Bratislava, Slovakia 1/3 July
For the third year running, the Caravan arrived in Slovakia. This time, they had a new host, KPH Raca. Natalia Fondrkova, EHF C4E Member, was the head of the organization and also as a coach.
The club did a fantastic job, pulling together 54 players from different Slovakian Clubs, making the pitch very full! Every day,12 young local coaches came to work with the players and the Caravan, to exchange ideas, receive feedback and share knowledge. It was great to be in Slovakia again, as we could see the progress the coaches have made over these 3 years and how motivated they are to improve!
Over the three days, the players and coaches were put through their paces, starting from the basics and graduating to more advanced techniques. As always, there is always a HockeyMagic session, where tricks and skills were shared and the kids enjoyed it tremendously! It was also wonderful to see these magic moves begin to pop up during the matches.
This progress and commitment made this stop the best so far, maybe even the best of the Caravan in its history! A great welcome, very interactive and interested coaches and players, which served as great inspiration to the Caravan leaders themselves, Dick Besteers and Tomislav Jamicic. A true festival of Slovakian Hockey, as players from different clubs played together, trained together and cheered each other onto success.
Budapest, Hungary 5/7 July
Second time in Budapest for the Caravan, this time with about 20 high-spirited players. It was very hot but that did not deter the players or coaches, who were ready to put in their best effort. Marcell Allo was the head of the organisation, together with Balint Barki from the local Fönix MSE.
Every day, 5 coaches joined the Caravan. Like in Slovakia, working together and getting some new feedback and ideas was helpful to all. While the group was small, there were quite a few very talented players, so there was a good mix of levels and variety for the coaches to hone their skills. It was also an opportunity to take a different approach and give more one-on-one coaching to the players as the levels were quite different.
After a great few days on the road, Dick and Tomislav packed up and headed home to Arnhem, with more than 3,000 KM travelled and already full of plans for next year’s Caravan!