6th  August 2018: It’s almost a year since Tom Pedersen Smith joined the EHF. So what better way to celebrate than to catch up with him and how he celebrated Olympic Week, here’s his blog from the week of 18th June…

“What a great few weeks it has been for development & education, Programmes, Projects, Seminars, Meetings, Olympics – Inclusion and the people!

So where will my job take me this week???? 

From Belarus to Brussels to Barcelona to Bulgaria the journeys, the messages, the love for hockey development has been immense. The pride of staff, volunteers & players to better our game at every moment fills me with that really warm sense of pride.

We, and I mean the collective – when you consider the 30 individuals on our development & education committees and the hundreds more who support our programmes to reach the ground have been working hard to maintain and grow our standards for development & education over the past 12 months.

This was visible when I landed in Minsk, Belarus to visit the Federation and the National Olympic Committee as a vibrant Youth Festival kicked off in the picturesque setting of central Minsk. We supported the festival, sending over KNHB coaches to educate an enthusiastic collection of coaches from all over Belarus about coaching young people, we were all very warmly received, and it was fantastic to see how far reaching the support for hockey is.

From there a quick transfer through Europe’s city’s/airports to arrive late in Breda, Netherlands for the kick off of our friends the FIH’s High-Performance Programme before meeting with my TCP mentors. The next morning, we launched our 2nd seminar of the year for TCP. Amazing, aspiring elite coaches were about to be tested, questioned, and come through the other side 5 days later full of knowledge. More to come soon about the advancements for our coaching programmes in 2019…. I promise you they are brilliant! Get your NA to nominate you!

If all of this was not inspiring enough I landed in the 1992 Olympic grounds of Barcelona as the ParaHockey festival got underway (watch this!) – AND we launched our FIRST EVER European Ambassadors – AND then we celebrated Olympic Day in style, Olympic Medals and players (thanks Norm and Helen!). Then it was back to business as I attended the awarding of the EHF Large club of the Year by Vice President Carola Meyer. WHAT.A.CLUB. ParaHockey finished up on Sunday, wow it is awesome and so are all the people involved in this beautiful game – as we work hard with our partners to increase the inclusivity of hockey.

Not wanting to sit still after a week of exciting hockey development I moved east to Albena, Bulgaria to be greeted by the impressionable & hard-working Federations from BUL, ARM, TUR, UKR, ROM, GEO as we planned for the future – sticks, balls, competitions, coaching, umpiring, officiating we threw it all on the table (well excel and PowerPoint) and boom there we were development plans wrapped up, actions aplenty for me. Lastly, the great privilege to open the U15 H5’s EHF Competition.

Back in the office and C4E, U4E, Judges & the Umpire Coaches programmes all coming this summer and I’m going to be busy kicking through those Autumn leaves as ParaHockey, Governance and sharing knowledge are all on the cards!

Hockey to coin a term ‘is coming home’ and that home is in 41 brilliant hockey nations.”

For more information on all our programmes – click here