#FridayFocus – The EHF Youth Leadership Festival and business

Posted On 26/02/2021

Our final testimonials ahead of the deadline to sign up for the EHF Youth Leadership Festival come from two of our Youth Panel Members as Harri Pritchard Evans (WAL) and Jonas Verest (SUI) spoke to us about how the YLF helped them use their experiences in their professional lives.

Harri’s road to his first EHF Youth Leadership Festival was fairly unplanned “I was staying in my grandparents’ house and got an email to see could I get to London in 2015 within 2 days! So I went, I was 15 (but seemed way older!) and 6 years later I’m still loving being part of the group. In 2017 I joined the committee and was very involved in the ParaHockey events since then, which I love being a part of.”

One of my standout memories was when Leen (Ryckx) left. She was such an inspiration and when she left I started to realise what an impact she has had on my life. Leen opened my mind to realise that, yes I might be young, but I have a voice and my opinions are valid and worthwhile. I honestly think that this message was one that I have brought with me into my university and now my professional life. We have learned communications skills, event management, but probably most importantly how to speak to people, how to understand your audience, skills that you do not learn in school. I have taken all of those learnings into my career and honestly, I don’t think I would have secured the job I now have without these experiences.”

“Yes, it’s 3 days of ‘craic’ but it’s just so much more than that and lays the foundations for us young leaders to play our part not just in the hockey world but as citizens and professionals!”

Jonas Verest, our Dutch / Swiss member of the Youth Panel said “I have to say that within 24hrs at the Festival in Antwerp I had completely opened my mind to the hockey world. My focus up until then was really as a player (he’s been a member of Swiss Nationals teams) and whilst I had thought that Swiss Hockey has a lot of work to do in development, I realised that there are countries all over Europe that are trying to develop with a lot less resource than we have. But it was the enthusiasm and ‘same vision’ that struck me, no matter where we are all from, we want to grow and develop the sport we all love.”

“Like Harri, I would say that it made me realise how I can use hockey to develop my professional life. I was particularly struck by the entrepreneurship demonstrated to us by the guys in Scorrd and Selfpass. The Festival was like an incubator for ideas, and maybe it’s possible now to consider how to make a career from my sport. I’m studying for my bachelor’s degree in Lausanne and hope to go on to do my Masters. I’m lucky to live in a place where sport is very respected as a profession and I honestly think that my experiences at the Festival will be ones I can take into my next steps for my career.”

Both guys agreed that it’s essential for young leaders around Europe to make sure they book their places at the Festival, not just for the fun and camaraderie, but also to develop yourself and bring those learnings into your professional life!

GET INVOLVED! Contact your National Association TODAY as the deadline is coming up on 8th March!

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