Our Friday Focus on Development is a fantastic legacy from the twinning projects that the KNHB and EHF started in the lead-up to the 2017 Rabo EuroHockey Championships. We are delighted that ‘Split vision” a twinning project between Mixed Hockey Club Oosterbeek, The Netherlands and Spartanac Hockey Club, Split, Croatia is now in its third year.

Objective: update of training skills for youth and senior players, umpiring and expansion and promotion of hockey in Split. Explanation of hockey culture in the Netherlands. Focus on indoor hockey.

A visit by members of MHCO to Split last week culminated in a fantastic programme of events, including:

  • A panel discussion of hockey culture in The Netherlands & USA with parents and children
  • Promotion video in the city centre (Friday)
  • Umpiring update (Friday)
  • Training with the youth players (Saturday)
  • Promotion activity in the city centre of Split with some youth players (Saturday)
  • Training with seniors/trainers of Spartanac (Sunday)

A packed few days of hockey and exchanging ideas and experiences!

It was great for the members of MHCO to see that the numbers of players over the 3 years has not decreased and that the enthusiasm of the players and staff is still very high.

There is an excellent indoor hall in Split, but a lack of indoor boards holds the players back from development. There is also a smaller hall where the juniors can train. The Clubhouse is used often for social events (not related to hockey). The hockey club is related to the generic sports academy where hockey is one of the sports the children play.  Some of the children choose after that for hockey. The outdoor pitches are not used at the moment since the fences are still not fixed, this has been promised by the local municipality and hopefully, at the next visit, this will be done!

Members of MHCO were delighted to bring some hockey knowledge and indeed some equipment to Spartanac, and in return, they have made lifelong friendships in Split.

Some ideas have been proposed to Spartanac during this twinning:

  • Develop promotional activities in order to attract more (youth) players and to involve more parents
  • To make buying boards priority (with help from Croatian hockey Federation and if possible EHF)
  • To focus on improving (basic) technical skills of trainers and players
  • To continue this ‘twinning’ bond between Spartanac and Oosterbeek in the future and to continue organising exchanges.

The twinning will continue and MHCO is committed to helping their friends in Spartanac to grow hockey in Split.

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