27th July 2018: Our #FridayFocus blog today comes from a small hockey club in Essen, Germany.

Out Vice-president was on hand 2 weeks ago with our ParaHockey Ambassador Juan Andres de Koning to present their award!

Talking to us about this momentous occasion she said: ” It was my pleasure to present the EHF’s Small Club of the Year 2017 Award to ETB SW Essen Hockey Club.”

She thanked Sonja Eckertz who took the time to put together the wonderful entry on behalf of the club.

Talking about SW Essen EV Hockey Club she added: “A club like yours does not exist without many years of hard work from many volunteers and staff and this award is not just a recognition for the year of 2017 but for all the years before that has gone into building this great club.”

She highlighted the work being done by the club:

“They work with the small children (aged 2-4) to introduce them, not specifically to hockey, but how to move and the basis of a sport it really impressive.

Using the youth programme to encourage education through language schools really adds another dimension to the offering for your youth players!

But whilst focusing on the youth, they have not forgotten their adult members, offering them a clubhouse where they can socialise, come and read a book, take a cup of coffee or a glass of wine! With us all being so busy in our lives, it is great to provide a space for adult members to have some “time out”!”

On a more serious note, Carola highlighted the important work being done by the club on safe places “Indeed a safe place for all is what strikes me as the core thinking in the club, they have already been acknowledged for their initiatives against sexual violence, well done to them for that. Their work on Special / ParaHockey is to be commended, especially ensuring that those players have free access to the club and they take care of things like their hockey clothing and indeed lifts to make sure they can attend training. Sometimes it is the small things that make a huge difference in life!”

She concluded by saying “In the end, they have created far more than a hockey club, they have created a community and a family where everyone is welcome! I am truly delighted to be here with Juan to award  the EHF’s Small Club of the Year 2017 to ETB SW Essen.”