September got off to a great start for the Hellenic Hockey Federation.

During the 7th to 9th September a group of seventeen aspiring coaches had the privilege to attend the EHF organised FIH Academy Level 1 Coaching Course delivered by Educator Thomas Tichelman, in Rio, Patra, Greece.

For those who attended the course it was a mind-altering and inspiring learning experience that provided the candidates with practical and theoretical tools that allow them to become qualified hockey coaches.

The organizational skills of Thomas Tichelman as well as his motivating energy created an impressive learning momentum that transformed the insecure candidates to confident and qualified educators in just three days. At the end of the seminar, all candidates had to prepare a training session suitable for a 16 player team based on a given topic, proving that they are familiar with the main coaching principles and aligned with modern coaching philosophy.

Following the graduation, local school teachers – and now certified Level 1 coaches – who attended the course were supplied with the necessary equipment (sticks, balls, cones, goalie kits etc.) to start training young athletes in the schools of Patra and Rio, while others await their equipment to arrive. This was due to a first collaboration of this sort between the EHF, Hockey Dreams Foundation, SportWays Coaching Camps, Verbunt Hockey and Princess Sportsgear.

With several facilities and easy access for the young athletes, Rio has the potential to become the center of Hockey for the area of Peloponnese.

The Greek Hockey community is hoping to secure a “home” for Hockey in Athens that will enable the old generation to meet and play with the newcomers in the sport, to train young teams and to host national and even international events.

Greek hockey is greatly pleased with the EHF/FIH collaborative effort to make this educational program start in Greece to regain lost Hockey ground and is especially grateful to Yiannis Tsimtsimis, the sports educator who hosted the event in Rio.

In this context, the Rio Level 1 Coaching Course marks a new era for Hockey in Greece as it has offered the tools and inspiration to expand its activities in different parts of the country and has given the Greek Hockey community a taste of the great potential that the sport has in one of its ancient fatherlands.