Young Leaders take the lead
10 Jul 2007 07:01
Since Hockey’s International Year of the Youth in 2001 the FIH encourages its National Associations to involve young hockey leaders in its administration.
The German Hockey Federation has taken this message seriously and gives youth a voice at each opportunity that arises.
The German youth hockey promoter Nina Niedermeyer writes about the DHB “Youth Spokes Persons”, who were entirely responsible for the organisation of the U16 championship. A great example of youth involvement!
Youth Spoke Persons organised an U16 championship
On 3 and 4 March 2007, the German U16 boys Indoor Hockey Championship took place in Borken near the Dutch border.
It is quite interesting that this tournament has been organised entirely by young people. It was the dream of Michael Steinmann, Youth Spoke Person of Germany’s hockey association and member of the FIH Youth Panel, to create a big event in his little hometown. It was he that searched for sponsors, and quickly found them. An example of this was a local bank financing a radio spot which was broadcasted in the weeks before the tournament started. Moreover the hockey club printed 10 000 flyers and 300 posters. Additionally, a lot of articles were printed in Borken´s local newspaper to add to the promotion of the event.
Because Steinmann, who is just 20 years old, could not do everything by himself, he decided to ask Berlin’s 19 year old Youth Spoke Person Nina Niedermeyer for support. Niedermeyer created an impressive tournament webpage and wrote some event promotion articles for Germany’s Hockey Magazine. Another key helper was Tim Meissner, the 16 year old Youth Spoke Person for another hockey club in Germany, who assisted with writing match reports and live tickers.
The atmosphere during the hockey matches was electric, with nearly 800 people packing themselves into the gym. A massive bonus was the appearance of some members of the victorious Germany men’s team from the 2006 World Cup in Mönchengladbach. Matthias Witthaus, Timo Wess and Carlos Nevado had a chance to look at some of the boys in action on the pitch, before signing autographs for players and spectators. The superstars of German hockey were obviously impressed with what they saw, asking for autographs from the young players, coaches and even umpires.
After 18 exciting games, HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim became the champions of Germany.
The entire event was a huge success, but not only for Hockey in Borken. All of the participants were very happy, especially when the LC Borken invited all of them to dinner on Saturday evening.
On the webpage, the fans who had to stay at home could listens to interviews, a live commentary of the final as well as being able to watch the webcam transfer.
After the Champions’ ceremony, the 2nd coach of Germany’s men national team from 2006, Torsten Althoff, awarded the five most promising boys. All five players (Goalkeeper Philippe Geringer, defenders Johannes Frank and Matthias Knüpfer, and forwards Moritz Polk, Ricardo Nevado and Jan Fleckhaus) are already in Germany’s U16 national team. Tobias Matania was top scorer with eleven goals, and got also a TK Stickbag for his efforts.
The four boys tell us why they are playing hockey and what their future targets are in the following interviews.
Name: Tobias Matania
Club: HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim
Age: 16 years
For how long have you been playing hockey? Since I was four years old
For which clubs have you played? Oberhausener THC
How did you start playing hockey? There was placard in my kindergarten.
Have you played any other sports? I have already played tennis.
What would you like to do for a career? Physio therapist
Do any other members of your family play hockey? My older brother is also playing at Mülheim.
Your biggest success? I won the 4-Nations-Tournament with the U16 national team.
What would you like still to achieve in hockey? One of my targets is to play the U18-European Championship in Scotland and the other one is to get some play time in our men’s first team in Germany’s premier league.
Who is your ideal? Björn Emmerling
Who do you think is the world’s best hockey player? Christopher Zeller
Your slogan? Who likes to shine has to clean first.
Name: Jan Fleckhaus
Club: HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim
Age: 16 years
For how long have you been playing hockey? Since 1995, I started with 5 years.
For which clubs have you played? I played ten years at HC Essen 99.
How did you start playing hockey? My father, my uncle and my aunt played hockey.
Have you played any other sports? Hockey will stay my only sport.
What would you like to do for a career? I don’t know it yet, but something with medicine or biology.
Do any other members of your family play hockey? My little cousin is playing.
Your biggest success? The best adventure was the winning of the German Indoor Championship 2005 because it was my first season in Mülheim and quite exciting. Of course the nomination in the U18-team and my three wins of the German championship is another big success.
What would you still like to achieve in hockey? All of my targets are very contemporary. So I can find new ones if I reached them. But nevertheless the Olympic Games would be great.
Who is your ideal? Matthias Witthaus, because he has nearly reached everything in his young age. He always tries to improve his performance and he is not arrogant.
Who do you think is the world’s best hockey player? Christopher Zeller, because nobody is comparable with his assertiveness in front of the goal.
Your slogan? I will never settle for something. I will work hard and always try to reach the best.
Something else? Yes, I like to thank the LC Borken for this perfect tournament. It has been the fifth German Championship in my life and that was definitely the best one. Of course I like to say, I would have never got so far if my family and hockey mates had not supported me all the time.
Name: Philippe Geringer
Club: UHC Hamburg
Age: 17 years
For how long have you been playing hockey? Since 1999
For which clubs have you played? Only at UHC Hamburg.
How did you start playing hockey? Through Marco Miltkau, he is also playing in Germany’s U18-team. Marco was in my primary school and offered me to accompany him to his training.
Have you played any other sports? Yes, soccer, boxing, Thai-boxing, judo and tennis.
What would you like to do for a career? I would like to study business and work as a sport manager.
Do any other members of your family play hockey? My brother Tim played for six years but he had to give up because of an injury one year ago.
Your biggest success? I won the Rheinland-Pfalz-Pokal (National Championship of German States) with Hamburg and became outdoor champion with my team in 2006.
What would you still like to achieve in hockey? I would like to play in the Olympic Games one day. And I want to become German champion with the age group of 1989/90.
Who is your ideal? My old and best coach Kais al-Saadi who has also been a very good hockey player. Without him I wouldn’t have got so far.
Who do you think is the world’s best hockey player? Moritz Fürste and Carlos Nevado
Name: Ricardo Nevado
Club: SC Frankfurt 80
Age: 16 years
For how long have you been playing hockey? Since 1994
For which clubs have you played? Only at Frankfurt 80
How did you start playing hockey? Through my brother Carlos Nevado [Germany International]. Our place was near the hockey campus.
Have you played any other sports? No.
What would you like to do for a career? I haven’t thought about this yet. First I like to do my Abitur (final secondary school exams).
Do any other members of your family play hockey My older brother Carlos Nevado and my Mum Emi Nevado.
Your biggest success? I won the Rheinland-Pfalz-Pokal (National Championship of German States) with Hessen.
What would you still like to achieve in hockey? I would like to play in the men’s national team and of course to play in an Olympic Games one day.
Who is your ideal? My brother Carlos Nevado and Christopher Zeller.
Who do you think is the world’s best hockey player? Moritz Fürste and Carlos Nevado!