Our Motivation Monday piece today comes from Oslo. The EHF President, Marijke Fleuren accompanied by the EHF’s Competitions Manager visited Oslo recently to view the new pitch and to learn more about how the 3 sports of floorball, bandy and hockey are working together to get more young people playing sport in Norway.
We spoke to the Norwegian Hockey President, Jaswinder Singh about this collaboration “We have a common administration for all the three sports in the federation: floorball, bandy & hockey. The Federation has more than 30,000 members. We learn from each other. The federation has a common economy and common development officers across the country for all the three sports. The Norwegian Hockey Federation is responsible for hockey in Norway with the help of Norwegian Bandy Federation. Most of the hockey players in Norway are 3rd generation Indians and Pakistanis. We want to play with bandy players so that we can integrate with the ethnic Norwegians. More than 1700 bandy players are over 13 years and play active bandy only for 4 months during the year. We want them to play hockey during the summer time. Bandy & hockey have many common things such as rules, number players, field size, basic skills and techniques.”
Jaswinder was delighted that the EHF President and Competitions Manager were on hand to view Voldsløkka, which is the first official fully equipped hockey pitch in the heart of the Oslo, Norway.
He added “We really feel that we are now a full part of the EHF hockey family as now we can invite clubs and teams to Norway. Because of its central locality, it would be convenient for players to participate in hockey in future. Having Marijke and David here is motivating and inspiring for the young players and clubs. Hosting events will give us the chance to promote hockey in the bandy community and in Norway as well.”
Of the visit, the EHF President Marijke Fleuren said “The development of hockey all over Europe is at the core of the work of the EHF. There is no better way to help our Federations than by visiting them to see the progress that is being made, but more importantly to understand what is needed on the ground and how via our development and educations programmes we can help! I was delighted to see the co-operation between the 3 sports and how they are working together for the good of all 3! We saw a really great youth festival of mixed teams aged Under 14 and Under 19. It really was very well organised with good umpiring. It was a real pleasure to see our former Development Manager, Norman Hughes her, very much as ‘coach Norman’ on the field with the kids and the national teams. There is certainly the will to improve and now they have a pitch, which is fundamental to their growth. I have spoken to Jaswinder and it’s clear that what is needed from our side is support for coaches and umpires, which we will manage with our programmes.”
It was also an opportunity for the EHF Competitions Manager to visit the venue for the upcoming EuroHockey Indoor Challenge I in February 2019. This will be the first time that Norwegian Hockey has hosted an official EuroHockey event. Jaswinder confirmed that this hosting is a major boost to hockey in Norway. “The club and Federation are very excited to host the event. We’re looking forward to having international teams here in Oslo. It will be a great opportunity to promote and popularise hockey in Norway. We hope it will put Norway on the international sports map. We are thankful to the EHF for all the help, support and guidance.”