The dynamic shift in delivering education as a pillar of Development

Posted On 06/04/2021

The European Hockey Federation, like every sports organisation the world over was set a huge challenge one year ago when it was clear that Covid19 had arrived in Europe with vengeance.

As a small team of professional staff grappled with cancelling, reorganising, revisiting, postponing many events, supported by the EHF Board and the many volunteers on our Committees.

President, Marijke Fleuren said “One of the values of the EHF that we hold dear is being dynamic. Well that value was tested to its limit one year ago when we knew that many development initiates would no longer be possible in our traditional format!”

“So within a couple of weeks, we went ‘online’”

“To be honest there wasn’t one initiative that stood out, but what has impressed me the most was how the whole team (staff and volunteers) immediately formed one team to make the very most of the new situation and how this blended learning approach is now a core element of our development strategies going forward.”

The initiates that have been delivered over the past year and will indeed continue to be delivered are:

European Hockey Podcast:

  • The aim is to provide free educational content In conversation with the biggest names in sport. Generating insight and engagement around coaching, officiating, and playing hockey.
  • Launched live recording in series 1 & 2 during initial lockdowns and has now moved to pre-recorded sessions for series 3 & 4.
  • 4000 plays of the first three series over 50 + nations regularly. Audio of podcast available through all the main global channels.
  • The Video content is now available on a dedicated Podcast channel on EHTV, the EHF’s OTT platform.

EHF Education Content and Learning Outcomes:

  • Each of the Committees (Coaching and Officials) took the step over the past 12 months to evaluate the content of each programme down to how ever hour of each programme would look and feel moving forward.
  • This required an intensive period of analysis, feedback and honest appraisal to where each programme wanted to be.
  • This including looking at the frameworks and pathways around the pillars of Coaching and Officiating and drilling down to specific learning outcomes that where required and desired to support the participants on each programme.
  • All of which has now been completed and new delivery plans have been designed per programme.


  • TCP (Top Coaches Programme) and C4E (Coaches for Europe) moved online in 2020 with 3 unique programmes provided free of charge to participants in order to continue their learning within the programme framework.
  • A deep dive into culture, performance technical and tactical understanding delivered by EHF Coach Educators from across Europe.
  • TCP and C4E delivery plan altered for 2021 with new online workshops brought into the programme with guest speakers from outside of hockey brought in to expand knowledge and learning, including Stuart Lancaster (Rugby) and Bob Browaeys (Belgium Football). With 70 coaches and educators from across Europe accessing this as part of the programme.


  • U4N, (Umpires for Nations) U4E, (Umpires for Europe) and UDP (Umpires Development Programme) delivery plans altered for 2021 with new online workshops brought into the programme with an initial focus on improving access to technology through EHF partner Coach Logic whom have set up accounts for all participants of the programme and the EHF has provided all the 2019 Belfius EuroHockey  Championship games for learning and analysis.
  • Upcoming special guests in the next workshop will be announced soon, but include one of the very best international umpires and international coaches along with international players within the game today to learn from perspective of both the coach, athlete and officials.


  • A new online programme has been developed (Officials for Nations) which is an online learning programme dedicated to locally appointed officials by National Associations for EuroHockey Competitions. This will be provided to all of these people nominated to help them understand their role and the expectation of standards required at EuroHockey Competitions.
  • Umpire Manager course has been piloted online for those starting their journey within that pathway.

EHF Institute:

  • The EHF was successful in receiving a funding grant from the European Union with the objective to deliver world class education to support national growth.
  • This will create an education framework that addresses support on a national, regional and European level.
  • The strategic intent is to create tools and resources that provide transparent and accessible learning for people at all levels of the sport.
  • Together with the nine project partners; European Hockey Federation, Association Royale Belge de Hockey, Fédération Française, Copenhagen University, Stichting Orange Sports Forum, Royal Dutch Hockey Federation, Deutsche Hockey Bund, Hockey Magic, Slovenian Hockey Federation and Swiss Hockey Federation

Marijke concluded, “The EHF looks forward to delivering its development strategies over the coming years with the added benefit of funding from the European Union and strong partnerships.”

Photograph: EHF / Col Morley (c)

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