have a fantastic attitude and really just love playing hockey, we also share our hockey experiences with schools in the area (in normal times) to expose kids to hockey who would never have even seen a hockey stick! Having a group of likeminded friends from all over Europe now is great support for that work as we can all share ideas about learning and having fun!”

“If I had to pick a couple of highlights, it would be the workshop with Self Pass’ Bernardo Fernandes, he’s such a clever guy and his vision is extraordinary. Not just showcasing the skills of hockey, but how he lives the culture of hockey and how he wants to bring hockey outside the typical fan base!
The other highlight? Going to the EuroHockey Championships venue and getting to watch Belgium v Germany with the group!
It was almost like a ‘wrap party’, we had such a laugh and as for the hockey and the set up in Antwerp, it was simply amazing!”

Sarah is pictured at the 2019 EHF Youth Leadership Festival (pictured bottom right) with many of her fellow delegates and Bernando Fernandes.

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