September 10, 2009
From the WorldHockey Youth website
In late August I was given the opportunity to meet a current FIH Youth Panel member, Nina Niedermeyer. As a member of the panel, Nina was here in Victoria during the WorldHockey Olympic Qualifier back in May 2008. There she gave a presentation outlining her projects back in Germany including the organization of a youth indoor field hockey tournament. What Nina accomplished, with the support of FIH, was truly inspirational and heart warming. Not only did I feel motivated to create similar events to promote hockey on the West Coast but also I felt the desire to give the youth in our sport better representation.
I believe the future of Field Hockey Canada really lies in the hands of the youth and the developing players. Our sport has suffered significant drops in ranking and in order to pick that up we have to build from the ground up. That means targeting the really young ones and keeping the teenagers interested, challenged and engaged. I have always felt that this is an issue that doesn’t get addressed enough in British Columbia and I think nationally we can make a better effort! Though these thoughts have lingered and come up in several conversations, I have never felt as motivated as I do now to act on these thoughts.
Nina has given me some ideas, supportive suggestions and the key contacts to get the ball rolling in Canada, or at least British Columbia! At the age of 22, I am getting a few years too close to not being in the “Youth” era, however, I hope I can start to evoke some for now and maybe stick around to help supervise and conduct youth panel meetings later. My first goal will be to start a youth panel on the west coast. Larissa Roechner, from Ontario, is already taking the same project under her wing in the East. My second goal will target specific age group developments on lower Vancouver Island and may involve camps, a small league or a tournament of some kind.
I look forward to the future and can’t wait to start putting some ideas into action! Stay tuned!