Norway use EuroHockey Solidarity Grant to upskill coaching levels

Norwegian Hockey are looking to use their latest EuroHockey Solidarity Grant to upskill the level of coaching in the country and bring further life to their international teams.

Their application was successful for a second successive year with their 2023 grant being used to focus on umpiring development with their focus for 2024 moving into the coaching realm.

Norway has a set of active coaches, some having gone through earlier EuroHockey programs, but were lacking experience at an elite level, as well as missing infrastructure to provide new coaches with their first step into coaching. This is the crux of why they applied for a solidarity grant. 

With national team coach Tim Broenink also being an FIH educator, it was natural to ask him for initial support. He successfully led Norway to a first medal at any Eurohockey event with bronze in 2019’s EuroHockey Championship IV in Helsinki and built up a good base of trust with local coaches.

The programme started with digital sessions for a select group of six elite coaches, and consequently transferred onto the pitch. 

To ensure an elite coaching environment, as well as benefiting from Broenink’s return, the federation brought back the national team for the first time since 2019, aiming to participate in the EuroHockey Indoor Championship II-A in Paredes, Portugal.

This was a two-in-one solution where coaches got to experience a high level training environment, while ensuring national team engagement. 

Coach Tim Broenink

In addition, a level one coaching course was orchestrated for beginners while the national team programme and participation in Portugal saw players commit to a certain hours of recruiting work.

Furthermore, one of the coaches in the elite programme got to join the national team as part of the staff to complement the learning experience.

Achieving a first ever indoor win was a testament of the improved coaching environment having increased the level of the players.

Overall, the program was a success, as mentioned by the president of the federation, Sebastian Vonen Skaugvoll: “The solidarity programme had a primary goal to bring the level of coaches that are active at our highest level to the next step.

“But, in addition, it brought new life to our national team, created local engagement through activity and had our best players actively supporting youth development – we really managed to create a snowball effect.

“Although always challenging to organise, it was a successful programme that would not have been possible without the Solidarity grant, which we are very grateful for”.

As such, Norway encourages other nations to apply, and to be as creative as possible to maximize the benefits of this great progamme.

** You can find out more about the latest Solidarity Programmes which were announced last month by clicking here

** Further information on EuroHockey Solidarity Grants available here; keep an eye on the website for future application windows.

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