As usual, our #FridayFocus is all about development and education!

The UDP Group 12 had already met at the recent Belfius EuroHockey Championship in Antwerp in August. However, all members of the Group 12 attended their 2nd practical weekend in Brussels 27th-29th September, having been in Vienna in May with Hamish Jamson (ENG).

FRIDAY 27th September:

On Friday evening, after the check-in in the hotel nearby from the European Commission, the group started discussing the features of the matches of the Belgian Championship, umpiring techniques in different European countries especially in the UDP Group 12 member countries: Belgium, Germany, Austria and Russia. Also, our mentor from England, Louise Knipe shared her experience and advice from her umpiring and UM/coaching career.

SATURDAY 28th – GAME DAY:

On Saturday after a hearty ( meaning Starbucks!!!) breakfast umpires had the matches among boys and girls U19 at various hockey clubs in Brussels.

U19 Girls: Leopold –White Star – Teresa Lipsky and Veronika Fetcher

U19 Boys: Racing – La Raquette – Petr Větrovský and Alexandre Peron (Belgian umpire)

U19 Boys: Orée – Léopold – Nikita Yuklyaevskikh and Germain Boutte.

The match Orée – Léopold began 15 minutes later due to heavy rain. But despite the rainfall, the games turned out to be interesting and intense.

After a long, wet but challenging day we had dinner in a traditional Belgium restaurant in Waterloo. Everyone was able to discuss their matches, discuss game situations and just have a good time together.

SUNDAY 29th – GAME DAY:

On Sunday, the umpires had the opportunity to stroll through the historic sites of Brussels. Special thanks to the guide and group member Germain Boutte!

Also, the group members had serious matches in the First and Honor divisions of the Belgium Championship. The match of the women’s clubs White Star & Gantoise was even broadcasted on TV.

Ladies DH: White Star – Gantoise – Teresa Lipsky and Veronika Fetcher

Men D1: White Star – Old club – Petr Větrovský and Nikita Yuklyaevskikh

Men DH: Waterloo Ducks – Racing for Germain Boutte

The weekend turned out to be eventful, getting to know the Brussels public transport system, challenging weather, with a red card shown in one of the games. Debriefs/coaching was given to us all by Louise. Our thanks to Hockey Belgium, Pierre-Philippe Van Besien (aka Peps) and Germain for organizing a fabulous weekend. Much learning, much laughter and sharing of experiences.

Thanks to Lousie Knipe and Group 12 for sharing their experiences with us!

For more information on our UDP programme click here.